Friday, December 16, 2011

What is Next?

 UPDATE: As you may noticed I changed the layout of the blog to fit my screen resolution (which is 1366x768) and also made this to make pictures suitable for the blog so they will be big and nice ^_^. If you have resolution lower then 1366x768 and it is hard to read the text and view pictures my apologizes.

Let's get back to our topic for today's blog. 

In our previous course (Let say it was a course ^_^) we have taken a look at how install Ubuntu on your computer. So probably next question of any person "What is next?"
Let's take a look at our new desktop environment (Which is also called "Unity").

As you may noticed it is very clean and efficient desktop, but what are those buttons and icons mean ?!??! Don't panic I am here to help you =) 
First of all let's talk about left side panel with program icons. 
This side bar called "Unity Launcher". By clicking on icons in it you can start different applications and more then that, you can add new applications in Unity Launcher by using function "Drag and Drop". 
This new feature was designed to make desktop itself clear, so all applications are in one place and your folders and files are on the desktop. If you right click on an icon in Unity Launcher you can either create new window of the program (For example new Internet Window) or you can move program away from the Unity panel. (Notice if you move icon of the app (abbreviation for "application")  away that doesn't mean you delete it, so if you accidentally move it away don't worry.) 
Here the basic application listed (from the top to the bottom)
-Dash menu
-Home Folder
-Mozila Firefox
-LibreOffice Writer
-LibreOffice Calc
-LibreOffice Impress
-Ubuntu Software Center
-Ubuntu One
-System Settings
These are applications that are added to Unity Panel by default. You can customize it later as you wish.


 Now let's take a deep look inside each application and learn the basic things it can do. 

 This is "Dash Menu". Using Dash menu you can either find different applications installed or those which you can install. You can browse application by category in next tab. Tab can be change at the bottom in the center of the Dash Menu. Try it out yourself. ( At least you will do something without my guide ^_^)

 This is an example of the search. I searched for mail and it found me Mozila Thunderbird mail client. You can add it to Unity Launcher as I said by drag and drop function.(Don't worry if you didn't know some applications, I will cover most commonly used in my next blog post, so we will also take deep (as deeply as possible) look inside of this app.

 This is (Not Sparta =)))) ), but "Home Folder". Home Folder is a place where all the files on the computer stored. There are 3 tabs "Devices", "Computer", "Network". In Devices you can view all external (obviously) devices that are connected to the computer such as USB flash drive. "Computer" is a place where all files and folders are saved on your computer. Network is a net folder where all shared files and folders are. In my opinion Home Folder more customizable because it already had created some useful folders for you, such as Music and Video. You can basically not create new one on your desktop, better if you will just divide every material or files into this folders, so you can easily find them.
 LibreOffice Writer is an app created as Free and Open Sourced substitution to the Microsoft Office. It can do everything Microsoft Office can and it free for all. LibreOffice Writer has it's OWN file format save, but it could be saved to be compatible with Microsoft or any other Office app. 

LibreOffice Calc  is an app that is similar to, again ^_^, Microsoft Office Excel. 
Same also here different file format save/ but again you can save it in Microsoft or any other Office format. 
LibreOffice Impres is a program for creating presentation just as Microsoft Power Point do. Now you get it? LibreOffice can do pretty much the same thing, but still there is some difference, and it's for FREE. Now you feel the power of the Open Source community =). But, you may ask a question, HOW THE MAKE MONEY ?!?!?! Answer is simple, thought donation. And I also ask you readers, if you really like an app, not only LibreOffice but any, don't hesitate to donate some money for an Open Source community using app main web-site. 

 Ubuntu Software Center this is a place where you can download mostly all available free and also some non-free but cheap applications.
 Is is very easy to use on the right top corner you will find search place, where you can type a name of application or at least a thing it is doing, and Ubuntu Software Center give you all results.

 Ubuntu One is a cloud application for storing your files and info on the web server. It was created by Ubuntu Development Team and by default for free, if you registered, you will receive 5 GB of free memory in the INTERNET. Cool isn't it ? =).
System Settings as comes from the name, is a place where you can set up and customize your Ubuntu computer. I will make a short description of each tab.
Appearance - set up a background (wallpaper) of the system and UI (User Interface) theme. 
Keyboard layout - set up additional keyboard layout. By default we have only English keyboard layout. But if you have an extra keyboard layout on your computer, for example Finnish, you can add new one. Also you can change buttons which changing the language of the keyboard type. 
Language support - add new Language to your system by downloading it from Official Ubuntu site. 
Online Accounts - set up you online accounts if you have such. (Later in this blog I will present you some programs that will help you fast get access to your facebook or any other Online account. This application needed for configuring such.)
Screen - responsible for "Turn off after" function which will hibernate your computer after a certain time of no usage, screen lock which will lock your screen obviously and you have to type your password if it happened. 
Additional Drivers - Some drivers for a certain hardware aren't installed yet on your computer. This program help you install additional drivers for Ubuntu. Such drivers called Proprietary drivers (Closed Sourced drivers) which is developed by a company for a certain Operating System. What means by Closed Source? It mean that responsibility for fixes and new version of such drivers is fully  on company and Ubuntu can't help you if they are not working properly. 
Bluetooth (optional) - if you have a bluetooth integrated in your computer Ubuntu will automatically  configure it and this section needed for managing devices connected via bluetooth.
Color - tab for managing printing colors if you have working printer connected to Ubuntu machine. 
Displays - configure you screen resolution. 
Keyboard - manage your key press sensibility, also change some "Hot keys" such as Ctrl-alt-delete.
Mouse and Touchpad - as it comes from the name configure mouse sensibility and speed of moving. And if you have touchpad settings is the same as for mouse. 
Network - configure active network connection either from Wifi or cable. 
Power (Optional) - if you are working on a laptop as me, you will have to configure power functions in different situations for example when it is critically low power suspend computer. 
Printing - add and manage new or connected printers.
Removable Media - if you insert a CD, DVD or USB you can configure using this setting what to do computer if he recognize such device. 
Sound - obviously sound settings.
Wacom Graphics Tablet - if you have a tablet which is connected to the computer you can configure it's settings using this set up function.
Backup - Backup your system files and data using Deja Cup program.
Software Sources - add, manage, modify and delete new software packages downloaded via Software Update program (we will talk about this later)
System Info - information about your computer, Operating system, version and etc.
Time and Date - set up time and date displayed in the computer.
Universal Access - if you are a disabled person or you have ear problems you can set up additional programs such as screen reader for blind people.
User Accounts - create, change and delete new users on this computer.

pew, that was a big description, hope I didn't have any mistakes =)))) 

 Workspaces is a different desktop windows so you can open one application in FULL SIZE on one desktop and switch to another FULL SIZED app on another workspace.

 Trash all deleted information and data goes here, just like Windows trash bin.

Now we finished covering basic application in Unity Launcher. Let's take a look now to the "tray icons" on the right top corner of the system. 

 This wheel tray icon is for quick access to settings, displays and also VERY IMPORTANT Software Update. Next time I will cover this needed feature. It also needed to switch off the computer.

 Manage your accounts in this icon. Switch from one user to another without need of powering off the computer.

 Calendar and time displayed more fully if you clicked this tray

Manage sound volume and play or pause music.

 Manage your Wifi or Cable network connections in this tray icon. + setup remote desktop connection.

 Optional Bluetooth settings.  Manage your active bluetooth connections or set up new one. 

 Last one tray is very useful. It gives an instant access to the e-mail, Ubuntu One account or a new broadcast account. (This application, Broadcast account, will help us connect to the web social services like Facebook, but we will do it next time.)


 Now you have a general view of basic programs in Ubuntu. Feel free to discover more application by using Dash Menu or try to serf the web using Mozila Firefox. That's all for today's topic. I hope you enjoyed it and of course leave your comments, wishes, additions and thoughts under the blog. 

 Don't forget to tell your friends about this blog so they can join Ubuntu community and be a part of it.

If you have any question regarding topic, you found a mistake or you want to ask me write about something feel free to write me a letter on my e-mail:

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