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Ubuntu Software Center: Streamline Your Software Experience

Welcome to the continuing story about what happens when an Ubuntu local community meets great software and decides to help make it more accessible.

The Ubuntu Vancouver Local Community believes that one barrier to the widespread adoption of Ubuntu's ethos and its collection of outstanding software is a shortage of well-written and accessible user guides. Guides that make people say "Wow! I didn't know Ubuntu is that easy. I didn't know Ubuntu could make my life easier and more fun!"

The Ubuntu Software Center is one of the most important components of Ubuntu. It's the entry point for new users into the universe of excellent software that is written with freedom in mind. It's our delivery channel. It's an Ubuntu first (now copied by a fruit company), and it's full of amazing.

With that in mind, back in the winter of 2011 I set out to catalyze the creation of the first comprehensive guide to the Ubuntu Software Center written primarily for the benefit of those coming from the world of proprietary, community-less software where random apps are downloaded from random web sites. My second small spark to hopefully light a massive bonfire. (Unity was the first in this one-two punch.)

With the help of the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) we, Charlene Tessier and I, identified a talented technical writer, Courtney Loo, to partner with us and to help new users get software the easy and fun way.

Many months later, dozens of edits, a few curve-balls thrown at us by the world, and here we are! I am happy to announce that our first Ubuntu Software Center guide is complete and ready for you and the people you know that are new to Ubuntu. The creation of this guide really was a second labour of love, and I hope the results will speak accordingly.

Get a copy here. Read it. But more importantly, give our guide to someone who is trapped on the other side. They are stuck and they need our help. This guide is really more for them:

Credits

Please join me in thanking Courtney Loo and Charlene Tessier for their terrific effort. And, please send them a note.

Special thanks to the Ubuntu Software Center Team for making USC a delight.

This guide is dedicated to Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt), Ubuntu visionary. Thank you for helping to make the world a better place.

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Want to Help?

All Ubuntu community members are invited to help make UVLC's guides even better and to help get them into the hands of even more people. The Ubuntu Software Center team needs you, and so does your own Ubuntu local community. Join one today and help change the world.

Unity. Simplify Your Life.

Welcome to the continuing story about what happens when an Ubuntu local community meets great software and decides to help make it more accessible.

The Ubuntu Vancouver Local Community believes that one barrier to the widespread adoption of Ubuntu's ethos and its collection of outstanding software is a shortage of well-written and accessible user guides. Guides that make people say "Wow! I didn't know Ubuntu is that easy. I didn't know Ubuntu could do that!".

Unity is most new users' entry point into Ubuntu, and first impressions count. Unity is the ethos of Ubuntu. Unity is our "secret sauce".

With that in mind, back in the winter of 2011 I set out to catalyze the creation of the first comprehensive guide to Unity on Ubuntu written for the benefit of a person that had previously been trapped in the world of proprietary, community-less software. My small spark to hopefully light a bonfire.

With the help of the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) we, Charlene Tessier and yours truly, identified a talented technical writer, Pritpaul Bains, to partner with us and to help new users adopt Ubuntu, not only in Vancouver, but everywhere on earth.

After many months of blood, sweat, and tears (literally), I am happy to announce that our first Unity guide is complete and ready for your enjoyment. The creation of this guide really was a labour of love, and I hope the results will speak accordingly.

Get a copy here. Read it. But more importantly, give our guide to someone who is trapped on the other side. This guide is really more for them:

Credits

Please join me in thanking Pritpaul Bains and Charlene Tessier for a job well done. Please send them a note.

Special thanks to Jason Smith, Manish Sinha, Rick Spencer, and Jorge
Castro for their contributions to this document.

Special thanks to the Unity Team for making Unity amazing.

This guide is dedicated to Mark Shuttleworth, Ubuntu visionary and founder of the Ubuntu project. From the bottom of our hearts thank you for making the world a better place.

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Want to Help?

All Ubuntu community members are invited to help make UVLC's guides even better and to help get them into the hands of even more people. Unity needs you, and so does your own Ubuntu local community. Join one today and help change the world.

Tame Your Email. Take Back Control.

This is part of the continuing story about what happens when an Ubuntu local community meets great software and decides to help make it more accessible.

Despite not (yet) being the default email client for Ubuntu, Thunderbird is one of those applications that is a "must have".

In Vancouver BC, I have spoken to many community members that are struggling with email. There's too much of it. There's no easy way to separate the good stuff from the spam from the bacn. This puzzled me until I realized that most people use free web-based mail services. Web mail interfaces are clumsy and ultimately designed to maximize distraction (and time spent exposed to advertising) rather than to promote efficient communication. Web mail features are hobbled and can (and do) change without notice, without any apparent logic. It's no wonder why people are saying "Enough is enough!" and dreading having to manage their inbox or simply opting out of email altogether.

The Ubuntu Vancouver Local Community believes that one barrier to the widespread adoption of Ubuntu's collection of outstanding software is a shortage of well-written and accessible user guides. The kind of guides that give a person reading it a sense of "Hey, this is quite good!" or "Wow, I didn't know Thunderbird could do that!". Add to that the fact that so many people struggle locally and I had what could be considered an "Aha" moment.

So, back in the autumn of 2010, I set out to catalyze the creation of the first comprehensive guide to Thunderbird on Ubuntu written from the standpoint of an email user under siege. (We called her Mary.) If you are like Mary, you have several (usually free) web-based email accounts and you're tired of managing them.

With the help of the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) we, Charlene Tessier and yours truly, identified a talented technical writer, Jim McCullough, to partner with us and to help fix this issue, not only in Vancouver, but everywhere.

After many months of effort, I am happy to announce that our first Thunderbird Guides are complete and ready for your enjoyment.

Our first guide "follows Mary, an Ubuntu email user, through the decision to use Thunderbird and the steps she takes to install Thunderbird 3.1 onto Ubuntu... We'll see just how easy it is as Mary imports the email and contacts from her other other accounts into Thunderbird." (Jim McCullough)

Get it here: http://ubuntuone.com/p/oWc/

Our second guide "continues to follow Mary... as she learns how to use Thunderbird to manage the large volume of email she receives. With dozens of email messages arriving in each of her email accounts every day... Mary has been suffering from 'email overload'... We'll watch as Mary learns to efficiently view and search email, group and prioritize messages, filter and automate message handling, and finally maintain and backup Thunderbird so that it continues to run smoothly." (Jim McCullough)

Get it here: http://ubuntuone.com/p/oWf/

Please join me in thanking Jim McCullough and Charlene Tessier for a job well done.

And finally, a huge thanks to the Mozilla Messaging Team for making Thunderbird amazing, from their headquarters right here in Vancouver BC!

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All Ubuntu community members are invited to help make our guides even better and to help get them into the hands of even more people. Want to help? Thunderbird needs you, and so does your own local community.

Master Your Social Networking with Gwibber

This is a story about what happens when an Ubuntu local community meets great software and decides to help popularize it.

Gwibber. It's one of the gems that makes Ubuntu shine. If you're an avid Ubuntu contributor chances are that's something you already know. Maybe you even use it regularly. However, there are many new Ubuntu users and even some experienced ones who have yet to experience and enjoy Gwibber. What's holding them back?

The Ubuntu Vancouver Local Community believes that one barrier to the widespread adoption of Ubuntu's collection of outstanding software is a shortage of well-written and accessible user guides. The kind of guides that give a person reading it a sense of "Hey, this is pretty cool!" or "Wow, I didn't know Gwibber could do that!", or even "This is much easier than I thought".

So, back in the autumn of 2010, we set out to create the first guide to Gwibber on Ubuntu. With the help of the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) we, Charlene Tessier and yours truly, identified a talented technical writer, Tak Ishikawa, to partner with us and to help make our dream a reality.

After many months of effort, I am happy to announce that our first version of "Master Social Networking with Gwibber" is complete and ready for your enjoyment.

From the guide: "It is impossible to read all the updates that we receive through all our networks... With Gwibber, we hope to help you gain control of your network so you can make it meaningful and relevant to you... We think social networking should be an enjoyable part of your life, not a micro­management nightmare."

Grab a copy, give it a read, and share it with your friends. They will thank you, and Ubuntu will grow!

Speaking of thanks, please join me in thanking Tak Ishikawa and Charlene Tessier for a job well done by heading over to their blogs and sharing your comments. Check out: "Introducing the New Gwibber Guide" (Tak) and "Be Social on Your Own Terms" (Charlene) about the making of our guide.

And finally, a huge thanks to Ryan Paul, Ken VanDine, and team for making Gwibber rock!

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All community members are invited to help make "Master Social Networking with Gwibber" even better and to get it into the hands of even more people. We've set up a Launchpad Bug to help track change requests, and to gather people interested in keeping this guide current. While there, please click "this bug affects me" to stay abreast of the effort. And, if you wish to help, please leave a note in the bug's comments.

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