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Roast Potatoes

When they come out perfectly there is no better time to be had. Recipe: Ultimate roast potatoes by Angela Nilsen (BBC Good Food)

I can feel it coming in the air tonight ... with an ape

Ubuntu 7.10 - the Gutsy GibbonUbuntu is loaded and I am sooo happy. As I said previously it was a painless installation however it only took about 45 minutes (not the 1.5-2 hours, I was wrong) to get from there to here. Weellll, maybe not quite 45 minutes, here´s the full story.

I spent all day Thursday (around 10 hours) making sure the ¨PC¨no longer had anything I wanted to keep saved deep within it´s hard disc. As you may know we Riversdales live our e-life online and so this should have been a 5 minute job. It took all day.

Home DVDs
Our camera stores it´s movies onto little itty bitty tapes. I then download these tapes using Microsoft Movie Maker (takes about an hour and half) which creates one large .WMV file. I had two tapes to download before I could start with what was already there. I made 2 DVD´s (took about 2 hours each) but then ran out of patience and just bunged the .WMV files onto a ´data' DVD. Let´s hope I can make them into DVDs for us to watch.

Music CDs
Aha, there were a couple of music CD ´backups´ I had to make - took about an hour in total.

Flickr Photo´s
Oh for the love of everything sacred! I forgot about the recent spate of Christmas kid´s parties and the photographic recording thereof. And so I dutifully loaded up all the photos which are now ready for you to check out:

One last check ... all clear. And it´s 11pm!
God knows how people who use their computer as the store for everything they´ve ever created would cope. And, I s´pose, if I had created my DVDs as I took them off the camera I would really on have had around 3 hours of data shifting to do. Ho hum. Aaand, it wasn´t all about the Ubuntu preparation as I managed to squeeze in two movies, The Corporation (totally rate this very long movie, watch it) and Night at the Museum (Ben Stiller but it´s actually quite a good film), cook a chook, do some actual work, tidy up the house and do a bit of shopping.

By this stage I´d been at it all day (!) and was in no mood for any fancy installation options so just blasted through with Next, Next, Next, Install with nary a care in the world.

Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon release) was on it´s way and there nothing Windows XP could do as it was slowly and irrevocably overwritten. Yep, no dual boot for this family, it´s either gonna work or it´s not.

It worked, of course, as you´re reading this.

I checked the basics were all working (mouse, keyboard, sound and network). Configured the cable Internet settings with IP addresses for such arcane things as DNS and subnet that I had written down sometime ago. Click on Firefox (came with the installation of Ubuntu, yay!) and voilĂ  back on line.

And that took around 45 minutes from sticking in the Ubuntu CD to getting back online. Impressive.

It was around 2am and I was knackered. Created our family logons and went to bed.

Friday was the last day for most at work (it certainly was for me - back on 7th Jan) and so it was into work, bubbles at 11am, D4 by 3pm, and Hummingbird by 9pm, home drunk on the bus with a pizza by 11:30pm.
Cracking time and thanks everyone!

Awake on Saturday around 5am. I don´t know why but I did.
Up, pee and then tootle to the shiny new computer, as it feels.

When I had tried out the Ubuntu CD a few weeks ago (thanks Duncan) I´d written a list of applications I needed to get working to give us the same experience - they are:
  • Skype - installed but not half as flash as the PC version AND it seems to have lost the majority of my contacts
  • Flickr Uploadr - using juploadr which seems OK. Also the web page uploader at Flickr is probably good enough for me.
  • Firefox - came with it. Got v3.02b for me to play with, by god it´s fast
  • Google Earth - yay, a Linux version for me - totally the same as before
  • last.fm - hooks in to Amarok which either came with Ubuntu or I got by ticking a box
  • WinZip - utilities came with it
  • Quicktime - ticked the box and now it works
  • WMV - came with the same ticked box as QT
  • Internet Explorer - hmm, no, don´t have that yet ...
  • Firewall - got one installed but really, probably don´t need it
  • Spyware - got one installed
  • RealPlayer - installed but haven´t check out the BBC Radio yet
And so, we´re back up and running with all but 2 of the apps we used before. Well, I use these apps, Liz and the kids really only use one application (Firefox) and that was here 45 minutes after installing the operating system.

I logged on as Liz, Jack and Meg and made sure Firefox loaded automatically and they had nice wallpapers just like before. In fact, I doubt whether they´ll notice the difference. Hmm, maybe they will. One nice feature no longer available is the list of users you can log on as (with picture) that can be password-less. Now Jack will have to type in his name and then his password but I´m sure he can cope, Meg will just have to get a little bit of help.

The other main difference is that the time is now on top of the screen and not the bottom. The menu bar with the ´tray' is up there whilst the list of running apps is still at the bottom. It makes a lot more sense and took me about 30 seconds to get used to it EXCEPT I still look bottom right for the time.

What else can I tell you - oh, cool things I now have at my finger tips. The interface is so smooth and with the 'extra special effects' turned on it´s bloody fun opening, closing and resizing/dragging apps around. And this is all before I get my hands mucky with Beryl. I am also loving the '2 desktops' that everyone gets - doubles the desktop real estate with a qiuck zip-zap of the mouse wheel to swap between them.

The disc seems to be getting a holiday as well at it hardly ever ticks over unlike the Windows XP which seemed to have it running at full pelt all the time. It's also 30Gb free whereas with XP it was around 16Gb (at the same state of stuff on it).

Getting updates and installing apps is a tick away and nicely configured through the System tools. Also, there is a world of apps out there that I haven't started to check out and have fun with. Of course the installation came with so much - OpenOffice, oodles of games, music players, movie players, system utilities - in fact I don't really need to look outside of the installation CD but I will, just for fun!

Work to do? Yeah, a little. The keyboard isn´t quite right, the webcam is all voice but not picture and I haven´t attempted to get the DV/FireWire connection to the camera working yet. Oh, haven´t popped in a DVD either, let´s do that right now ... no, need to get some codec thingy.
[Updated] And now I can play DVDs

And that was the morning for me until about mid-day when I got myself a chicken sandwich (that chook is doing well) and lay my head down on the sofa in the Wellington sun and rested.

Oh, the ape - this from Google in my reader:

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