What to do after installing Xubuntu / Ubuntu / Linux

You just installed Xubuntu / Ubuntu / Linux on your machine. Now what?

The most important thing is to update your system via the apt-get update command in your shell. The reason is that you need to keep your system up to date with the latest packages.  I’m going to explain how to do this using Xubuntu as the sample operating system.

I’ll also tell you how to change the size of the terminal.

How to update your system

1. Open your shell/command prompt

a. Press ctrl-alt-t. Or you can click on the Xubuntu icon on the top left and choose Terminal Emulator.

2. Update

a. In the terminal, type sudo apt-get update.

$ sudo apt-get update

b. Press Enter.

See what happened below when I typed apt-get update instead of sudo apt-get update?  I got a “permission denied” error.  To fix it I included sudo before the command. Sudo means Super-User DO.  This tells the system “you will do this because I said so.”

c. Enter your password and press Enter.

d. Watch Xubuntu update like a speedy mofo…

3. Upgrade (optional, not recommended)

If you want to upgrade, type sudo apt-get upgrade.

$ sudo apt-get upgrade

I don’t recommend upgrading, as it is better to replace the whole operating system than patch upgrades together.

How to change the size of the terminal

a. Press Ctrl + Alt + t to open a terminal.
b. Go to Edit -> Preferences.
c. Click the Appearance tab.
d. Set the default geometry. I set mine to 165 columns and 40 rows.
e. You can also make the font bigger here.
 

extra somethin’-somethin’: wget

You can use the wget command to grab files from github and other locations if you want to use scripts that others have created.

How to create a bootable thumb drive with Rufus to install a program or operating system like Xubuntu / Ubuntu / Linux

The DVD I had to install Xubuntu wasn’t working.  So I was forced to learn how to create a bootable thumb drive.  Honestly, I avoided learning this forever because I thought it was going to be complicated.  It’s not!  Silly me that I waited this long to just fricken do it.

Now, while I explain how to create a bootable thumb drive / USB for Xubuntu, these steps can be applied to any program you want to install.

Before installing Linux on your computer, you should note:

Installing Linux on a machine that’s pre-installed with Windows voids the factory warranty. Therefore, you should create a recovery USB right away. That way if you experience any problems, you can reinstall Windows without having to buy a reinstallation USB (~$70) from the manufacture.

In Windows, ask Cortana how to “create a recovery USB.”  Your system will start the Recovery Drive and then ask you to insert a USB stick.  It has to be 8 GB or more.  The process takes about 30 minutes.

1. Download the ISO

a. Download a mirror from xubuntu.org/getxubuntu. This is the one I downloaded → xubuntu-14.01-destop-amd64.iso.  It’s version 14.04 of Xubuntu.

Here’s how the difference between amd64 and i386 was explained to me:

“Amd64 means you can use more than 3.25GB of RAM. I386 means you are limited to 3.25GB of RAM. For Linux, it’s recommended to use AMD64 (unless your computer is over 5 years old…).”

2. Burn the ISO to a thumb drive

Use Rufus, or another free app like Unetbootin, to burn the ISO to the thumb drive.  Since the title of this article is “How to create a thumb drive with Rufus”, here’s how it’s done with, well, Rufus…

a. Download Rufus from https://rufus.akeo.ie. It’s free.

b. Insert your USB stick into the computer.

c. Double-click on the Rufus executable file.  (rufus-2.5.exe in this example)

d. Rufus will populate the fields.

e. Click the bootable disk icon.

f. Select the Xubuntu ISO file and click Open.

g. Now we are ready to rock & roll.  Click Start.

h. Click OK when this scary message appears.

i. Unless you have something special on your USB stick, click OK when this threatening message is displayed.

j. Kick it until Rufus is done doing its thing.

k. Move to step 3 once it’s done.  It will say “Ready.”

3. Boot the computer from the thumb drive

a. With the USB in, turn on the computer and press F12.  If F12 doesn’t work, try holding down the F2 key first and then power-on the computer. If that doesn’t work, Google “how to boot from a thumb drive.”  Include the make and model of your computer.

b. Choose the option that says boot from USB and click enter.

4. Install Xubuntu

a. Arrow down to “Install Xubuntu” and press Enter.

That’s it!  You are on your way to installing an awesome operating system!

extra somethin’-somethin’: Dual Boot Windows & Xubuntu

Here is an awesome website if you want step-by-step procedures on how to create a dual boot of Windows and Xubuntu:  http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/dual-boot-windows-7-xubuntu.html

 

Apple’s products are not as simple as you think

You click and the app you want launches.

You swipe and get groceries.

You press and take a selfie.

You don’t even need to be of age do to all of this.

Ah, the beauty of Apple products.  They are so undeniably user-friendly.

But are they really as simple as everyone thinks?

In 1976, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak created the first Apple Computer.  The computer was part of a counterculture, per Wikipedia, and was used to produce print-outs, letter labels and databases.  The original Apple 1 was actually a computer kit where buyers had to assemble everything on their own.

Somewhere along the way, this grassroots feeling was mowed down.  These home-brewed computers became factory prefabs.  In the transition from garages to manufacturing plants, along with other things, complexity was introduced to the equation.  Today, we aren’t brewing anything ourselves and have lost control of the thought to be simple devices.

It asks if we want to update.  We blindly click “Yes.” But what exactly is it doing in the background?  Do you have any idea?  Me neither.

On iTunes, we purchase something that we think is ours until we decide to switch to an Android and then – poof – it’s gone.  While this works for some people who want to buy all their products from one company, it doesn’t leave us any room to choose.  We are locked into Apple’s eco-system.

Sure the interface is super easy to use.  And Apple products always seem to work.  I’m actually writing this article on my MacBook (and I’m absolutely in love with my new iPhone).  But neither empower me as a user.  I don’t have control over my operating system nor my software nor my music or apps.

The fact is we as Apple users are in a closed system and have restricted use of our technology.  This keeps us dependent like a breastfeeding child.  What we believe to be our experience of technology isn’t really ours.  Everything is dictated by the mothership and we can not easily move to another mother.

From this standpoint, Apple and its products are not simple.

For a product to truly be simple, it must empower users.  In the case of technology, a simple product must allow us access to the source code so we can use and modify it for any purpose.  It must permit us to convert files to other formats so we don’t get locked into proprietary software.  Also, it must not have so many patents that others can’t develop something more innovative.  And so on.  You get the idea.

Sure, these suggestions are not as financially appetizing, especially for a company generating billions of dollars in revenue.  But from a standpoint of technology and human consciousness, empowering users can lead us to simplicity and possibly to an Age of Enlightenment.