Something that that Linux desktop isn't lacking is tools for working with plain text. That's especially true for text editors. I should know — I've tried more than a few in my time.
A while back, I was having a spot of bother with an editor called Gedit. That bother had to do with the editor's search function — I don't recall the details, to be honest. To get around that problem, I turned to another editor called FeatherPad.
I found FeatherPad to be a more-than-adequate editor, one with several useful functions. Even though I looked at it briefly in another post, I've been meaning to take a closer look at FeatherPad. So why don't we do that now?
We all want our passwords to be safe and secure. To do that, many people turn to password management applications like KeePassXC or Bitwarden.
If you spend a lot of time in a terminal window and are looking for a simpler solution, you'll want to check out one of the many password managers for the Linux command line. They're quick, easy to use, and secure.
Like many people who live and work in the free and open source software world, I keep hearing that every year is the year of Linux on the desktop. I've been hearing that for longer than I can remember. And each year, Linux doesn't come close to encroaching on the market share or mindshare of Mac OS or Windows.
That doesn't matter. At least not to me. For me, 1999 was the year of Linux on the desktop. My desktop. That was the was year I finally had it with Wind)ows. That was the year I first installed Linux, specifically Caldera OpenLinux, on a Pentium 300 I inherited from my wife. You can read the story about that in my interview with My Linux Rig if you're interested.
Linux worked well for me then, and only got better as the years passed. I've used over a dozen distributions and have test driven many, many more more. Linux has been running on every desktop and laptop computer I've owned since 1999, and I've doing all of my work in Linux since then. Contrary to what some people might say (and have said), I'm not missing anything.
Linux is ready for my desktop. It has been for over 20 years. In fact, Linux is my desktop. Period.
Whether or not Linux becomes mainstream isn't important to me. Linux just works for me. That's all that matters.
When I switched to elementary OS, I resolved to use as many applications written for that Linux distribution as I could. There are quite a few that help me do the work that I need to do.
One of those tasks is outlining, mostly of my writing. I usually use an outline when tackling longer works, but every so often an outliner comes in handy when I need to structure a shorter piece or if something's working out the way it should.
I haven't used a desktop or web-based outliner in a while. Most of my outlining of late has been done in plain text. While I wasn't looking for it, I stumbled across an outliner specifically developed for elementary called (predictably) Outliner. Like many of the applications developed for elementary, Outliner is simple — both in the number of features and to use. But it is quite effective and efficient at what it does.
In October, 2020 version 20.10 of Ubuntu came out. As I usually do, I duly clicked the button to start the process.
That upgrade seemed to go smoothly — everything installed quickly with no conflicts or error messages. I walked away to make a cup of white tea, and when I came back the installation had finished and my laptop rebooted.
It was then that I noticed a problem. A fairly big one. Instead of a login screen, I saw a field of aubergine (the colour, not the vegetable). I thought that my laptop was sleeping, so I pressed some keys to try to wake it up. It didn't work. I rebooted, but I was faced with the same problem.
That definitely wasn't a good place to be in.
It would have been easy to freak out, but instead I saw this an opportunity to do something that I had planned to do in early 2021: migrate to elementary OS.
Luckily, I'd done a backup a couple of days previously and my day-to-day work is synced with Nextcloud so I wasn't going to lose anything. On top of that, I had a bootable USB flash drive with elementary on it so I was ready to go.
While PDF files have their uses, they can be a bit of a pain to work with. That's especially true when you need to mash two or more PDF files together — say, when you're adding a cover to a book.
To do that deed, you can use a pair of tools that I introduced a while back. Or you can jump to the command line and use software that's probably already on your computer. For the command line junkie, the latter option might be the preferred option.
Let's take a look at a quick and dirty way to combine PDFs at the Linux command line.
If you were building web pages back in the 1990s, you might remember all of the dedicated HTML editors that were out there. If you were anything like me, you tried more than a couple of them.
Most of those editors have faded from memory, their bits and bytes dispersed ... well, wherever they've been dispersed to. One of the few that survived on the Linux desktop is Bluefish. And it survived for a good reason. Bluefish is a solid HTML editor that's actually more than an HTML editor.