Ubuntu is a community developed operating system that is perfect for laptops,desktops and servers. Whether used at home, at school or at work Ubuntu contains all the applications you'll ever need, from word processing and email applications, to web server software and programming tools. Ubuntu is and always will be free of charge. You do not pay any licensing fees. You can download, use and share Ubuntu with your friends, family, school or business for absolutely nothing. (Source: Ubuntu website)

Ubuntu is based on Linux - the open source operating system and has apparently become the most popular of all the Linux distributions. It is currently used by the French national police force, which runs its operations on the open source OS; computer systems supporting Spanish schools have their own version; the online encyclopaedia runs its hundreds of servers on Ubuntu and SFIA's internal computer system is based around it. (Source: BBC)

Version 9.10 (release candidate) of Ubuntu was released on 29th October 2009 and is known as Karmic Koala.

More information about Ubuntu . . .

Installing Karmic Koala release candidate 9.10

Another Ubuntu installation guide

Pimp your Ubuntu (quick access)

Setting large text and icons

Magnification and speech synthesis

Orca is a screen reader and magnifier that enables users with limited vision, or no vision, to use the Gnome desktop and associated applications. The magnifier features automated focus tracking and full-screen magnification. The screen reader enables low-vision and blind users to access applications via speech and braille output. Key-mapped functions are organised on layers giving control over navigation, mouse, magnifier, speech and Braille devices. Orca can be customised to individual applications. This can make otherwise difficult interfaces, such as those of instant messaging clients, easy to use. Orca is available on the Ubuntu Desktop CD.

More about Ubuntu accessibility . . .

Ubuntu Keyboard Shortcuts

1. Switch to the next/previous workspace If you make use of the workspace very frequently, you can easily switch between different workspaces by pressing Ctrl + Alt + Left/Right Arrow. The LeftRight key brings you to the next adjacent. If you have enabled Compiz, you can even get it to show all the workspace by pressing Super + E on the keyboard. key brings you to the previous workspace while the 2. Move the current window to another workspace By pressing Shift+ Ctrl + Alt + Left/Right Arrow, you can easily move your current window to another workspace in the specified direction. This keyboard shortcut works very well with the one mentioned above. If you have the habit of opening many applications/windows when doing your work, but don’t like to see your desktop and menubar cluttered with all the application windows, you can use this shortcut key to move your applications to another workspace and get your desktop organized. 3. Show the desktop Ctrl + Alt + D enables you to quickly minimize all windows and give focus to the desktop. When all windows are minimized, this shortcut can also maximize all the windows to their previous state. 4. Keyboard shortcut for the mouse right-click In most applications, you can always right-click on the mouse to access the options menu. On the keyboard, you can simply press Shift + F10 to achieve this ‘right-click‘ effect 5. Restart session and recover from crashes There are very few instances where Ubuntu will crash totally. But if it does, you can press Ctrl + Alt + Backspace to restart the session, and 90% of the time, it will recover from the crashes. 6. Lock the screen quickly If you need to leave your workstation for a while, you can quickly lock up your screen by pressing Ctrl + Alt + L and prevent unauthorized access by others. 7. Switch between windows in the reverse direction Alt + Tab is a common shortcut key that allow you to switch between open windows. But do you know that by including the ‘Shift‘ button, you can reverse the windows switching direction? This is useful when you press Alt + Tab too fast and passed the window that you want to switch to. Simply press down the ‘Shift‘ button to go back to the previous window in the switch cycle. 8. Move windows with arrow keys Press Alt+F7 to activate the Move window function and use any arrows key (up, down, left, right) to move the window around the screen. 9. Show hidden files Most of the time, you won’t need to view the hidden files in your home folder, but in the event that you need to, you can press Ctrl + H inside the Nautilus (the file manager for Ubuntu) to show all hidden files. 10. Show file properties without right-clicking the mouse The conventional way to view a file/folder properties is to right-click the mouse and select ‘Properties‘. Now you can just press Alt + Enter to get the Properties window to appear.
For more shortcuts, go to Damien Oh's blog at MakeTechEasier.com

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