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View Full Version : [ubuntu_studio] Just getting started and need a hug...I mean a HAND



gurubomber
November 16th, 2009, 02:17 PM
Hey everyone. This is my first post after lurking for quite some time so please be gentle but I would really appreciate some feedback if you find it might be helpful.

So I am taking my first steps into the Linux pool. I have been using computers for 20 years with the great majority of that use by way of what I now consider an everyday torture device.....the Windows laced P.C. As I slowly try to wrap my brain around the concepts and tools linux has to offer I am a little dissapointed in myself and kicking my own behind as well.

The past 20 years I have been working in the CAD drafting and design field which I recently left as for as the corporate arena is concerned to pursue a more indie paved road. My last gig for about the past two years was what I consider the mountain top as far as a CAD operators career path is concerned. I wrote and implemented official CADD Drafting and Design standards for Capital Projects at the University of Washington. I am fairly proud of that acheivement and still surprised that this was something the UW had not previously accomplished.

Anyway to fill in a couple more spaces, I am also a musician. I am a singer-songwriter here in Seattle. Music is definitely my passion and I also enjoy playing with computers.....a little.....now. See over the last decade or so I had made countless attempts to create a decent sounding demo with my PC and I am sure I need not detail the results to 'this' group.

The dissapointment I have in myself stems from this. I started out my CAD career basically knowing absolutely nothing and lying my way into my first job. However I learned so much and my manager was a great teacher and the journey began. This was around 1988 and I believe we were using AutoCAD then as our CAD package. I am reminded of the amount of "shell" language I once knew and have sadly forgotten. AutoCAD 10 was obviously a DOs based program and I quickly learned all I needed to know......and NO MORE. As time progressed I moved up in the CAD operator pecking order quickly finding my way into various contract positions and a CAD manager job here and there. However I have a confession to make, I was lazy and instead of staying on top of my game and pushing myself to learn more I passed on all of the LISP programming and menu customization tasks off onto my 1st geek over and over again.....now here I sit with 20 years of computer experience and no coding skills. Shameful i know.

However I did do almost all of any hardware and software upgrades that came my way over the years and have always cobbled together desktops for friends and home use.

As far as music goes two years ago my girlfriend brought her computer home from work over Christmas break.....a MacBook. I had heard about these toy computers over the years but never used one....until she showed me a little application that came loaded on these little guys called "Garage Band" perhaps you have heard of it. Well to make a long story long I felt like that "Bee Girl" in the end of the Blind Melon video for their hit song "No Rain"....I had found my people. Three weeks later I went and plunked down and ungodly sum for a MacBook Pro 2.4GHz, an M-Audio Firewire 410 and Logic Studio/ Logic Pro 8. From then on I have been a Mac guy all the way. When I do have to do work on a PC I want to shoot myself in the face.

Well fast forward to today....there was a recent tragedy here in my home studio and some water was spilled on my beloved MacBook Pro. My girl still works but somewhere in the melee there was an issue with the keys sticking....this happened at an ADmin login screen and somehow......could have been the peyote but I doubt it....my Admin password was changed to whatever random combination of key sticking and inputs was registered and now I no longer have Admin capabilities on my MBP. To sweeten the pot my optical disk drive also suffered a small stroke and now works once in a blue moon but never when I need it it and more specifically not when I am trying to boot from the install disks and change my password. Between the keys and the disk it either doesnt read the disk or the key compination doesn't register. Thankfully password is not required on login and with the use of a bluetooth keyboard I am able to use it and have been functioning just fine until now....

I cannot modify my applications folder so I can not upgrade any existing nor install any new software. Any other Admin type functions I am locked out of as well. So reluctantly I began doing certain tasks I had to accomplish on my Dell Optiplex. Well guess what.....? Something happened and it ended up taking a dump as well. Through my frustration I ended up nuking the hard drive and decided to start from scratch. I have installed Ubuntu 9.10 and am beginning my journey again. I guess the only special thing about this box is it has an E-Mu 1212m PCI audio card installed, a 150GB hard drive. The CPU is a Pentium 4 2.4GHz and at the moment I have 1.5Gb of RAM.

So here I am asking for your input, advice...thoughts. Am I good to go as far as building this into something I could use in my music studio as well as run some daily applications on it? I am currently working on my own doing some CAD consulting as well as Search Engine Marketing and website design. Where should I start? How much code am I going to have to relearn. I will tell you this, I am already a little lost by browsing through some of these help wiki's etc.....looks like a lot of coding to me. Mac's may be more expensive but they WORK especially when your lazy and have forgotten more than you know! I am extremely impressed however with the applications that appear to be available. I can't speak to the quality of them yet but as far as quantity goes..... A plus.

Also.....for extra credit....or to help out a guy in need....is there a solution for my Mac? I know this crowd is pretty bright.....which as I have demonstrated...I am not. Any advice you can give me on that end would be great.

So hopefully you are still awake after that longwinded intro...but I appreciate any and all feedback you guys can provide. Thanks for listening.

phillw
November 16th, 2009, 02:56 PM
Hi & Welcome.

With regards to your keyboard issue on your MacPro, my G/F spilled a PINT of coke over a laptop of mine - believe you me, sugar & keyboards are not a good mix !! The effected machine was an Acer, but there are instructions, with pictures available on the net .. here's a set for a MacBook Pro. As you are competent with a screw-driver, it should not be too difficult a task for you.
http://www.takeitapart.net/archives/macbook-pro/
If that's not your model, google it :p
To clean my keyboard & dvd-combo unit i bathed them both overnight in Surgical Spirits (Methylated will work just fine) to remove the 'gunk'. I did the same with the Mobo, to clean it up as well. It's a bit scary, but it all works fine now, including my track-pad :D

There's some interesting stuff on Midi stuff over here --> https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Midi/HardwareSynthesisSetup
Which should give you some pointers

For your CAD stuff, head over here --> http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1150622

Hope the above is of help.

Regards,

Phill.

bwzz
November 16th, 2009, 06:47 PM
For Music editing, take a look @ http://ubuntustudio.org/
Don't know about CAD though.

gurubomber
November 16th, 2009, 07:58 PM
Thank you bwzz and Phill for your pointers - any information is helpful to me at this point. I guess I was hoping to get a little more direct feedback regarding Linux and Ubuntu from people who have actually used it. I definitely have the search thing all figured out and am browsing the forums for as much information as I can get. I was already looking into UbuntuStudio that is one of the snags that I hit and reasons for my post and my main reason for not liking the forum and search method. Although I have used computes all of my adult life this is absolutely my first experience with it. Most of the explanations and guides around seem to start off somewhere in the middle of things. I can follow directions just fine....when I know what the recipe is going to end up tasting like. I have no idea whether I am doing any of this right. I don't know whether I am booting into "Realtime" mode. I don't know whether I have all the dependent packages that go with Jack. I don't know whether or not I need to compile anything, because I don't know what compiling is. I was hoping to get a little more direct explanations and comments but I do appreciate your starting points, I really do. I guess I am looking at this a little sceptically, after using computers for 20 years I was hoping things at this point would make them easier to use. I certainly don't have to the stomach, patience or time to allow for a year long learning curve before I begin to be productive and fluent at any given task. As I mentioned previously I was never successful at creating a decent sounding demo with my windows junk boxes. The day I broought my mac book pro home I was up all night and by morning I had THREE amazing sounding, well produced, mixed and mastered recordings. I am in compete agreeement on the whole "microsoft and windows are two peanuts on the same turd" argument but I am pretty happy with apple and MAC so the more I figure linux out or don't figure linux out I guess I have answered my own question....fix the MAC and move on! If I could just figure out how to enable my soundcard I would be moving in the right direction.

Anyway....thanks again guys....I already have all the info I need on how to un install my keyboard and optical drive....I just don't trust myself with a screwdriver!! Actually I just thought maybe since it seems to be one of the main tools used in Linux if any of the more Terminal experienced folks thought there might be an answer through the MBP Terminal to reset my Admin. But I guess I am going tiny screwdriver shopping!

Thanks

phillw
November 16th, 2009, 08:14 PM
If you're going to have a go at your Mac - get a digi camera & take LOTS of photo's as you go along !!
As for packages, most can be found via Synaptics which will do any associated files for you. Most times that you need to use the command line and use apt-get, it'll also go & get any other bits it needs.

Phill.

bwzz
November 16th, 2009, 08:22 PM
I would suggest to start using Ubuntu and take things easily.
I don't know about compiling either, even though I've been pro in IT for more than 12 years and been using computers since I was 10. The only programming I did was on MSX Computer using BASIC language. And that was some time in 1986 or so.
You will learn some commands as you use Linux, and it's lots of fun :popcorn:

gurubomber
November 16th, 2009, 08:32 PM
LOL! Good advice Phill. I will definitely do that.......no leftover screws. I remember the first time I tried to do my own brakes......lots of leftover parts......not good!

See here is the thing, I had another helpful person give me a link to another posting that was talking specifically about my soundcard and getting the drivers for it.....there are four different methods alll with lots of terminal command.....quite a lot of it. So I am trying to look at what the differences are among all of them......then I notice......the latest post is from March 8th 2008!!!! Now should I assume that is no longer useful information? How would I even know. It is frustrating that I am so terminally challenged! However this just seems like a REEEAAAAALLLY long way to go for a soundcard driver.

I am wanting to love Linux, however being able to do MORE is not necessarily the same as getting more done or being more efficient. Not sure I am going to make it through the Linux growing pains! I love how many programs are theoretically available but I am just not sold on the the amount of computer science one needs to perfom just to even DEMO any single application. If I had not bought a MAC and I was still struggling with just my windows box.....even that would be a toss up and that is saying a lot because I seriously want to hang myself whenever I have to work on a PC. It could never compete with the MBP though, I doubt I will live that long....however I might know how to use it by then!!

Thanks again!:D

gurubomber
November 16th, 2009, 08:47 PM
Hey bwzz thanks again for the feedback.....just wanted to make a quick point. See that was the thing with a PC and then switching to my MAC. Working on a PC an average of 10 hours everyday for WORK and banging my head against the wall all day didn't leave me with a lot of desire to do that for "fun" when I got home! However with my MAC it was the complete opposite.....it actually works. The majority of the apps (at least the ones I was interested in were all.....creeative...and fun) It actually changed my whole perspective on using computers. I have already been playing with UBuntu for a few days now. I have another windows machine If I need it but I completely abandoned it for my studio use. See actually CREATING something is fun....being productive....recording......

Figuring out how to compile/archive/ package or whatever in order to install a driver for my soundcard.......that is the opposite of fun. That is more of a windows trait than a Mac trait. Like I said to Phill I want to love Linux I really do. I definitely think that someday down the road it may win over many Windows users but I don't think it will move the mac crowd too much....the only benefit it has on a Mac is price. I would rather pay extra for something that works! ;)

Anyway I am not giving up yet, always nice to have options. I just don't see the benefit of so much typing....why can't they just put some graphical interfaces on top of it and maybe you have to put different pieces of them into a bin to make the program run but to me......the typing......when you have some of these terminal inputs that people are throwing around they are loooooooooong. I know you can cut and paste but to be the first person doing all of that code and the realizing in the middle if it somewhere you made a nistake (like I just did right there) and the whole thing fails? Yeah you're right that could be fun!

:P

ArinSky
November 16th, 2009, 08:50 PM
Most of the information for drivers in the past can be applied, at least in part.

if you're looking into efficiency, use the multiple desktops feature and the keyboard shortcuts that ubuntu has built in much easier than mac or pc. I would also suggest learning about shell scripting as it can automate practically any operation you need to do repetitively, and is as easy to learn as DoS was back in the day.

I might also suggest that if you continue having problems with your sound card, maybe try using an older version of Ubuntu where the fix on the forums will work. All of the versions of Ubuntu are decently stable, though you'd have to ask someone else about which would be best.

camaron1
November 16th, 2009, 08:51 PM
LOL! Good advice Phill. I will definitely do that.......no leftover screws. I remember the first time I tried to do my own brakes......lots of leftover parts......not good!

See here is the thing, I had another helpful person give me a link to another posting that was talking specifically about my soundcard and getting the drivers for it.....there are four different methods alll with lots of terminal command.....quite a lot of it. So I am trying to look at what the differences are among all of them......then I notice......the latest post is from March 8th 2008!!!! Now should I assume that is no longer useful information? How would I even know. It is frustrating that I am so terminally challenged! However this just seems like a REEEAAAAALLLY long way to go for a soundcard driver.

I am wanting to love Linux, however being able to do MORE is not necessarily the same as getting more done or being more efficient. Not sure I am going to make it through the Linux growing pains! I love how many programs are theoretically available but I am just not sold on the the amount of computer science one needs to perfom just to even DEMO any single application. If I had not bought a MAC and I was still struggling with just my windows box.....even that would be a toss up and that is saying a lot because I seriously want to hang myself whenever I have to work on a PC. It could never compete with the MBP though, I doubt I will live that long....however I might know how to use it by then!!

Thanks again!:D


I've got the feeling that you've got the wrong impression. Linux (Ubuntu for that matter) it is very easy to use and requires very little command stuff (which you will just copy and paste most of the time anyway..). Your difficulty will come from having being used to Windows for so long, that's all. I started using linux on a day to day basis before Windows (but this was just over a year ago, i'm a new comer...) and I now find windows harder to manage and understand than linux.... Just start using day to day, for your usual tasks and you'll be fine.

As for the drivers I'm not sure what threads you were reading but the chances are that the drivers for your soundcard are ALREADY installed (they are integrated in the kernel). So just give a go, see what happens.

Good luck

gurubomber
November 16th, 2009, 09:07 PM
ArinSky....thanks for the advice it is much appreciated.

I have to add this. I am doing all of this as much because I am indeed having a computer disaster right now but also because of my interest in computers in general and have been wanting to investigate the Linux approach for quite some time. As I mentioned in my initial post I am upset with myself for skirting some of the tasks that could really have helped me right now! However I have played around some with the Unix terminal on my MAC and I am totally on your side in the argument against windows but as far as the Mac goes....I laugh in your general direction!

Seriously though I want to add that I am not trying to be a smart *** and I want all of you to know that all of your input and help is greatly appreciated.....I do have a sarcastic sense of humor. If the community base that Linux seems to have in it's corner though is hoping to promote it's cause and advance it's position in the computing world, there will be many people exactly like me that will be needing that little extra bit of convincing.....or at least it could help. Now with programs like Expose and spaces and also the Automator and Apple scripts on my MacBook Pro it performs punch for punch with with the tasks you just described. Given the fact that it is a graphical and user friendly environment which an absolute first time even looking at a computer could figure out completely rips your argument to shreds....there is nothing easier about this system (Ubuntu or Linux in general) compared to Mac OS X......zip. At least in my opionion. And like I said I am definitely in the corner and rooting on the team......just playing a little devils advocate but you are going to have to have a better argument than that one because it is just not true.

But again.....thank you for the points about the drivers. I am slowly making my way there.

ArinSky
November 16th, 2009, 09:26 PM
ArinSky....thanks for the advice it is much appreciated.

I have to add this. I am doing all of this as much because I am indeed having a computer disaster right now but also because of my interest in computers in general and have been wanting to investigate the Linux approach for quite some time. As I mentioned in my initial post I am upset with myself for skirting some of the tasks that could really have helped me right now! However I have played around some with the Unix terminal on my MAC and I am totally on your side in the argument against windows but as far as the Mac goes....I laugh in your general direction!

Seriously though I want to add that I am not trying to be a smart *** and I want all of you to know that all of your input and help is greatly appreciated.....I do have a sarcastic sense of humor. If the community base that Linux seems to have in it's corner though is hoping to promote it's cause and advance it's position in the computing world, there will be many people exactly like me that will be needing that little extra bit of convincing.....or at least it could help. Now with programs like Expose and spaces and also the Automator and Apple scripts on my MacBook Pro it performs punch for punch with with the tasks you just described. Given the fact that it is a graphical and user friendly environment which an absolute first time even looking at a computer could figure out completely rips your argument to shreds....there is nothing easier about this system (Ubuntu or Linux in general) compared to Mac OS X......zip. At least in my opionion. And like I said I am definitely in the corner and rooting on the team......just playing a little devils advocate but you are going to have to have a better argument than that one because it is just not true.

But again.....thank you for the points about the drivers. I am slowly making my way there.

Mac systems are proprietary. They work nice, but they don't have an entire community of millions of people working on them to make it better, and make free applications for them. It may seem there's little difference right now, but which do you think will move ahead faster? A few thousand people all trying to fit upgrades into older mac ui so their bosses like it or millions of open minded people with no boss working to better the system?

gurubomber
November 16th, 2009, 10:43 PM
Yes I totally agree with you about the community thing. In fact that is honestly what intrigued me the most. Having worked with windows exclusively my entire career, I had no idea that there was another side to the fence much less what was on it. But here again I think your point falls a little short of valid. See I had heard about Mac's quite a bit. I had heard about Linux as well but as I understood it then it was mainly a server oriented platform, which as I understand it still serves that community much more potently (pun fully intended!) I had actually at one point seen a pretty nice CAD platform running on Mac quite some time ago, I believe it was called ARCHI-CAD. It looked like a great program. However I just dismissed the MAC as a serious alternative to windows....because I was a stupid kid. Now I am not dismissing Linux as a viable alternative someday but not for quite some time. Your point about who is going to grow faster almost proves MY argument. The MAC platform and the birth of Linux actually starred and roughly the same time and I don't think Jobs is losing any sleep over losing market share to the penguin anytime soon. Now here again I will tell you.....I can't STAND to work on a windows machine AT ALL. Honestly I think that Microsoft is a ridiculously over rated company. What the hell....they pretty much make ONE thing.. (ok I know better but still.....windows is their thing right) and they suck at making that thing......so BAD!!

Seriously though, in reading about the Ubuntu community philosophy and researching the idea behind open source based platforms like this.....I love the concept, that is definitely in alignment with who I am as a human being and I think we need more open ness and community in the world than we need money grubbing, crreativity killing, humanity lacking corporations.

Like I said, I am not throwing in the towel. I have 20 years exclusively on a Windows platform and TWO years on a MAC so it's not like I am a zombie, I pitched windows the instant I found a system that worked better, MUCH better. I am not a complete baffoon when it comes to using computers, I knew nothing about a MAC and was productive and enjoying my experience ten minutes after opening the box. I am two days into Linux and I almost have an idea of how to use a few things. So maybe there is still some negative windows ju ju in my tower??!!! Also I will know twice as much tomorrow. I mean, it's not like I have a job.......which makes me like Linux a LOT!!!

Thanks again for all your feedback keep it coming. I have a bad back and can't sleep so I pretty much work on this kind of stuff....learning about stuff I don't know.......for two days at a time.......straight....then I crash for four or five hours.

I do like the people though. The community is definitely the way to go and you have all been nothing but helpful so far. I thought you would all be snobs!!!! LOL!!

Okay......back to the books!!!:p