Cooking with Linux - It's Like Déja Vu, but at a Higher Resolution

The coolest Linux and open-source applications may be ones you already have.

If you already have tracks loaded on your music player, they will appear in Amarok's left-hand pane, sorted by artist. Incidentally, you can use this list to delete songs from the player by right-clicking on a track and selecting Delete from device. On the other hand, if your player is empty, you'll be looking at a plain window, waiting to be populated. To add songs, simply drag them from your Amarok playlist (the main window to the left) into the device window. Once you do, a Transfer Queue appears in the lower half of the media browser window on the left. At the very bottom of the media browser, you'll see a graphical bar showing the amount of storage space on your player, the amount available and the space in your transfer queue (Figure 7). When you are happy with the playlist in your transfer queue, click the Transfer button at the top of the media browser window. A progress bar appears at the lower left, updating as each track is copied to your player.

Figure 7. Add your tracks, but keep an eye on the available space.

That's it. You're ready to take your music with you. Monsieur Shakespeare said that music was the food of love. Now all you need is a little more wine.

I wish I could spend more time showing you the wild and unusual side of what you may have come to think of as ordinary, but the hour grows late. Did you know that K3b, your CD/DVD burning application also is a great tool for ripping audio tracks from your CDs? Simply click Tools and select Rip Audio CD. You also can rip a video DVD—click Tools and select Rip Video DVD.

Then there's Konqueror, the all-around file manager, Web browser combination. When using it as a file manager, you can split the screen left and right by pressing Shift-Ctrl-L. Pressing Shift-Ctrl-T splits the screen vertically. Select a location in each screen (including remote FTP or secure copy connections), then simply drag and drop from one window to the next. You even can split the already-split windows.

Konsole, your KDE terminal application, can transform to a transparent Konsole, allowing your desktop artwork to shine through. Click Settings→Schema, and then select Transparent Konsole (or one of the many other looks).

As you can see, mes amis, although it's tempting (and exciting, as temptation can be) always to be on the lookout for the latest, greatest and coolest applications, your search need not always be a long one. Sometimes the coolest applications really are the ones you already use. You just need to spend a little time getting to know them better. Uncover their secrets and your existing friendship could turn into something beautiful. Mon Dieu, I think my mind may be wandering to places other than software. If so, mes amis, surely we can blame the wine. François, please, refill our guests' glasses a final time. Raise your glasses, mes amis, and let us all drink to one another's health. A votre santé! Bon appétit!

Marcel Gagné is an award-winning writer living in Waterloo, Ontario. He is the author of the all-new Moving to Free Software, his sixth book from Addison-Wesley. He also makes regular television appearances as Call for Help's Linux guy. Marcel is also a pilot, a past Top-40 disc jockey, writes science fiction and fantasy, and folds a mean Origami T-Rex. He can be reached via e-mail at You can discover lots of other things (including great wine links) from his Web site at



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Downloading photos

Kathy's picture

I know this should be easy and basic, but I cannot for the life of me figure out how to transfer digital photos from my camera to the "My Pictures" app on my Linux Acer Aspire One.
Can anyone please guide me, in the simplest terms, as to doing this?
I can hook camera up to netbook, but nothing appears or happens.
I can insert the camera's SD card, which does show up and allows viewing photos, but I cannot download the pics to netbook so that I can erase the card.
Thanks in advance!