Missing Applications for Linux.

So after using Linux for a long time, I am noticing several things severely lacking that both Mac, and Windows have plenty of. Most of the apps missing as far as I am concerned are games of course. However, the other is Video related.

Recently we have been trying to find an app that will easily let my girlfriend record a video. She would like to be able to send them to family members and such. So I started looking. The main problem I have encountered is that with a Logitech Webcam with built in Mic, almost no apps in Linux will easily find them. Ekiga, a Sip Softphone comes right up and works with it, for Video and Audio, however, Camorama and about a dozen other programs. I even tried to use mencoder directly, but could not figure out how to address the mic in the webcam.

If I tried to do the same thing in either Windows or Mac, it is a matter of firing up a program, running a wizard, picking how I want the video encoded, and hitting record. Seems like there has to be a program out there to do simple vlogs. (Video Blogs) However, I can not find one. If anyone has some advice, I would love to hear it. We can record from Desktop and a Mic and it works great, as Emmy has been doing for some tutorials she is making for a customer.

So we have some things that work great for free on Linux, and other things that we just do not have a decent solution for. What other things have people found missing?

Went and got Grandma & Aunt Susie

So I flew to Michigan on Thursday, and saw snow for the first time in like 7 years.  Yuck!  I hate snow!  I had to go up and get my Grandmother and Aunt who had decided last June that they were sick of Florida and going back to Michigan and never coming back to Florida.. Well, it started getting cold, and their attitudes were completely adjusted, so they called me and asked me if I would come get them.  I didn’t really want to see the snow, but have never been able to refuse them much of anything.

So I flew up on Thursday, got there at about 6:30pm. Saw my cousin Dani, and met her newest daughter, and her new husband.  Also got to see my Uncle and Aunt that I had not seen for awhile.  Well, we then left on Friday morning at 8am.  I then drove for 23 hours straight to arrive on Saturday morning to surprise Emmy. 🙂  Was great to see her shock and surprise!  I really missed her.  She really is the love of my life!

Tweaking out Ubuntu.

So I use to not like Ubuntu, but after getting used to Debian, and installing Ubuntu for a friend and a family member, I got to looking at it, and it really is not bad at all.  In fact, I have now installed it on my system as my main OS.  Pretty good for a guy who was never an Ubuntu fan.  7.10 just makes everything way to easy though.  It will automatically install almost anything. Video Drivers, winmodems, wireless card drivers, and so on.  I am really impressed.  It has a nice polished look.

In fact, this weekend, I even went back and got my brothers laptop and brought it back over to put all the little tweaks on a system I normally do.  I setup new icons, new login screen aimed at him using pictures of his birds and a nice wallpaper I made with a picture of the bird he has had the longest.  I also sped up the boot time by eliminating the usplash screen.  I just edited the spash line out of the grub stuff.  Really nice. 🙂

It is funny, I used to really like KDE, but now after using Gnome for a while and liking it, KDE seems kinda clunky to me.  Weird..  However, I am all for people using whatever makes them feel most comfortable.  After having used KDE for years, I can not really recommend people not do so.  For those used to Windows, KDE is great.