Transitioning into LEAP
I’ve been transitioning into LEAP, my new operating system on my computer. If that catches you by surprise I should remind you that I’ve been installing Linux operating systems on my desktop computers for quite a number of years already. (Since about 2004 or 2005 I think). I like Linux systems far-FAR better than Windows. Never mind which version.
Once I discovered that I could download any of about 365 Linux distros (distributions/flavours) of these totally FREE operating systems, burn them to a CD or DVD, and then install them on a computer, no one has been able to stop me. When I first moved to Saskatoon, word got around that I could take a cast-off computer, install a new system, and get it working again. People kept dropping off their cast-off computers and occasionally a laptop too. So I put up a semi-circle of desks in my office at the old WTM building, and as I was able to get volunteers to come help me I had a computer for them to work on.
When I moved my office home in 2015 I fixed up a bunch of these old computers and sold (for a song) or gave most of them away. I kept two desktops and a laptop for myself, and one for Linda, the volunteer that still comes to help me. Since then I’ve been focused on just being super busy and productive on my own main desktop.
Last year I saw online that my favourite system, openSUSE 12.3 was not going to be updated any more, and a newer one was out, called LEAP. I installed it on my laptop just to try out. My harddrive on the main desktop is big enough to have at least two systems on it. That is called a dual-boot computer. When you turn it on, you have to choose which system you want to use this time. That gave me a chance to try out the new system when I had a bit of spare time and decide how I liked it. Well, LEAP was okay, but my two favourite programs that I use a lot didn’t seem to install or work well. I really like Quanta for creating web pages, but it just wouldn’t install for me. I need Scribus for all the layout work I do for books and things to be published. It seemed to choose the wrong fonts in LEAP.
So I stayed in openSUSE 12.3. But this winter frustration set in there. I could no longer update programs that had improved, and the plugins that attach to browsers would not update so that I could watch videos or webinars in Firefox. The videos in Facebook didn’t show up either.
I re-installed LEAP on the spare partition but that was less than 100 GB and the openSUSE had the bigger partition of 300 GB, so I worried some about running out of space on the LEAP partition, and I felt I needed to keep the openSUSE so I could go back there to use Scribus and Quanta for certain jobs.
In recent weeks I’d also learned about SSD drives. These are solid state harddrives, about the measurements of a laptop harddrive, however wafer thin. The beauty of these drives is that they have no moving parts in them, so hardly anything can go wrong with them, and they are super fast. Things that one is used to waiting several seconds for, (or on an older desktop, maybe a minute or two – or three), are INSTANT on an SSD drive! I was even seeing Youtube videos where it was demonstrated that an SSD could jazz up an old clunky computer or laptop and give it some zip! Well, now I wanted one! Maybe several! Only, I’ve been paying some big annual bills the last month or two, and have to live frugally for a while longer. So I have to wait.
Okay…. I better speed up this story too, or I’ll lose your attention. A couple of Saturdays ago I thought I could uses my external backup drive to install LEAP on. But that didn’t work out. Oddly enough, after that my openSUSE began to misbehave. Sometimes it became awfully slow, as if it were dragging its feet and ready to trip and fall face-down. BBN my favourite online radio would sound all jerky and stutter, Sometimes the cursor would refuse to move for delaying periods, and when I was typing the letters would not show up as fast as I was keying them. Just really frustrating!
So last week I decided I would have to switch over to LEAP now, and perhaps do it over again once I can afford an SSD. But with all the emails I work with, and the many files I needed to copy over, it is not something I could do in one day. It took me about 3 afternoons to get all my emails set up, meaning I had to create new accounts with all the setup details filled in for each one. I’m not moving all the files over, just the ones I work on currently, but that is still ongoing as needed.
Actually, it’s not hard. I just open my dolphin (file manager) program, split the screen, and login to openSUSE on one side, and find the matching folders on the LEAP side. Then I drag and drop the folders and files that I want to move over.
As for Scribus and Quanta… well, I have installed the fonts that I was using in Scribus, and I used it for the first time on Saturday night, and lo, it worked fine! As for Quanta, I did a fresh search online for “quanta + LEAP” online, and presto found a forum where an expert was explaining to someone else how to do that. Last night after supper I followed those same steps, and whoopee! Quanta installed, and it works!
There will still be times when I switch into openSUSE for some things. This morning I was looking for a booklet that I often had open to work on in LibreOffice (the word processing program), and even though I hunted on the openSUSE side in Dolphin I could not find it. I hunted through a number of folders. I suspect I renamed it and now can’t recall that name. But if I login into the system as usual, I will see it right there, and be able to determine where it resides in the file-system, and copy it over.
Aside from other little things like that which may pop up, I think I’m about done with Transitioning into LEAP. This is my new home on my computer! Eventually I may wipe off the openSUSE and claim that partition too… but for now, I like it that I can go back as necessary.