Setting the baseline

Before we get started, I want to set the expectations for this blog. There's a number of things I want to do; and conversely, there's also a number of things I won't do.

I aim for this blog be a compendium of small tips and tricks for the intermediate Ubuntu desktop user. For this site to be useful to you, you must have already installed Ubuntu or any of its variants on your personal system.

At the very least, You should know how to work your way around the Ubuntu desktop and how to fire up a command line system terminal.

Hardware questions I really can't tackle. From my own experience, the latest versions of Ubuntu install smoothly on all the machines I've tried. But there are still a few (or so I'd like to believe) unique situations where It Just Won't Work. Much as I'd like to help you, I can't. If it's a hardware compatibility issue, it will be hard for me to replicate.

Just so you know, I work with Ubuntu on two machines. I currently have Ubuntu 6.10 running on a two-year old Thinkpad R50e with an Intel Celeron processor, 256MB RAM, CD-R/DVD combo drive, and 30GB hard disk. And I'm running Xubuntu on my five-year old desktop with an AMD Duron 1.3 MHz 256MB RAM, CD-ROM drive, and 40GB hard disk.

I know. I'm cheap.

Now, this site isn't for very advanced users, either. I won't go into kernel hacking (because it's been a long time since I've even compiled my own kernel) and as much as possible I'm going to stay away from server setup. The emphasis here is really on Ubuntu desktop power users, not on full-time system administrators.

So what will be on this site?

There will be some bits of scripting in Bash and Python. I'm not a full-fledged programmer but I've put together a useful scriptlet or two.

There will be material on graphics editing, especially with The GIMP and Inkscape, because I do like graphics.

There will be some basic system administration, like setting up network connectivity over DSL and WiFi.

And besides that, some topics on Firefox,, multimedia, and all the other things that you might want to use on daily basis to be a productive Ubuntu user.

With those parameters out of the way, let's get started. I hope you'll find the tips here useful.