Apple Technologies Explained

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Running a Linux Desktop

In the past few years, graphical user interfaces (GUIs) available for Linux have become as easy to use as those on the Apple Mac or Microsoft Windows systems. With these improvements, even a novice computer user can start using Linux without needing to have an expert standing by.

Processor Architecture

PC (Intel x86) Software on an Ubuntu PC (Intel x86) CD DVD is compiled to run on Intel x86-compatible processors, including most machines with Intel and AMD processors, almost all machines that run MS Windows, and newer Apple Macintosh machines that use Intel processors. If you are not sure which type of processor a machine has, assume it has this type of processor.

Explore the Elements of a Computer System

Every general-purpose computer system, no matter where it was designed or manufactured, can be divided into functional areas or different modules so that it can be explained and understood. Today, there is a large selection of computers on the market. However, despite many different brands of systems, many of them are based on a small number of common components and computer architecture types. For example, in the personal computer space, the Intel Pentium processor (and various clones) is one of the most popular throughout the world. Despite this popularity, other computer systems such as the Apple Macintosh and others continue to flourish. Generally speaking, every time a dealer or maker sells a computer, it is shipped with both an operating system and a set of applications. Without such software, the computer system would be virtually useless because the user would have no way to interact with the system.

Ubuntu and Kubuntu for Desktop Users

This chapter errs on the side of caution. As impossible as it now sounds, I had never used a computer before deciding to study computer science at university. (I can be excused for this to some extent because this was a zillion years ago, just as personal computers were starting to become popular and long before DOS, Microsoft Windows, Apple Macintosh, and so on.) At any rate, I remember sitting in my first class while the professor said things such as, Once you write your program, save it to a file and thinking, What the heck is he talking about

The History of GNULinux

While the distros made the installation of the operating system easier, it was the development of a program called the X Window System that brought GNU Linux from only the computers of experts to those of hobbyists as well. The X Window System was a project that had been started in 1984 with the purpose of giving a graphical user interface, or GUI, to the Unix operating system. From this project, the three most popular desktop environments were born GNOME, KDE, and Xfce. Now, GNU Linux users were not limited to only a command line to work from. The X Window System now gave them a desktop rivaling the commercial operating systems like Microsoft Windows and the Apple Mac OS.

Window System Setup

If you have used Apple Mac OS or Microsoft Windows, you are familiar with the convenience of a graphical user interface (GUI, pronounced gooey). In Linux, the GUI is not an integral part of the operating system. Instead, Linux distributions, such as Fedora Core, typically provide GNOME and KDE as the GUI. GNOME and KDE are, in turn, built on a windowing system called the X Window System, or X. Fedora Core includes a version of X called X.Org X11, which is designed to work with your PC's video card and monitor. The video card and monitor you use do not matter much if you work only with text. But to install X.Org X11, you need detailed information about your video card and monitor.

Exploring the Desktop

Now that you have Ubuntu installed on your workstation, it's time to go exploring. The default desktop used in Ubuntu is GNOME. If you've never used the GNOME desktop before, things might seem a little different. Although GNOME borrows many of the same windowing ideas from Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh, it does have some unique features of its own. This chapter walks through the basics of the GNOME desktop, providing you with a detailed tour of how to utilize the desktop to its fullest.

Stage 13 Reboot and Enjoy Ubuntu

INSTALLING UBUNTU ON AN APPLE MAC Ubuntu can also run on Apple Macintosh computers, as well as PCs, and the DVD-ROM supplied with this book contains everything you need. However, the instructions vary depending on the processor installed in your Macintosh. To find out which type of processor your Mac uses, click the Apple menu and select About This Mac. In the summary dialog box, look for the Processor heading. If the line reads PowerPC, see the instructions under that heading. If the line contains Intel in combination with any other words, such as Intel Core Duo, continue with the following instructions. If your Mac contains an Intel processor, you might be able to boot from the DVD-ROM supplied with this book and use it to install Ubuntu. However, some extra steps are necessary. If you're using OS X 10.5, also known as Leopard, you can use Apple's Boot Camp utility (located in Applications Utilities) to resize the existing OS X partition. Boot Camp is also used to provide a boot...

Introducing the Dolphin File Manager

A file manager is an application that enables you to navigate through the files and directories on your system and makes it easy to work with your computer's filesystem. Microsoft Windows users are probably quite familiar with Windows Explorer (and its Windows 3.1 ancestor, the aptly named File Manager), while Apple Macintosh users are similarly familiar with the Mac OS X Finder. Old-time DOS users probably even remember the Norton Commander application, which provided similar capabilities in the DOS environment, and which is still available for the Windows environment today.

Internet Mail Protocols

SMTP defines how programs exchange e-mail on the Internet. It doesn't matter whether the program exchanging the e-mail is sendmail running on an HP workstation or an SMTP client written for an Apple Macintosh. As long as both programs implement the SMTP protocol correctly, they can exchange mail.

Knowing your computer hardware

Every Linux distribution will not run on every computer. When installing Linux, most people use a Pentium-class PC. Linux systems exist that are compiled to run on other hardware, such as PowerPCs or x86_64-bit computers. However, the distributions provided with this book run on 32-bit Pentium-class PCs. Note that because new Mac computers are built from standard Intel components, installing Linux on those computers is possible as well (see the Installing Linux on Intel Macs sidebar). Because of the popularity of MacBook and Mac mini-computers, which are based on Intel architecture, several Linux projects have produced procedures for installing their systems to dual-boot with Mac OS X. Most of these procedures involve using the Apple BootCamp software (www.apple.com support bootcamp). To install the Fedora Linux that comes with this book, refer to the Fedora on Mactel page For Ubuntu, refer to the Ubuntu MacBook page (https help.ubuntu.com community MacBook).

Migrating Mail via Thunderbird

Thunderbird is a popular mail client from the Mozilla Foundation (www.mozilla.com thunderbird) that is available for the Microsoft Windows, Apple Macintosh, and Linux platforms. Like Firefox, Thunderbird supports plugins that make it easy to customize and extend its default behavior.

Finding More Software

You may be offered, say, Windows, Unix, and Linux options. You would choose Linux in that case. If offered Linux x86 versus Linux ppc, choose x86 unless you're using Linux on an Apple Macintosh computer (which is not covered in this book). If you're offered an RPM or a tarball (see the beginning of this chapter for more information on these), then choose an RPM if you're using Fedora, SuSE, or Mandrake, and a tarball if you're using Linspire or Xandros or if you tried the RPM on your Fedora, SuSE, or Mandrake system and it didn't work.

The Desktop Environment

While GNOME includes a number of applications such as the GNOME Office suite, the desktop environment is at the heart of its interface. While the latest releases of Ubuntu include the Compiz window manager, GNOME has its own alternative window manager. GNOME is built on GTK+ (GIMP Toolkit), which is a cross-platform set of widgets for creating graphical interface systems. The window managers commonly paired with GNOME give it a look somewhat like older Apple Macintosh operating systems.

Using Network Services from Mac OS X

The latest Mac computers have built-in Ethernet jacks that you can use to plug into your network switch or directly into your Internet hardware (such as DSL or cable modem). Plug your iMac into your network hardware and you should be ready to use your Linux servers from Mac OS X.

Allow Terminal Server Client to access VNC desktops

In Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron, the Remote Desktop Viewer software on the Applications Internet menu is used to access VNC-based remote desktops. This is a new addition to Ubuntu's software line-up and I found it a little clunky. It also refused to connect to my MacBook's shared desktop.

Before installing Fedora on your

Let's start with a reminder that this procedure is only for Apple Mac computers that are based on Intel architecture. I ran this procedure on a new Mac Mini 1.1 (Intel Core Duo CPU, 512MB RAM). However, the same procedure should work for Intel-based iMac, MacBook, MacBook Pro, or Mac Pro computers.

Sudo etcinitdcupsys restart

You should now be able to go to any of the other hosts on your network and create printer entries there. Adding a printer on an Ubuntu system was discussed in Chapter 24. If you are creating network printer entries for this printer on Microsoft Windows or Apple Mac OS X systems, see the subsequent sections of this chapter for tips on how to define network printers on these operating systems.

Handling Preformatted Print Jobs

Another common update-related problem may arise if you receive an update that changes how CUPS handles different types of incoming print jobs. If you are printing from a remote system, such as a Microsoft Windows or Apple Mac OS X system, that system preformats the print jobs before sending them to the print server. If printing suddenly stops after an update and you see error messages in the error_log file about enabling raw input, make sure that the following entry is present in the file etc cups mime.types and is not preceded by a hash mark

Administer Ubuntu using a web browser from any computer or operating system

To access it from another computer, you'll need to know your computer's IP address. This can be discovered by right-clicking the NetworkManager icon, selecting Connection Information, and looking at the IP Address line in the dialog box that appears. For example, the computer I installed Webmin into had the IP address of 192.168.1.6, so to connect from my Apple Macbook computer I open the Safari web browser and type the following into the address bar

Writing man Pages with groff

Now that nearly every computer offers some sort of graphical interface (Microsoft Windows, Apple Macintosh, or GNOME and KDE in Linux), most word-processing programs work in WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) mode, in which you get to work directly with the formatted document. You probably don't have any reason, therefore, to use troff for typesetting. You still use nroff for one important task, however preparing man pages. The remainder of this chapter focuses on that aspect of using nroff.

Widgets and Event Driven Programming

An important concept to consider when programming for X and Motif is that these programs usually do not just run and quit these programs are driven by events such as mouse clicks, button pushes, mouse drags, other programs, and keystrokes. Apple Macintosh programmers will feel right at home in programming for Motif. Some of the interface elements that intercept these events are built with Motif routines called widgets, and as you become more proficient, you'll even write some of your own.

Accessing Remote Computers via VNC

In addition to client software, VNC servers are also available for practically all operating systems, which means that SUSE Linux can be used to control a Windows or Apple Macintosh computer, for example. (Using VNC to access a remote Windows machine is described in the Connecting to Other Windows Computers section later in this chapter.)

Linux Today

Nowadays, Linux is a thoroughly modern and capable operating system, considered cutting-edge by many. It also runs on many different types of computer hardware, including Apple Macintosh computers, Sun SPARC machines, and the ubiquitous desktop PCs equipped with Intel or AMD processors. One of the ironies is that, although Linux was based on Unix, it has slowly come to dominate the computer operating system market. According to industry sources, Linux is on its way to making commercial varieties of Unix redundant. Companies that sell their own versions of Unix, such as Hewlett Packard and IBM, have added Linux to their traditional product range.

Web Browser

In 1993, it was again NCSA that introduced the Mosaic web browser. This web browser ran on almost all systems those using the X Window System as GUI (all Unix dialects, Open VMS, etc.), the Apple Macintosh, and Microsoft Windows. One of the developers was Marc Andreesen, who later founded Netscape Communications and developed the Navigator browser. This evolved into Netscape Communicator, the leading browser on Linux and other Unix systems.

Some Oldies

Removable drives like the Iomega Jaz and Zip drives may be used for backup and were commonly used in this way until recent hard-drive capacities made them less practical. The first version of the Jaz drive had a 1GB capacity, and the newer version doubles that. Jaz 2 uses an UltraSCSI interface, which connects to a PCI bus, an ATAPI interface that connects to the IDE chain, a PCMCIA interface, or a parallel port. Being SCSI, these drives work with Mac computers too. The Zip drive uses either a 100MB disk or a 250MB disk. Although it is useful for transferring files that are too large to be held on a floppy between computers, it can hardly be considered a viable backup option.

Basic Xfce Tools

The Xfce desktop environment is similar to other GUI desktops, including GNOME, KDE, and even Apple Macintosh and Microsoft Windows. It includes a panel, a menu button, and icons. If you've installed the xubuntu-desktop meta-package described in the first part of the chapter, you've also installed a number of GNOME applications and utilities.

Linux Powers

During the production of Spiderwick, Tippett Studio switched to Fedora Linux running on Macintosh desktops. We currently have 119 Intel-based Apple Mac Pro workstations running Linux , says Tippett Computer Graphics Supervisor Russell Darling. We decided to go with Apple hardware running Linux for our primary artist workstations on The Spiderwick Chronicles, although it might have been considered a risky endeavor for a show in production. We initially had some problems with sound on Maya and a few other minor issues, but they were resolved. We got a patch from Autodesk that took care of everything. Commercial Linux software vendors work closely with film studio clients. To beat traditional alternatives, the Apple Mac Pro workstations had to meet a specific set of Tippett requirements. They had to run Fedora FC4 and XFS. They also had to run tools that Tippett uses, such as Maya with sound and in-house and third-party plugins (MEL scripts), Apple Shake with in-house and third-party...

Booting Concepts

This section discusses booting in terms of x86 systems. SUSE also supports other hardware architectures, such as the PowerPC (PPC) architecture used by older Apple Macintosh computers and by IBM's pSeries systems, where the boot process is slightly different as a result of hardware and firmware differences. Regardless of the underlying architecture, the Linux boot process is identical with the exception of the boot loaders, which are architecture-specific.

Sharing CPUs

Virtual Network Computing (VNC) http www.uk.research.att.com vnc is freely available and provides a similar capability for Windows and Mac computers. In fact, it allows any UNIX, Windows or Mac computer to run applications on any UNIX, Windows or Mac computer and have the output appear on the original computer. It even allows the same effect to be achieved via any web browser that supports Java.

Filesystem Types

Apple Mac filesystem Accesses files from Apple Macintosh Finally, there is a slew of filesystems for accessing data on partitions these are created by operating systems other than the DOS and Unix families. Those filesystems support the Acorn Disk Filing System (ADFS), the AmigaOS filesystems (no floppy disk support except on Amigas), the Apple Mac HFS, and the QNX4 filesystem. Most of the specialized filesystems are useful only on certain hardware architectures for instance, you won't have hard disks formatted with the Amiga FFS filesystem in an Intel machine. If you need one of those drivers, please read the information that comes with them some are only in an experimental state.

Apple Technologies Explained

Apple Technologies Explained

What is So Great About Apples Design Concepts? There is always a reason why consumers are drawn to a particular brand of product. Apple has the record for drawing people in, and not just Americans, why? Ease of use, thats why.

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