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More on Linux (so okay, not strictly relevant to outlining - perhaps)

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Posted by MadaboutDana
Jan 29, 2013 at 11:03 PM


As I watch the way the Big Boys are fiddling about with their operating systems, I find myself feeling more and more bemused - and irritable.

The sheer messiness of Windows 8, and the lack of care behind MacOS X (best described here: http://macperformanceguide.com/blog/2013/20130123_1-Apple-core-rot.html), are making me feel very glum about the future of mainstream computing generally. Silly, perhaps - but when multibillion-dollar companies can do such extraordinary things to the systems we all depend on for our daily bread, you can - maybe - see my point.

So it was with great pleasure that I recently installed the latest version of Xubuntu (12.10) on a rather nice Asus 1101 netbook I’ve had for a couple of years. Despite 2GB of RAM, the latter has limped along with Windows XP aboard; despite cleaning it down regularly, the machine didn’t boot in less than ca. 8 minutes - ridiculous!

So I installed JoliOS alongside it, which did indeed run nice and quickly but wasn’t actually very practical. Realising I was rarely using the machine, I bit the bullet, wiped the entire hard drive and replaced both Windows and JoliOS with Xubuntu. And lo! I now have a nice, speedy little netbook with an operating system that is actually pretty much state-of-the-art. It boots in around 40 seconds, runs very quickly, loads e.g. LibreOffice, Basket NotePads (despite the latter’s KDE libraries), Google Chrome, Thunderbird very fast, runs Dropbox, and links very nicely to my local WebDAV servers. What a little gem!

The front end looks like a very pleasant mixture of Windows and Mac, with the equivalent of a ‘Start’ menu but also a (usually off-screen) launcher. And with an eminently sensible three-workspace component on the toolbar so you can switch between 3 (or fewer, or more, if you prefer) virtual desktops. Suddenly it’s a highly usable machine again. And I’m rediscovering all sorts of nice outliner and information management progs in Linux-land that I’d more or less lost touch with.

There are some interesting shortcomings: there’s no Google Drive or SkyDrive clients (although there are workarounds for both). OneNote is a bit of a non-starter (hence Basket NotePads, which is not OneNote-compatible, alas). On the other hand KeepNote runs very nicely in native mode, as do TomBoy and a variety of other cross-platform offerings. I’ve also got ProjectForum running in the background (with no noticeable impact on performance) as a kind of personal wiki (although PF is actually more powerful than that, being a complete collaborative platform).

If you’ve got an older machine sitting around, it’s worth taking a good look at a lightweight offering like Xubuntu. I recently gave my daughter’s boyfriend a very elderly HP notebook (dating from 2000!) with Xubuntu installed on it - it runs like a dream. And Linux applications have been maturing at an impressive rate. LibreOffice alone is spectacularly good.

And just to keep this topic very vaguely relevant to the forum, you might want to check out the very pleasant CherryTree, which is a cross-platform dual-pane outliner.


Posted by jimspoon
Jan 30, 2013 at 03:12 AM


Very cool.  I have an Gateway lt2114u 10.1” netbook with an Intel Atom N450 cpu.  (passmark benchmark score: 318) - and it is very slow running Windows 7.  I’ve also loaded Easypeasy (Ubuntu-based netbook distribution) and Chromium OS, and play around with those a bit.  Think I’ll try Xubuntu.  By the way there I’ve found a great way to install or run distributions:

“YUMI (Your Universal Multiboot Installer), is the successor to MultibootISOs. It can be used to create a Multiboot USB Flash Drive containing multiple operating systems, antivirus utilities, disc cloning, diagnostic tools, and more.”  http://www.pendrivelinux.com/yumi-multiboot-usb-creator

Even though netbooks are supposedly on the way out - I bought a very inexpensive Acer Aspire ao756 11.6” laptop.  it is lighter than my older Gateway, and the Celeron 877 cpu (passmark benchmark: 1358) makes it far more powerful than the Gateway.  Amazon.com: Acer Aspire One AO756-2808 11.6-Inch Netbook (Ash Black): Computers & Accessories - http://tmpl.at/T7U2fe - it handles Windows 7 very well.  The display resolution is also 1366x768, and the 11.6” size is a lot more usable for me than the 10.1” netbook - keyboard much more tolerable.


Posted by Alexander Deliyannis
Jan 30, 2013 at 03:46 PM


I wrote sometime ago of my decision to switch to Linux as a parallel productive system and (hopefully) eventually my main OS: http://www.outlinersoftware.com/messages/viewm/16370

In brief, my experience was similar to Bill’s (Madaboutdana). I would add that the limitations in software choice, in particular regarding outliners and info managers, are actually a good thing for a CRIMPer like me. It means that I need to focus on the basics, spending less time in switching from one program to another and more in actually working in them. Overall, I don’t think I am missing much, with some special exceptions like MindView which I use as a hierarchical spreadsheet.

I believe I have the exact same machine as Jim and my experience is equally positive. The reviews are not enthusiastic http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-Acer-Aspire-One-756-Subnotebook.81609.0.html but I don’t think that you can get anything better for the price: it’s a 64-bit machine with 4 Gbytes of RAM fully exploited. With Linux (Mint in my case) it flies. If you want better performance you can buy the more expensive model based on the two-core pentium—the one tested in the review above.


Posted by Alexander Deliyannis
Jan 30, 2013 at 04:01 PM


And to contribute to the in-topicness of the thread, here’s the software I’m running:

B-Folders (multiplatform)—not free
Freeplane (multiplatform)
Notecase Pro (multiplatform)—not free
Outwiker—much faster than Keepnote, though not three-pane (multiplatform)
QSnipps (multiplatform)—not free
Rednotebook (multiplatform)
TheBrain (multiplatform)—not free
TreeSheets (multiplatform)

Brainstorm, Linkstash, Zulupad (Windows programs) via Crossover Linux

LibreOffice, SoftMaker Office (multiplatform)

TEA text editor (multiplatform)
PyRoom (multiplatform) zen-type minimal editor

Chrome, Firefox, Midori, Opera browsers (all multiplatform)
Filezilla FTP (multiplatform)
Skype (multiplatform)
WebHTTrack offline browser (multiplatform)

Scribus DTP (multiplatform)

Agynamix Simidude shared clipboard (multiplatform)—not free
AeroFS, Dropbox
Syncovery (multiplatform)—previously known as Superflexible File Synchronizer, Linux version is free


Posted by Franz Grieser
Jan 30, 2013 at 04:08 PM



>them. Overall, I don’t think I am missing much, with some special
>exceptions like MindView which I use as a hierarchical spreadsheet.

Mindview as a hierarchical spreadsheet? I used it a few years ago as a tool for presentations and mind maps. Would you mind elaborating on how you use it as a spreadsheet? And why Mindview and not LibreOffice Calc?

Thanks, Franz


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