Hunting the Blue Griffin

The first job I have on hand is to edit some web pages, so I chose the Blue Griffin web design package.

Blue GriffinThe first task I have to do is update some broken links on my website at celticmythpodshow.com so the best application I seem to have found for the job so far is a suite called Blue Griffin available at http://bluegriffon.org/. I downloaded the package from their site and extracted it to a folder in my home directory. I’m not sure that this is where it should live, but when I ran the executable it all seemed to work well.

The next problem was that the application did not appear in the system menu. (Oh, I have now switched back to Whisker rather than the Applications menu as I managed to lose many items from the menu). So, after a bit of googling I found this thread https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2220891 that showed me others had experienced similar options using MenuLibre – which is the recommended menu editing application.

My menu Alacarte

A lot of people seemed to bemoan the lack of Alacarte, so I search for a way to install the program manually. So:

sudo apt-get install alacarte

seems to install the program with no problems. And yes, it appears in the system menu as Menu->Settings->Main Menu. I found I also had (just below) Menu->Settings->Menu Editor and after investigation, I found that this was the dreaded MenuLibre program that everybody reports so many problems with. So, it is NOT recommended to use this.

Running Alacarte, I went to the Development category and added Blue Griffon‘s executable in as a new Launcher. It does not seem to come with an icon sadly. All ready now to go and do that web editing – when done, I shall need an FTP program to upload the files.

Full Steam ahead

steam_logo_white_on_blackWanting a bit of a breather from the research, I tried to install the Steam game launcher, but it refused to install from the Menu->System->Software option on the Menu. Eventual;ly I went to the Steam website at http://store.steampowered.com/ and clicked on the install Steam button there. It downloaded the launcher and ran Steam perfectly. Hoorah! A small subset of my Games library (those with executables written for Linux) is now accessible again!

The Podcaster’s Studio in Linux

After yet another frustrating and disappointing experience with Windows, I’m making a fresh, updated and serious attempt to use Ubuntu Studio as a platform for our Podcast.

Audio_mixer_fadersAfter yet another frustrating and disappointing experience with Windows, (which I spoke about elsewhere), I’m making a fresh, updated and serious attempt to use Ubuntu Studio as a platform for our Podcast. As I make a change to the configuration of Studio fresh from its shiny wrapper, I shall update this blog to document my steps. So that I shall be able to see, if/when it all goes horribly pear-shaped, what I have to do to get back to the last known fully-working state. For that reason, it is just as important to record failures as it is successes. For my own benefit, as well as anyone else that may/may not be following my procedures, it is vitally important that I record the successes or failures as I progress.

To summarise my needs, I’ll briefly explain that I need a computer as a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), a graphical design environment, a place to write and compose and finally, to provide me with the tools to maintain our website(s). I also use my PC for web browsing (the inevitable Book of Face) and for playing games as R&R. By switching to Studio as my primary OS, I will lose access to the majority of my Steam library which is a serious Pain. I have to ask myself whether working or playing is more important – and, for me, there is no contest.

So…

Installing Ubuntu Studio for the first time

I used my laptop to download the latest Studio ISO (version 16.10) and made a bootable USB Flash Drive from it. Next, started my PC from a cold boot, pressing F8 for the Boot selection menu. I chose the USB DISK as the boot device and, once loaded, chose to install Studio. I chose not to install any 3rd party proprietary drivers of META packages at this time as I could always do that later, and I just wanted a clean install to start with. So, I entered the installation details as normal, i.e., location, user account, timezone etc. – and away she went!

A little while later, 1 nice fresh little dual monitor, blue XFCE mouse displaying an installation of Studio that was ready to use. Interestingly enough, Studio did not find any USB drivers to power the interface to my 3rd Monitor so I’m still down to just the two monitors. A problem to try and fix later, I feel! 🙂

Filebot for renaming Video files

I wanted my first task to be a simple one. Having experienced a superb application in Windows called Filebot that will happily rename and organise Video files, I was overjoyed to see that a Linux version of this program was available. So.. onto the task with gusto!

I headed on over to the Filebot website at http://www.filebot.net/ and chose to download what I thought was the most likely installation choice for my 32-bit installation of Studio – “filebot_4.7.2_i386.deb“. I selected ‘Open in Software Manager’, entered the root p/w and clicked Install when it came up.

I found it had added a menu entry for filebot under Video Production, but when I clicked it – nothing happened. A bit confused. So, I opened a Terminal window and

So, I opened a Terminal window and just typed:

filebot

at my user command prompt. Head-desk! An error message that politely informed me that I didn’t have Java installed. Now I knew that Filebot required Java, but for some reason I completely forgot at the critical moment – d’oh! So where to find an installation of Java?

Well, I found the following Q&A on the Ubuntu forums and it looked both recent enough and simple enough for an eedjit like me, so:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:webupd8team/java
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install oracle-java8-installer

to add the Oracle repository, refresh and install Java. Everything proceeded without a hitch. The tutorial then asked me to set an envirnment varibale with:

 export JAVA_HOME=/usr/lib/jvm/java-8-oracle

Worked like a charm. Now to test the program. I clicked on the menu entry, and Bingo! the app launched beautifully! Happy Gary!

Success.