Bloody Hell, I've just installed Linux Mint...

Loz

Initiate
#1
In an attempt to revitalise an ancient IBM Thinkpad, I decided to download and install Linux Mint. Don't know why; it just seemed like a good thing to do. So I did. And bloody hell, it looks rather spiffing. So fellow drinkers, what are the cool and wonderful things I can do with Mint? What software should I get for things like image manipulation ala Photoshop; or DTP, ala InDesign. I see it comes loaded with Libre Office, so my basic needs are catered for, but what are the essentials I need on my new computer (which struggle under Windows 7, but looks pretty zippy under Mint)?
 
#2
Make sauce? Oh wait, that's for tomorrow's lunch - we have roast lamb on the menu...

Maybe I ought to try it on my Samsung netbook which I rarely use these days but I suspect I will end up getting a Win10 machine (I'm considering the Myst KS which will work better on Win10).
 

Loz

Initiate
#4
Both come packaged in the Software Manager, so GIMP is installed. Scribus is an odd duck; I've tried the Mac version, and it just feels so weird and basic compared with InDesign. I'll give it a go though. I do like Mint though - it's like a cross between OSX and Windows, but without the annoying shit-show Windows has become (I hate W10 with a passion).
 
#5
Both come packaged in the Software Manager, so GIMP is installed. Scribus is an odd duck; I've tried the Mac version, and it just feels so weird and basic compared with InDesign. I'll give it a go though. I do like Mint though - it's like a cross between OSX and Windows, but without the annoying shit-show Windows has become (I hate W10 with a passion).
Linux is a great operating system for those who write software applications because most of the software libraries are free, especially for setting complete web servers. However, the worst part of the Linux OS is the dearth of high quality software packages for photo editing, office suites and other things a MacOS user will take for granted, or even a Windows user.
 

Loz

Initiate
#6
Linux is a great operating system for those who write software applications because most of the software libraries are free, especially for setting complete web servers. However, the worst part of the Linux OS is the dearth of high quality software packages for photo editing, office suites and other things a MacOS user will take for granted, or even a Windows user.
Yes, I get that. What I'm really after is something that I can use for straightforward office-like activities on the move when my iPad mini won't cut it. I have two or three old laptops hanging around, and I always liked the old Stinkpad, so if I can give it a new lease of life, it's worthwhile.
 
#7
I've been using Linux Mint for years now and really like it. Works far more quickly and reliably than windows. Apps are lacking in some areas but abundant in others.

Things like handling file management- copying, moving, permissions, converting from 1 type to another (e.g. FLACS, mp3s) is far superior in Linux- less bloated apps and a fantastic command line system.

Photo editing is good,. I use Darktable to handle RAWs, there's a great series of YouTube tutorials on this and it's a solid and free alternative to lightroom. Likewise GIMP is good but tend not to need to go that step further.

Areas where it's seriously lacking are in document editing, haven't done much in the way of DTP but I've yet to find something close to a decent PDF editor in Linux. Also I'm an Excel power user, it's hard to switch but that's what my work laptop is for.
 

First Age

D&D h@ck3r and Hopepunk
Staff member
#8
Yes to the above. I was a longtime Linux user and with LibreOffice, Gimp and Inkscape it did almost everything I could want and it looked and felt much much better.

The only thing I struggled with was Scribus, which I suspect if I had absolutely persevered with I might have worked out how to use. Hmm... perhaps I should go back?

In the meantime our family has switched to Chromebooks and we do just about everything home based using these lightweight and attractive devices. All that I use the Windows laptop for is PagePlus, which is really sweet.
 

Dom

Administrator
#9
Loz, I'd be interested in understanding how this goes with you. There's a package called RQDA which I couldn't get to work under X Windows on the Mac (more my incompetence) which may be worth looking at. It allows you to take some text apart, tagging and keywording it. It's designed for textual analysis, and I thought that it would be good for looking at a certain Vancian text.

As my iMac has died, the MacBook has become the family computer, and I'm using a Chromebook for the stuff that the iPad Mini doesn't cut it for. The one I have (a Lenovo N23 Yoga) actually seems to work pretty effectively as an Android tablet as it has an ARM CPU. I'm finding that it does 80% of what I need, although at some point I will replace the MacBook and I'll see where it goes from there. I'm finding that Google Docs/Sheets cuts it for the pretty basic stuff that I'm doing these days. As you said, InDesign is the one big application that I can't replace and will probably take me back to the Mac (although long term I suspect that I will replace it with Affinity Publisher when that finally ships).
 

Guvnor

Administrator
Staff member
#10
I love Libreoffice and GIMP and they both so everything one needs.
I also missed a good DTP and SPSS for work.
But one can run so much remotely these days so I am often logged into my work servers using some Windows apps.
But I just can't pull myself away from OSX these days.
 
#13
Loz, I'd be interested in understanding how this goes with you. There's a package called RQDA which I couldn't get to work under X Windows on the Mac (more my incompetence) which may be worth looking at. It allows you to take some text apart, tagging and keywording it. It's designed for textual analysis, and I thought that it would be good for looking at a certain Vancian text.

As my iMac has died, the MacBook has become the family computer, and I'm using a Chromebook for the stuff that the iPad Mini doesn't cut it for. The one I have (a Lenovo N23 Yoga) actually seems to work pretty effectively as an Android tablet as it has an ARM CPU. I'm finding that it does 80% of what I need, although at some point I will replace the MacBook and I'll see where it goes from there. I'm finding that Google Docs/Sheets cuts it for the pretty basic stuff that I'm doing these days. As you said, InDesign is the one big application that I can't replace and will probably take me back to the Mac (although long term I suspect that I will replace it with Affinity Publisher when that finally ships).
I think you lost me round about 'textual analysis' - not sure what we'd want or need that for... Can you explain a bit more?

I too am looking forward to Affinity Publisher - if it ever becomes more than vapourware.

What got me with Scribus was having to edit all text in Story mode - pain in the arse. I like to work visually, so I'll have to see if the latest version will allow for that.
 

Dom

Administrator
#14
It lets you tag sections of text with keywords then filter them. You can also do analytical stuff but I didn’t pay attention. So, for example you can review the text, then pull out references to characters and locations and plot arcs.
 

Ezio

Administrator
Staff member
#15
I had a brief look at something called VivaDesigner which looks vaguely promising. I only glanced at the demo since it's commercial software, but it looks interesting, although not quite on a par with InDesign. Theoretically I believe InDesign works fairly well on Linux using the Wine Windows emulator, although I've never tried it myself and it's not for the faint-hearted.

Getting a decent PDF program for Linux has indeed long been an issue. There are a couple of commercial ones which are supposed to be comparable to Acrobat - Master PDF Editor and Qoppa PDF Studio. They aren't massively expensive and have decent reviews, although I've not tried them myself.
 
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