An Idea: How Can Linux Win More Users?

I am a full time working engineer. In my spare time, I like to try new things, including Linux. It took me more than 4 years to fully using Linux on my computer, on and off. There are several reasons: (1) Installing Linux and making all hardware work took much time, which I don’t have, (2) I can’t find a truly powerful MS Excel® alternative in Linux. That’s true up to now.

For reason number (1), it is not true these days, at least with certain distros. I bought a cheap ($200) used Thinkpad® X100E and replace the OS with Crunchbang Linux “Waldorf”.

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Unfortunately, for reason number (2), it is still true. We have to admit that in this world, there are many MS Excel® power users, consultant, developers, and add-ins. They solve problems, create businesses, and produce value. It is powerful because there are so many stakeholders and business created over MS Excel®.

I use LibreOffice-Calc (version 4.1.5), as it is native in Linux. In my experience, it is still sluggish compared to MS Excel®, e.g. when I press-and-hold my arrow key to move between cells, the screen refresh is not as smooth as in MS Excel®. This is true especially with out-of-the-box configuration.

Up to now, in my short period learning to use Calc, one of the advantage is its Solver, which has more decision variables limit (in MS Excel®, you have to pay an add-in to get same capability).

A good OS is one thing. A good spreadsheet with many power users, business tool, plug-ins, are as important, if not more.

Microsoft® will not port MS Excel® to Linux, because they know, it is one of the softwares that keep its users from migrating. As for me, I’m trying to live with Calc as long as I can.

[Series] Tips for Learning

I’d like to start a series of learning tips. I hope this is useful for you and for me as reminder. So here is the first tips.

Declaring or put a goal like (for example) I’d like to learn programming, is often and most likely useless. One should accomplish something to effectively learn. The result may not be perfect but in the process, we learn. In the example of learning to program, one can set a goal to accomplish a simple software written in the program that she/he wants to learn.

In my case, I set to learn to use a numerical porous media simulator. I have installed the software, download the manuals. But I cannot make progress since I didn’t set a goal to accomplish something.

See you in the next tips.

Careers for INTP Personality Types

Whether you’re a young adult trying to find your place in the world, or a not-so-young adult trying to find out if you’re moving along the right path, it’s important to understand yourself and the personality traits which will impact your likeliness to succeed or fail at various careers. It’s equally important to understand what is really important to you. When armed with an understanding of your strengths and weaknesses, and an awareness of what you truly value, you are in an excellent position to pick a career which you will find rewarding. INTPs generally have the following traits:

  • Love theory and abstract ideas
  • Truth Seekers – they want to understand things by analyzing underlying principles and structures
  • Value knowledge and competence above all else
  • Have very high standards for performance, which they apply to themselves
  • Independent and original, possibly eccentric
  • Work best alone, and value autonomy
  • Have no desire to lead or follow
  • Dislike mundane detail
  • Not particularly interested in the practical application of their work
  • Creative and insightful
  • Future-oriented
  • Usually brilliant and ingenius
  • Trust their own insights and opinions above others
  • Live primarily inside their own minds, and may appear to be detached and uninvolved with other people

INTPs have a special gift with generating and analyzing theories and possibilities to prove or disprove them. They have a great deal of insight and are creative thinkers, which allows them to quickly grasp complex abstract thoughts. They also have exceptional logical and rational reasoning skills, which allows them to thoroughly analyze theories to discover the Truth about them. Since the INTP is driven to seek clarity in the world, we have a happy match of desire and ability in this personality type. INTPs will be happiest in careers which allow them a great deal of autonomy in which they can work primarily alone on developing and analyzing complex theories and abstractions, with the goal of their work being the discovery of a truth, rather than the discovery of a practical application.

The following list of professions is built on our impressions of careers which would be especially suitable for an INTP. It is meant to be a starting place, rather than an exhaustive list. There are no guarantees that any or all of the careers listed here would be appropriate for you, or that your best career match is among those listed.

Possible Career Paths for the INTP:

Scientists – especially Physics, Chemistry
Photographers
Strategic Planners
Mathematicians
University Professors
Computer Programmers or Systems Analysts
Technical Writers
Engineers
Lawyers / Attorneys
Judges
Forensic Research
Forestry and Park Rangers

Careers for ENFP Personality Types

From personalitypage.com. Who is an ENFP type?

Careers for ENFP Personality Types ——————————————————————————– Whether you’re a young adult trying to find your place in the world, or a not-so-young adult trying to find out if you’re moving along the right path, it’s important to understand yourself and the personality traits which will impact your likeliness to succeed or fail at various careers. It’s equally important to understand what is really important to you. When armed with an understanding of your strengths and weaknesses, and an awareness of what you truly value, you are in an excellent position to pick a career which you will find rewarding. ENFPs generally have the following traits: Project-oriented Bright and capable Warmly, genuinely interested in people; great people skills Extremely intuitive and perceptive about people Able to relate to people on their own level Service-oriented; likely to put the needs of others above their own Future-oriented Dislike performing routine tasks Need approval and appreciation from others Cooperative and friendly Creative and energetic Well-developed verbal and written communication skills Natural leaders, but do not like to control people Resist being controlled by others Can work logically and rationally – use their intuition to understand the goal and work backwards towards it Usually able to grasp difficult concepts and theories ENFPs are lucky in that they’re good a quite a lot of different things. An ENFP can generally achieve a good degree of success at anything which has interested them. However, ENFPs get bored rather easily and are not naturally good at following things through to completion. Accordingly, they should avoid jobs which require performing a lot of detailed, routine-oriented tasks. They will do best in professions which allow them to creatively generate new ideas and deal closely with people. They will not be happy in positions which are confining and regimented. The following list of professions is built on our impressions of careers which would be especially suitable for an ENFP. It is meant to be a starting place, rather than an exhaustive list. There are no guarantees that any or all of the careers listed here would be appropriate for you, or that your best career match is among those listed. Possible Career Paths for the ENFP:

  • Consultant
  • Psychologist
  • Entrepreneur
  • Actor Teacher
  • Counselor
  • Politician / Diplomat
  • Writer / Journalist
  • Television Reporter
  • Computer Programmer / Systems Analyst
  • Scientist
  • Engineer
  • Artist

Free GTD Software

After so long, I found a free, portable GTD software for windows, called GTD-Free.

I’ve been using it for about one month, and it is the most effective (and fun) so far from all tool I’ve tried, for the following reason:

  • it is portable, you can carry it in a USB flashdisk
  • it is offline (I don’t like an online tool because it’s sluggish to start)
  • it is free (the reason that it is fun)
  • it follows GTD workflow: collect-process-organize/review-execute
  • there’s priority column
  • simple, there’s no “nice to have” things, it’s just all you need to do GTD
  • On PC, so it’s quick to collect things (I used to use Palm Treo but it’s slow to type, and the screen is small)
  • quick learning curve

In short, this is the best GTD software to organize my mind. Combine this with Outlook (to GTD my e-mails) and physical GTD (set up for physical GTD is in progress), I’m happy :-).

*what is GTD? Click here to know. I recommend readers to read Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity.