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Jumping To Ubuntu At Work For Non-Linux Geeks 181

Posted by timothy
from the there's-no-ubuntu-topic dept.
twigles writes "I'm a network engineer, meaning I spend my days dealing with things like selective route advertisements, peering, and traffic engineering; I'm not a Linux admin or developer. About 6 months ago I finally got fed up enough with my experience on Windows XP to jump ship to Ubuntu 8.04, despite not having much Linux experience, particularly on the desktop. Read my ramblings for an engineer's take on taking what can be a pretty intimidating plunge for us Linux noobcakes."
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Jumping To Ubuntu At Work For Non-Linux Geeks

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  • Traffic Engineer? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 25, 2009 @08:27AM (#26597303)
    Repeat after me, you are not an engineer.

    Until you go through the same hell in college that degreed mechanical/electrical/aero/civil engineers go through in college and have a chance to obtain a PE, you are not an engineer.
  • A Flock Of Seagulls? (Score:3, Informative)

    by auric_dude (610172) on Sunday January 25, 2009 @08:34AM (#26597331)
    Submit an article. Get people to view your hair style. Profit ??
  • No SFTP? (Score:4, Informative)

    by dvice_null (981029) on Sunday January 25, 2009 @08:39AM (#26597347)

    From TFA: "Also, there's no SCP or SFTP feature that I can find comparable to SecureCRT."

    I don't know what SecureCRT is like, but you can use the file manager as SFTP client and bookmark pages if you want to. Or you can install Filezilla (the new version can handle SFTP also). Not sure what version comes with Ubuntu 8.04.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 25, 2009 @08:48AM (#26597387)

    For password management try using KeePassX
    It's free and cross platform.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 25, 2009 @08:53AM (#26597413)

    Hello sir,

    I think i read that KeepPassX can be used in Linux and Windows,
    using the same repository.

    Check it out!


  • by tepples (727027) <tepples&gmail,com> on Sunday January 25, 2009 @09:07AM (#26597489) Homepage Journal

    I ain't a fan of Linux but even I can do more than this dufus.

    The only things he told us that he ran on virtualized Windows were Microsoft Visio and the password manager. With a viable alternative to Visio, he might not have been tempted to set up virtualized Windows in the first place. What would you have used to replace Visio?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 25, 2009 @10:28AM (#26597913)

    Dia is fine if he is creating a non-shared, vanilla, block diagram illustration. If he needs to work with existing Visio diagrams already on the main file server, or use templates provided by vendors like HP and Cisco, he doesn't have a recourse.

  • by markdavis (642305) on Sunday January 25, 2009 @10:37AM (#26597945)

    >OOo Draw is like creating stick figures, its not even remotely a replacement for visio, any more than MS Paint is a replacement for visio.

    Obviously you have not *really* USED OOo Draw's flowcart and diagramming features before; it is certainly no "Visio" but:

    1) It is object oriented, and vector based
    2) Objects can be labeled, grouped, scaled, etc
    3) Objects can be connected with various connector types
    4) Objects can be moved while retaining connections to other objects
    5) Template objects can be created and used
    6) Controlling styles can be used across objects

    So comparing OOo Draw to MS-Paint is *far* more insulting than comparing MS-Visio to OOo Draw.

  • by markdavis (642305) on Sunday January 25, 2009 @12:06PM (#26598469)

    As far as I am aware, no, you cannot directly use Visio objects in OpenOffice. However, there are lots of objects available if you don't want to draw them yourself. For example: [] []

    Or, you can convert many Visio VSS files into objects that *can* be read by other programs, such as OpenOffice. For example: []

    Will hardware vendors release their objects/stencils in something non-proprietary? As you said- not likely for now. But that doesn't mean OpenOffice Draw isn't perfectly capable of creating nice diagrams. In fact, people tend to grossly underestimate what can be done in OpenOffice Draw; mostly because many of the powerful features aren't immediately obvious and/or it is positioned more as a vector drawing program and not a diagramming program.

  • Humor in Slashdot (Score:2, Informative)

    by troll8901 (1397145) <> on Sunday January 25, 2009 @12:46PM (#26598765) Journal

    You didn't hear the Whooooooosh!! flying past you?

    I suggest buying these two products:

    • Humor for Humans 3.1
    • Common Sense for Humans 1.4

    The open source equivalences require you to build our own databases (by reading lots and lots of Slashdot), which takes too long. These two proprietary products allows you to gain Humor and Common Sense capabilities instantly.

  • by Kjellander (163404) on Sunday January 25, 2009 @01:09PM (#26598915)

    It's so much easier to just mount the remote dir with fuse, that to use any client.

    sudo apt-get install sshfs
    sshfs user@host:dir/ dest/

    And you're done. Use the normal file handler after that.

    Don't want to type in passwords? Use ssh-keygen and ssh-add. Don't wanna type in the mount line? Just put them all in a bash script and mount them all first time you log in. Or get the old ones with 'history | grep sshfs' and tun it by typing in the number in front of the command after an exclamation mark, like so: '!679'

  • Re:No SFTP? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Matt Perry (793115) <(perry.matt54) (at) (> on Sunday January 25, 2009 @01:13PM (#26598937)

    SecureCRT uses tabs in a window for each session you have open. You can open a new tab with a "sftp>" prompt and enter sftp commands, although I think that using filezilla or a file manager like you mention is much easier.

    The best part about SecureCRT is that you can install the lrzsz package on your Linux boxes and then use sz and rz commands in the remote session to send and receive files to/from your local computer. No need to mess around with scp, sftp, or opening other windows or tabs. It's very nice, and far easier and faster to use than other methods.

  • by Squeeonline (1323439) on Sunday January 25, 2009 @03:00PM (#26599867) Homepage

    ...Learning how to use the br tags?


    for everything else, there's Mastercard.

  • by TheNarrator (200498) on Sunday January 25, 2009 @04:14PM (#26600551)

    We almost got roped into exchange at my job but I made them go with Zimbra. Zimbra acts like Exchange and windows users can't really tell the difference when using outlook. Now the windows people are happy and the Linux people are happy.

    I think if we got an Exchange server it would have eventually sucked the whole company's IT infrastructure into Microsoft proprietary only. If there's one thing you can do at a new startup to save money it's to avoid MS Exchange and go with Zimbra. That's because once the camel's nose is under the tent the whole IT infrastructure gets sucked into the MS black hole and you're paying the yearly Microsoft tax on every component of your IT infrastructure. Zimbra helps limit the bottom line damage that the obligatory windows licenses create.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 25, 2009 @08:19PM (#26602519)

    I tried to seriously use Dia once.

    I had designed and implemented a web service, and the IT department wanted a diagram showing how it all worked. Being a Linux guy, using Ubuntu for my daily work, naturally I reached for Dia and tried to use it.

    I found it was horrible. Years previously, I had used Visio once to do a similar diagram, and it was easy; I figured it would be equally easy in Dia. But it wasn't. I don't remember all the details, so I can't offer any specifics right now, but overall I was stunned by how unusable it was.

    I wound up writing a text-based flow description that read like a flowchart, and the documentation guy in the IT department said it was good enough that he could use Visio to make the diagram. And that was the last time I tried to use Dia. This was about six months ago.

    Firefox is way better than IE. I'd much rather use Evolution than Outlook. My Ubuntu desktop is smoother and prettier and nicer than a Windows desktop. I'm no Windows fanboi... but Dia does not cut it as a replacement for Visio.

    I saw in other comments that the vector drawing features in are pretty good. I hope so; I never want to use Dia again unless it is seriously improved, but I also don't want to use Visio, because I'd rather work in Linux.

  • by jamstar7 (694492) on Sunday January 25, 2009 @09:57PM (#26603285)
    Or, compile yourself and install via checkinstall []. I'd think if you were halfways aware of how to administrate a Linux system, you already know how to compile a tarball. Checkinstall builds the package, .deb or .rpm, and installs it for you. Then, you can add the package to your local repository.
  • Re:Traffic Engineer? (Score:3, Informative)

    by RobinH (124750) on Sunday January 25, 2009 @10:57PM (#26603689) Homepage

    I work in the same industry as you. IAAPE. I am "degreed" and I have a license, however it's not required for PLC programming, process control work, or even the general electrical design (though this should be done by an electrical engineer).

    Since the entire system must meet the electrical code and pass an electrical inspection anyway, the only time we are required to get an engineer involved with an electrical control system is for the safety subsystem. In this case we need to get the safety system design approved by a licensed engineer, and they must inspect the implementation and sign off on it. In this jurisdiction they have to submit a "pre-start review" (aka a PSR) before we can let an operator touch the machine. Note that the safety design has to take more than just electrical design into account - it must take all sources of energy (mechanical, chemical, etc.).

    Say what you want about "engineers", but "professional engineer" refers to your legal status as a professional, and therefore the fact that you have demonstrated an understanding of the legal and ethical obligations of that title. Contrary to popular opinion, it doesn't mean "you can be sued" (anyone can be sued; try practicing engineering without a license for a while and see how long it takes). What it means is that there are a specific set of work that can only be undertaken by a licensed professional, and the licensing procedure ensures that you are very well informed about your legal and ethical responsibilities, and the consequences if you fail. This is both to protect the public, and the image (and trust) of the profession in the public's eye.

    So, as long as someone doesn't refer to themselves as a professional engineer when they're not, they don't practice engineering without a license, and they don't misrepresent their education on a resume (you can only get an engineering degree at a university - if you're an engineering technologist, that's fine), then I really don't care.

  • Use andLinux (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 26, 2009 @05:56AM (#26605485)

    Last Friday I stumbled over a project that seems to fit that requirement perfectly.

    I'll just cite the site's intro:
    andLinux is a complete Ubuntu Linux system running seamlessly in Windows 2000 based systems (2000, XP, 2003, Vista; 32-bit versions only). This project was started for Dynamism for the GP2X community, but its userbase far exceeds its original design. andLinux is free and will remain so, but donations are greatly needed.

    And some more:
    You will get:
            * a fully functional Linux system, however without the usual desktop (you've already got one from Windows)
            * a second panel (e.g. at the top of your Windows desktop) or a second start menu (in the system tray next to the clock), from which you can start Linux applications
            * Linux applications and Windows applications can be used simultaneously and you can cut and paste text between them
            * apt / Synaptic to install further applications
    You will NOT get:
            * another desktop
            * the bench of applications that usually ship with Linux distributions (you have to fetch whatever you want)
            * trouble with further drivers ;-)
            * Security warning: It is recommended to use andLinux only on single-user-PCs or in a trustworthy environment because the communication with the X-Server and the launcher is not secured, i.e., every user who can login to Windows can access andLinux.
            * andLinux is not suitable for high-performance realtime graphics such as required by most 3D games. Although some users managed to get openGL applications to work on recent hardware, you will most probably experience problems doing so.
            * If you have a multi-core CPU, you will only be able to use one of these cores for andLinux (due to technological limitations, as all andLinux processes are encapsulated in one Windows process).


    I haven't tested it yet but I think I will install it shortly.


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