I promised an update on using linux and while I haven’t had as much time to play as I would like I have to say that I have had no problems. While at the hospital with Dale this time I was not able to get internet access but the few times I could get to the Health Science Library I took my trusty jump drive and would quickly save entire webpages I wanted to read on to it and then back in the room I would transfer them to the laptop. I saved them to a folder on my desktop and could right click on a file, tell it to open it with Firefox and take my time reading. I kept an Open Office document open to make notes and a few times used Abiword the same way. I wrote my post on Blogging as Staff Development that way and saved it to my jump drive. When I got back to the Library to upload it I found I had a little problem with compatibility but I ended up opening it in wordpad, saving it as an RTF file and then just had to delete a little leftover formatting code before I could copy and paste it into my blog to upload. If I had stuck with Open Office I wouldn’t have had that many steps – it would have opened it Word no problem. I will remember in the future to either use Open Office or save the original in RTF – lesson learned. All in all I was pretty pleased. I spent a little time trying to learn Scribus which is a desktop publishing program much like Adobe PageMaker (which I have not used) and found that the tutorial I had saved to my laptop was for an earlier version so I need to go looking for more up-to-date tutorials. I played with GIMP a little too but time was limited and if you have ever been in the hospital you know that there are a lot of interruptions – don’t go there planning to rest – sheesh.
One thing about reading and writing offline, I found that I took more time and thought out what I wanted to say and edited myself several times before I felt my post was complete. I usually tend to write stream of conciousness style and then look back and make sure there are no glaring errors LOL. Sitting there propped up on my “chair/bed” (ugh – those things work but end up being uncomfortable both as a chair and a bed) while Dale napped, I found I enjoyed thinking, reading what I had written, thinking some more, making changes and just walking through the process instead of running as fast as my fingers will type.
I think both ways are fun and I want to remember to make that point when I teach others about blogging. The versatility of blogging lets you determine how involved you get according to the time you have or want to put into it.
I’d like to take a class in the basics of Linux just because I would like to understand how things work behind the scenes a little but for now I’m just doing the normal things the average person does on a computer – surf the web, compose and read email, write, and oh let’s not forget play little time wasting games! There is one called Anagramrama that my daughter is addicted to. It gives you a word and times you as you try to make as many words as you can out of it before the time runs out. It displays your words in blanks below with blanks shown for the possible words and when the time runs out displays all the words you could have made. I still fall back on mahjong and the old standby – solitaire which has a ton of variations on the linux version.
My daughter wanted to check it all out before we left for the hospital and she loves it. When I opened it up at the hospital for the first time I saw that she had created a picture and saved it. I found that changing your desktop wallpaper is easy and now I have a black background with neon looking letters that say “I love You Mom, Jessica”
On a side note, I am watching the news about all the fires in Arizona. Years ago when Dale worked on the pipeline we traveled through Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon and it breaks my heart watching these areas that are burning. It was some of the most beautiful country I have ever seen. I wanted to live there in a little cabin and just paint and sit on my porch and look at the scenery, maybe sell my paintings in a little studio in Sedona.