BizDesk 4.0 is a good place to start for the novice.
Everything works “out of the box”. It uses the KDE Desktop and has a Windows
feel to it. This Linux distro will install on older machines, but if you have an older
video card or a proprietary video chip, video drivers may be a problem.
Also a good place to start for the novice, BUT if you
want to install programs from their CNR Warehouse, you have to pay for it (YUK!).
The latest version.
This is by far my favorite Linux distro to date. It’s
simple to install and gets up and running quickly. Not everything works “out of the
box”, though. There’s some stuff that you have to tweak, so it’s not for the novice,
BUT it’s not that hard to figure out, either. Ubuntu is about a “Medium” in
difficulty and the average person can learn it in a couple of weeks of playing around with
Live CD’s are for computers that can boot from the cd
drive so that you can preview Linux without having to install it. Neat!
The alternate version is if you don’t meet the memory
requirements, upgrades, etc.
The server program is command line only. If you are
not an advanced Linux user, this is not for you.
You can find recent downloads for other computer
platforms on this page including PowerPC, AMD64, etc.
Ubuntu 4.10, and 5.04
If you are running Ubuntu, you will need the
DEB package to play DVD’s. You will have to install it with Kpackage which is available in
the Synaptic Package Manager. After that, you will have to enable DMA (Direct Memory
Access) for your CD drive. To do this, open Terminal and enter the following command:
hdparm –d1 /dev/cdrom
Terminal will then display a lot of
gobbledygook, but what you are looking for should say something like “DMA=on”.
Bingo! Totem plays DVD’s, but you get better performance from the Xine media player, which
is also found in Synaptic.
Tip: To play streaming media from SHOUTcast,
go into Synaptic and look for “gstreamer plugins”. This will install ALL the
plugins you need to play pretty much anything with Rythmbox or Totem. If you can’t find
it, go to advanced settings and check the box “Show Disabled Software” (or
similar). You will then see your repository list with checkboxes next to them. Put a check
in everything unchecked. But wait – there’s more! Click the Add button and you will see a
list with two boxes unchecked. Check them too. Do this for the “(Dist)
Security”, “(Dist.) Updates” and “(Dist.) Universe”. Click
“OK” to refresh and you should be able to find and install it.
You can find the codecs and other libraries here.
This RealPlayer is a complete package that
will also play all your streaming media. You must use Kpackage to install this into your
Ubuntu system. It will show up on your menu under multimedia. Reboot the computer after
you install it just to be sure. If the program installs correctly, this will become your
default player for streaming media, which is the best way to go (in my humble opinion 🙂
). Test your installation on the links below: