Saying Hello to Linux

Having been blessed with several spare, older (previously XP) computers around here to experiment with, I’ve been able to try out a half-dozen Linux releases, or “distro’s” over the last year or so. I stayed with Linux Lite the longest, but another one that adds a lot of “eye candy” and polish is L. Mint 16 KDE, a really nice-looking, smooth-running OS. Have been using that one for several weeks now, and love it. 

I’ll probably end up a total Linux user eventually, because I use too many PC’s here to pay MS for Windows licenses for them all. And I have older hardware that refuses to die, but still works perfectly (an ancient HP laser printer, Epson flatbed scanner, etc), but with which newer Windows versions refuse to “play”. My tightwad side just can’t buy into the “change for the sake of change” mentality and scrap this stuff. And these workhorses work fine under Linux, so that’s where I’ll start heading. 

Also, since I’ve been rambling about computers lately, let me share two quick tips with you.

1) I can’t overstate the increase in productivity and time savings that result from using multiple monitors. I’ve been using 3 monitors here in the office for nearly a decade now, and wonder how in the world I ever got along with just one. Copying/pasting from one open app/window into another, rather than constantly opening/closing individual windows, is something you have to experience to appreciate! If you spend much time using a computer, do it! But be forewarned: you’ll never go back to a single monitor after trying 2 or more!

2) The second tip that’s really helped me a lot, especially with the limited space on my physical desktop, is a handy little piece of software called Synergy. I currently have one PC running Linux Mint connected to a monitor left of center in front of me. 2 more monitors, one dead-center, another to the right, are both driven by the same Windows 7 machine. With Synergy, I can use the same wireless keyboard and mouse on both boxes.

Amazingly, Synergy works seamlessly across networked Windows, Linux, and Mac machines this way, even allowing copy/paste to/from across them! If you have multiple Windows machines, Input Director is another good solution for this, and is a bit easier to initially set up than Synergy. As of this writing, ID only works across Windows, but it’s also a terrific little utility.

Hope that’s helpful. God bless you, and Happy Easter! 

Dave Harnish

1 Corinthians 15:3, 4


About Dave Harnish

I've been an appliance repair tech since 1972, with interests in most everything, including Bible study (I'm one of those KJV-only geezers), old Sunbeam Mixmasters, Maytag wringer washers, the outdoors, birds, hunting, metalworking, firewood cutting, and most anything going on outside on our mountain here in N. PA's 'Endless Mountains'.
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