Thursday, February 9, 2012

MINT Linux12 Lisa Desktop with FireStorm : Gimp : Blender : InkScape : OpenShot ~ Setup

By Avatar JayR Cela

    MintLinux 12 ~and~ The SecondLife ~ OpenSim ~ DeskTop Experience
   Day 1 the Initial Setup :

    The past week or so I have been deeply involved with setting up my moldy oldie Second Life ~ OpenSim work area. Consisting of  2 computers, a home brew AMD64 1gig, Nvidia 7300GT 512k & Dell P4 3gig, PAE capable, Nvidia GForce 210 1gig. LOL :_) Hardly any thing to get excited about, but it is good enough for me to enjoy my favorite hobby.

   Exploring Virtual Worlds is a total trip, and in my opinion all of this is just the tip of the iceberg. Anyways, the past 4 years or so I've been getting more and more into Linux. What the hell it's free, and has really come along way over the years. Let's face it though, as a viable Desktop environment, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done.

    Basically you have a choice of half a dozen User Interface designs, four different versions of the Gnome desktop : Gnome 2, the radically different Gnome 3 and it's Ubuntu based spin-off Unity. Number 4 is rather unique, and that is Mint Linux 12 the Lisa distribution, with Gnome 3 and the Mate plus Cinnamon extensions.

    Next up to the bat is the KDE desktop for the latest Linux kernal, it is rather bizarre to to say the least, kinda like saying to yourself, OMG - WTF is This !! I'd show ya around, but it is just way to weird for me.
    Then their is XFCE, using a rather bare bones approach to what a users Desktop environment should be like. I have tried previous iterations in the past, and the newest version is just not my cup of tea either. But for much different reasons than my dislike of KDE.

    Lets not forget the traditional Gnome 2 Desktop setup with MintLixux 12 the Debian release. Yes it is still available. No sense in covering that, it's a rock solid work horse and efficient too.

    I'm going to stick with the Lisa release of Mint Linux 12, and see something new. First of all, let me start of by explaining that the Gnome 3, Mate, Cinnamon project is still a work in progress. That being said, I feel it shows a tremendous amount of ingenuity and promise, still some rough edges though.

    So lets take a look around. I'm going to design my own custom dual Work Station area using, FireStorm, The Gimp image editing program, Blender, InkScape and OpenShot the video editor. I'm trying to accomplish several things here, I have been wanting to do more coverage of OpenSim, also having an intense attraction to Linux in general. And I absolutely love using the Phoenix viewer along with the new version of FireStorm. ( After 2 months of playing around with the nightly builds of FS,  I've just been itching to do a thorough review ) Now when ya think about it, lets toss in Gimp, Blender, Inkscape along with OpenShot, and,you pretty much got the entire Video portion of a complete A/V mini production environment right at your fingertips, you would need a DAW program to round things out. The entire cost for software is $0.00, everything is Open Source.

    I don't really know where this series of upcoming post's will take me. It's just where my head is right now, after 6 and a half years of SL, I'm starting to loose interest :(

So let's get the party started !

    It's a bit of a paradigm shift, and requires some practice, once used to it though I can't help but thinking that the team at Mint is really onto something good here.

    Basically you have kind of an almost slideshow type work space.  Clicking on or waving your mouse into the upper left hand corner of the screen or selecting work space buttons in the lower right corner allows switching back and forth between numerous viewing options.



   I'm just going to select what I want now, then later customize the main working menu and set up the Samba based network connection between the two workstations in an upcoming post.

    Now this is a cluttered mess, but that's no problem at all.  I'll start off by clearing my most used application selection area.

    And putting into place only what I will be needing for now. Chrome for browsing and Gimp, Blender, InkScape, OpenShot and a file manager. Now just start up the FireStorm session.

    OK, now logged in I will make some adjustments to the graphics settings.

    And take a picture.

    Next let's import this into Gimp, and fool around with some lighting effects.

     OK, now to do a little bit of cropping.

    And have a look at the not so finished product.

    LOL :_) I'm pretty new at this sort of thing, and I screwed up with the red ring in the added light source. But this is intended as an example only. Again no problem, I'll just add some more lighting and a few other things, then re-crop.

    All in all, my impression of Mint12 Lisa is that I really like it as a Desktop for the Linux platform. I ran into some oddball bugs while using the UI, it defiantly needs some TLC to get up to speed, but I'm looking forward to this Aprils next release.

    In all honesty I have no idea where this series is going to take me, but I intend to spend most of whats left of this month experimenting with Mint and FireStorm.

JayR Cela :_)

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