Unit 2: Ubuntu Desktop vs. PC Desktop/Linux Tutorials

I installed the Unbuntu desktop as a virtual machine in VMWare 9 on a Windows 8 PC. I am not familiar with either the Unbutu Unity desktop environment or the Windows 8 desktop environment. Both environments have no Start button as in my old Windows XP. I have, like many users, been using Windows for over 20 years and am confused by the relegation of the desktop to a tile on the main Windows screen. The “Charms” bar appears at the right side of the windows desktop and the power off button is hidden under Settings. In effect, Windows 8 has two start screens, the desktop screen and the tiled touch screen. According to usability expert Raluca Budiu from the Nielsen Norman group, the initial traditional mouse and keyboard user’s reactions have not been positive. See http://www.pcworld.com/article/2012024/the-windows-8-ui-how-do-interface-and-usability-experts-rate-all-the-changes.html

Windows 8 cannot be customized as much as Ubuntu’s desktop. There is no way to boot to the traditional desktop in Windows 8 while the Ubuntu desktop can be replaced with the KDE or Gnome or other desktop environments. I was confused by the active icon symbols in the Unity desktop. Two triangles appear at either side of the icon to show that the icon is active in the desktop. I did not understand the significance of the icons and ended up opening about five or six programs simultaneously which made the programs slow and difficult to use. I would not be as confused using similar  type programs with the Windows desktop in Windows 8. The folder icon in Ubuntu is about the familiar icon and I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw this familiar icon.

I looked at a number of tutorials to try and understand the command line interface and the different commands in Linuz. I would have liked to have started with http://freshtutorial.com/basic-ubun tu-command-tutorial-for-beginners/  as it covers how to create, copy and move files as well as rename files among other basic tasks. The screenshots in this tutorial were extremely helpful. However, the instructions for accessing the terminal apply to accessing the terminal in the Gnome desktop environment and not the Unity desktop environment which I am using.
Gnome Instructions: Applications menu -> Accessories -> Terminal This website http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu/terminal has helpful screenshots that show how to access the terminal in both the Unity and Gnome desktop environments.

I looked at http://www.cs.umd.edu/class/fall2002/cmsc107/intro.htm  to try and understand the command prompt as this is a vital piece of information to learn. The section on white space was helpful as it showed me the necessity of keeping the command syntax as I do in other types of programming. Linux is also case sensitive and this is another syntax element to watch.

Arthur Griffith’s Introduction to Linux course at http://my.safaribooksonline.com/video/operating-systems-and-server-administration/linux/1932072780 was very helpful. I am looking forward to using the touch and clear commands but am wondering how I am going to remember and use the read write and execute permissions on the Linux files. Griffith has an excellent section on the read write and execute permissions and I look forward to reviewing it when necessary.


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