After years and years of primarily computing on Microsoft platforms, I decided to switch to Linux. There were many reasons, but a few of the biggies are:

  • Vista sucks. It just sucks. (I genuinely tried to like it for over a year. After SP1 caused more problems than it solved, I was done.)
  • Most of my everyday apps were already OSS.
  • I firmly believe that true security requires open code and peer review.

For simplicity, I decided to move to Ubuntu since that’s the flavor I had the most GUI experience with.

Here are some of the tweaks/tips that I’ve learned in the transition:

Rip a CD to MP3

Use Rythmbox after installing gstreamer:
# apt-get install gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly-multiverse

Run Windows in a virtual machine (for those few things that just won’t run under WINE)

Install the VirtualBox binary (NOT the OSE version):
Follow the setup wizard and create a virtual disk.
Install Windoze and the Guest Additions.
Drag the window to a second workspace and hit CTRL-F (fullscreen).
Now you can switch between Linux and Windows with CTRL-ALT-LEFT/RIGHT/UP/DOWN depending on your workspace orientation. Just remember that once the VM is active, you have to press RCTRL once to escape into Linux.
So to switch TO the VM, it’s CTRL-ALT-RIGHT.
To switch FROM the VM, it’s RCTRL, CTRL-ALT-LEFT.