Zach Zupancic

Zach Zupancic

Senior Designer, SolidWorks addict, AutoCAD zealot, Cyclist, Shade Tree Mechanic, & moderately tall. 

Ubuntu; and you can too!

So in the last couple of weeks I have been working on wiping, repartioning, and installing a couple of operating systems into the computer that I use. That way I would no longer be plagued with these horrible crashes and unstoppable lag. My guess for these downfalls was probably due to the awesome lifestyles of the XP downgrade. At first thought I contemplated going with a clean install of XP, but I figured that if I was going to get my computer up to awesome levels I really had to get the best OSes possible (and acquirable). That meant that I had to at least get Windows 7, which in itself is still a horrible operating system. I was contemplating a hackint0sh install, but with the apple tablet coming out in the near future I really don’t have to worry about it. Then I started to think about Ubuntu; and within days of thinking about it, it came up in conversation with Jeg, and at that point I had to at least try it.

After some research I started to think that my entire computer could be extremely stable and live a windowless life thanks to Ubuntu; unfortunately that wasn’t the case. Most of my work, and life, revolves around the usage of SolidWorks and AutoCAD. Due to this I really did have to have Windows running on the comp :sadface::. Some contemplated the usage of a virtual computer within Ubuntu to run these programs, but I don’t have an über-computer to run the graphically demanding software through it. Then I thought why not just run both? This concept leads to an issue of mutual storage space. I really wanted the availability to get to any of my documents on both operating systems, without the use of an external drive. So I did some more researching on Ubuntu and found that it can indeed read and write to a NTFS (standard windows formatting) drive; fantast. So that means that if I were to partition my hard drive into 3 parts (windows7, Ubuntu, and storage) I could do it.

So now that I had all the information that I needed to make sure that they could work together, I looked for, and found, a great write up on how to properly dual boot Ubuntu and windows 7 which can be found here http://lifehacker.com/5403100/dual+boot-windows-7-and-ubuntu-in-perfect-harmony. To top it all off he even talks about how to share applications, application settings, and documents within the storage partition.

It took me about 5 hours to completely finish transferring all of my documents and installing everything; maybe a bit long but I made a couple mistakes, and took a few breaks. So with everything fantastic I started to work within the Ubuntu environment and learn some basic command line edits to make the operating system look and feel amazing; and I must say it is astounding. Only complaint being that it can’t run high level CADD programs and that is it. The initial look of the operating system is similar to that of a MAC, but leans far more into personalization instead of prettification. The usage of “Expose” changes from just a simple slide of the desktop to a sphere of awesome!

Screenshot

If you are doubting the availability of apps well don’t worry there is an iPhone AppStore like program that lets you download open source (free) programs that do just about anything you want. But this isn’t a whole post about the fantastics of Ubuntu; it is also about more awesomes from the iPhone. As you know I am a big fan of jailbroken iPhones, and there has been some recent additions to the list of amazing apps that I HAVE to mention. (If you need help with a jailbreak just ask)

The first app is called QuickWidgets. Unlike the iGizdgets in the app store this app is attached to your lock screen. That means that you don’t have to unlock your phone to let’s say... write a quick note, or check your calendar, see who wrote those emails, take a photo. It is still in its early days, but I really like this app.

Lock screen page 1Lock screen page 2

Bundled with QuickWidgets is an app called QuickSMS; this app makes life on the iPhone far greater. Let’s say that you are surfing the web, or writing an e-mail; don’t you just hate it when you have to exit the application to answer a text?

Quicksms

Boom.
Never again will you have to answer text messages without having to quit the app first.

Another fantastic app is backgrounder; coupled with multifl0w.

Backgrounder with multifl0w

This brings multitasking to the iPhone with beauty and grace; downside is that it eats up battery life if you aren't careful with how many open apps that you have.

And finally the last app is called overboard.

Overboard

I used to have around 8 pages worth of apps, and after the recent restore I have been a bit calmer on how many apps that I keep. What this mod does is let you pinch the springboard and let you see all of your active SpringBoard pages; no more sliding 6 times to get to your preferred page, just pinch and tap.

-till next time