Saturday, December 13, 2008

ScribeFire, Mepis Linux - Now this is pretty cool

So I have had a spare hard drive sitting around for my laptop computer for some time just waiting to put it to good use.  With an actual day of no planned activities, it seemed like a good time today.  Actually, this is the second Saturday in a row when we didn't have any scheduled activities.  But last Saturday I decided to spend some time driving some country roads down south of Asheboro (including the excellent Old Liberty Road to and from Asheboro, where on the way I was getting a kick out of some guy in front of me driving a minivan like he had a sports car) and around the Uwharrie Forest, ultimately ending up at the Pisgah Covered Bridge (but I digress).

Back to the spare hard drive.  My goal was to install it and get some version of Linux loaded up so I could start using that instead of XP on a regular basis.  The laptop was my only Windows PC (though my wife is running a Vista machine much to my chagrin).  I seem to recall trying to load up OpenSUSE on it a while back, but could not get the wireless to work.  Ditto for some version of Ubuntu.

I decided this time to give Ubuntu (technically Kubuntu) another try since they just came out with a new version and everyone swears about how easy it is to install and be up and running.  Alas, my curse in using Ubuntu continues as I could not get the wireless to work with this laptop.

My next attempt was to try installing Mepis Linux (or maybe the proper name is SimplyMEPIS?).  It took a little bit of configuration work, but getting the wireless to work was just a matter of figuring out the right settings in Mepis' network manager.  So now I am up and running.  Took some time to update Firefox and install Thunderbird.  It even came with 3.0 already installed.  Very nice!  So I'm still poking around.  But at this point, about the only thing I would need to swap the XP drive back in for would be Quickbooks.  Perhaps I can find a replacement for that, at least for my personal stuff and the soccer club.

In the course of all this, I decided to get a new theme for the Firefox buttons and happened across this ScribeFire add-on for Firefox.  It is billed as an easy way to blog while I'm surfing.  So I clicked the little button it installed and a window for writing this entry popped up.  I can hardly wait to see how this turns out once I hit the "Publish" button (though I'm concerned that I see no easy way to tag it to the proper category).  As I write this though, I'm discovering it is easy to create links just by going to a site (which shows in the upper half of my browser window), highlight it, then hit the link button in the editing toolbar for the ScribeFire panel.  Very cool!!!!

It is always fun to have a "new" computer!

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