What to install?

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What to install?

Postby sarahmarienc on Fri Sep 26, 2008 11:21 am

Okay, right now I have the basics that came with Mint Main Edition and I did all the updates available. But I noticed lots of "additionals" in the package manager. Overwhelming. So I thought I'd ask. What do you all find most useful?

Because I know everyone has different uses for their computers it might help to tell a little of what we use mine for, in no particular order.

1) Internet - Firefox works great for us.

2) Basic Home/Home Office Documents and Writing - I know this has open office but do I need anything else?

3) Photo Editing- Personal & Otherwise - My husband is a photographer and does family portraits on location (we live near the beach) and uses my computer to edit his photos. Is there a semi decent program out there for him? He previously used Picasa in conjunction with a few other programs when we had ***dows.

4) Watching dvds- it looks like Totem Movie Player will be fine but is there something better?

5) Family computer- games, web-browsing, etc.- Are there any games my 3 year old might enjoy (with my help of course!)

6) My hobbies- I like to play around and make new desktop backgrounds, signatures, etc.- GIMP works for this pretty nicely. I'm curious about the advanced desktop appearance. I can't seem to get any of it to work lol.

7) Web building- My husband is working on putting together a website for his photography business. We don't need it for anything super complicated but is there something I can install that we can play around with to see if we can come up with a nice layout and such before we actually put it all together online?
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Re: What to install?

Postby LinuxForever on Fri Sep 26, 2008 12:01 pm

Opera is an excellent web browser. If you haven't tried it you should.

Open Office is all you really need. If you want something more simple there's Abiword. Abiword has tons of plugins to add features to it but Abiword has a different way of doing some things that Open Office.

For photo editing use GIMP. The only thing it doesn't have is red-eye removal. It has plugins for making panoramas and tons of other stuff. For something more simple try ShowPhoto. For an album/gallery try f-spot.

Kaffeine and VLC media player will also play DVD movies. It's up to you which one you like.

The word processor in Open Office can make web pages. Scribus is very good for desk top publishing.
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Re: What to install?

Postby 900i on Fri Sep 26, 2008 1:51 pm

Picasa works on Linux, I use it along with gimp, gthumb, phatch and ufraw. for all my digital-photography. Google for Gimp plugins, there's tons of them. Others to try are acidrip, audacity and easytag,
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Re: What to install?

Postby sarahmarienc on Fri Sep 26, 2008 1:58 pm

LinuxForever wrote:Opera is an excellent web browser. If you haven't tried it you should.

Open Office is all you really need. If you want something more simple there's Abiword. Abiword has tons of plugins to add features to it but Abiword has a different way of doing some things that Open Office.

For photo editing use GIMP. The only thing it doesn't have is red-eye removal. It has plugins for making panoramas and tons of other stuff. For something more simple try ShowPhoto. For an album/gallery try f-spot.

Kaffeine and VLC media player will also play DVD movies. It's up to you which one you like.

The word processor in Open Office can make web pages. Scribus is very good for desk top publishing.


Thanks so much for the suggestions :) I'm pretty familiar with Gimp but can't convince my not-so-computer-literate husband to try it out. He liked Picasa for that and they do have a version available for Linux so I might download it for him since that's what he is familiar with anyway.

I'll have to check out Scribus. Is it difficult to learn? I've used MS Publisher before (an old version from Office 2003) and it wasn't too bad.

Are there advantages to using VLC or Kaffeine over what came installed (Totem, I think?) What I have right now works and I've always said that if it isn't broken don't try to fix it. SO I'll probably just stick with it :)

Thanks again for such a great user forum, an awesome distro, and all the hard work that goes into everything you all do here :)

Picasa works on Linux, I use it along with gimp, gthumb, phatch and ufraw. for all my digital-photography. Google for Gimp plugins, there's tons of them. Others to try are acidrip, audacity and easytag,


What are these others you mention that you use with Picasa. I'm familiar with Gimp but my husband doesn't like it. Says its too complicated. Are gthumb, phatch, and ufraw all for different things? How complicated are they? Thanks so much for the suggestions.
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Re: What to install?

Postby 900i on Fri Sep 26, 2008 2:06 pm

http://gthumb.sourceforge.net/
Gthumb, is used to download the images from your digicam and display them.

http://photobatch.stani.be/
Phatch, is used to batch process your images, say resize them or rename plus other uses.

http://ufraw.sourceforge.net/
Ufraw, processes the raw data files from your digicam, if you save them in the raw format as opposed to jpeg.
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Re: What to install?

Postby sarahmarienc on Fri Sep 26, 2008 2:24 pm

900i wrote:http://gthumb.sourceforge.net/
Gthumb, is used to download the images from your digicam and display them.

http://photobatch.stani.be/
Phatch, is used to batch process your images, say resize them or rename plus other uses.

http://ufraw.sourceforge.net/
Ufraw, processes the raw data files from your digicam, if you save them in the raw format as opposed to jpeg.


OOooh thanks. Those might be useful to him. I'll have to get him to check them out tonight when he gets home from work.
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Re: What to install?

Postby AK Dave on Fri Sep 26, 2008 3:02 pm

I find VLC to be more flexible and useful for a variety of media sources.

I recommend Firefox over Opera, but Opera should be experienced for comparison. Some people love it.

The 3.0 betas for Open Office are very stable and for someone who uses MS Office applications at work they're more "MS-like" than OO 2.4x is. Strongly recommend you give this a try.

The Gimp is good, but I recommend you ALSO install GimpShop. It takes Gimp and reworks the menus to make it more Photoshop-like. Assuming your hubby is used to Photoshop in the first place.
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Re: What to install?

Postby bobm on Wed Oct 01, 2008 2:25 pm

Scribus is a little strange when you start and is not as intuitive as MS Publisher. However, once you work out how to use it, you'll never want to go back. It's far more versatile and produces very high quality pdfs amongst other things. there are some excellent tutorials on http://showmedo.com/videos/series?name=NfUrduNov - watching them made it all seem clear to me! Now Publisher looks really primitive and clunky - and I say that a s someone who used it a lot.
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Re: What to install?

Postby ronnoc on Wed Oct 01, 2008 3:09 pm

sarahmarienc wrote:7) Web building- My husband is working on putting together a website for his photography business. We don't need it for anything super complicated but is there something I can install that we can play around with to see if we can come up with a nice layout and such before we actually put it all together online?


Try Kompozer for web authoring as an alternative to OOo or MS Programs like Frontpage or Adobe Pagemaker. It is a true WYSIWYG editor. Like the Gimp, it's a little learning curve but you don't need to know html to use it.

http://www.kompozer.net/
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Re: What to install?

Postby sarahmarienc on Fri Oct 03, 2008 11:22 pm

Okay, I have finally added most of these to my Mint :) Thanks guys/gals! I've been playing with Gimp and I really like it. Anyone know of some good tutorials. I'm pretty sure the Photoshop tutorials work for Gimp/Gimp Shop but was just curious if anyone knew of any specific sites for tutorials that would be good for a new learner. I'm more interested in things like making desktop layouts, signatures, that sort of thing. I know how to do selective coloring on a black and white image and some other things like text overlay and simple stuff like that. Just want to put my feet in the water a bit more.
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Re: What to install?

Postby 900i on Sat Oct 04, 2008 4:39 am

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Re: What to install?

Postby sarahmarienc on Sun Oct 05, 2008 6:09 am



Hahaha, that's ALL? You only gave me about 15 links. Love it man, thanks! I'll have fun this week playing when the girls are napping. Wahoo!
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Re: What to install?

Postby StevOz on Sun Oct 05, 2008 8:52 am

glabels I've found is really useful for making labels, very handy little application and it's in the software portal available via Mint Install.
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