I came across a rare problem tonight: I need to merge slides from a Power Point slide presentation and a slide show I made in LaTeX Beamer. I hate the .ppt format, if I ever have to view a .ppt I install Impress, convert the file to a .pdf and uninstall Impress. But this time around I need to teach one lecture for a friend of mine, and she uses slides provided by the text book. About 50% of the slides are usable, but I need to make 20 or so slide of my own and add them. Since the text book slides have pictures and crap I don’t want to redo in Beamer, I needed to find a better way (insert David Cross electric scissors joke here).
PDF-Shuffler is an app I came across in the Ubuntu repos. It has a single python dependency and does a few things, but one thing very well: you can open as many .pdf’s as you want, it displays every slide from each .pdf in a grid, and you choose what order they go in. Any slide you don’t want, you simply delete. You can also resize and rotate slides. And that’s it. But since that’s all I needed it to do, that’s pretty sweet.
My initial frustration with Ubuntu making the slow transformation to a free version of Windows led me to try and eventually switch to CrunchBang. CrunchBang was everything I loved about Ubuntu (huge repositories and a vast wealth of online documentation and forum help) minus everything I hated (GNOME, fixed release cycles and a user base that gets a collective erection when Ubuntu gets a new wallpaper). But CrunchBang never released an update after Ubuntu 9.10 came out, and I was tired of adding PPA’s every time I needed software newer than what was in the repositories. With a sad heart I switched to a setup of minimal Ubuntu+LXDE, which is aided by CrunchBang teaching me a few things about Openbox. But Ubuntu is still on a fixed release schedule, and that shit gets old really fast, so I decided to make the switch to Squeeze+LXDE. Other than maybe Arch+LXDE, I can’t think of an OS that might be available in the near future that could make me switch again, until I saw this announcement. Yep, CrunchBang is moving from Ubuntu to Squeeze. Now I know how an Ubuntu fan feels when they get a new wallpaper or move their window buttons from one side to the other!
The CrunchBang announcement also mentioned that they would be releasing an Xfce4 version, which struck me as odd since I was under the impression that they main reason that CB existed at all was to have an OS that was functional without a desktop environment. It will be interesting to see what these guys do with a desktop.
Great post from K. Mandla about Ubuntu’s new default theme Link. I have noticed that a lot of Ubuntu and even Linux blogs are covering this as some sort of news story. Doesn’t Ubuntu come standard with like 10 themes? And doesn’t it also give you the ability to change your own wallpaper? What gripes my ass is that these same blogs should be spending their time talking about how increasingly unusable Ubuntu is becoming. I installed it a few weeks ago on my netbook, and to uninstall the default email client breaks the clock, and pretty much everything else, due to an insane amount of dependencies.
What I don’t get is why doesn’t Ubuntu follow more of a Debian distribution plan were you can select your desktop at install, and only the bare minimum applications are included? Since they roll in Synaptic anyways (which I love), it’s very easy for users to find and install new applications. They also include the Ubuntu software store, another means for users to add applications. Why does Ubuntu feel the need with their GNOME desktop to ram a bunch of applications down our throats? It makes sense for Microsoft to do so, but unless they plan on using a similar business model as they push further into the enterprise market, I just don’t see why they do it. The plus is, hopefully more Ubuntu users will switch to Debian.