Ubuntu Macbook

December 8, 2008
Ubuntu Macbook

Ubuntu Macbook

I have just finished installing Ubuntu 8.10 Interpid Ibex onto my Macbook using bootcamp and an Ubuntu install cd.

A rather snazzy update if I do say so myself, especially loving the art work during my first look.

For a full guide to this install look no further than the Ubuntu Community.

Ubuntu Macbook Booted

Ubuntu Macbook Booted


Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex on Dell XPS M1330 Part 2

October 10, 2008

During the latest round of updates released by the Ubuntu team yesterday was a display update of some description.  Having the Nvidia Geforce M8800 model of the Dell the said updates have stopped the display from working properly.

It has switched to a low graphics mode which I tried to fix using the built in reconfigure menu.  This led to a black screen which was unrecoverable and led to a hard shut down.

It looks like I will be waiting for the official release of 8.10 before using Intrepid again as I don’t have the time at the moment for a bug fixing session.

Update:

I managed to get the Laptop to boot again in low graphics mode.  I then proceeded to install more available updates, rebooted and then got a 20 second or so burst of loud system (POST) beeps during start up and was left with a blank static orange Ubuntu screen.  After trying a couple more reboots the problem stayed the same but without the beeps.  I decided to return to the cosiness of Hardy Heron which is where I am writing this from now.


Reasons why Linux beats Windows everytime

September 28, 2008

Found an article of 100 reasons why Linux is a better Operating System than Windows.

Here are my pick of the bunch:

  • You don’t have to “activate” Linux by phone or Internet.
  • If you change your hardware and re-install Linux you don’t have to call someone to justify it.
  • You can install Linux on as many computers as you want.
  • You can give it away to friends and family.
  • You can download it and you can burn disc after disc.
  • You don’t have to enter obscure product keys stuck onto your computer.
  • You don’t have to store product keys for safety.
  • Nobody ever sells a second-hand computer with Linux on it and then has to deal with buyers complaining they were “ripped off” because Microsoft Word isn’t installed.
  • You don’t need to defragment Linux. At all. Ever.
  • You don’t have to worry about viruses
  • Linux is the a major OS in high performance computing. The first computer to break the petaflop barrier – one quadrillion calculations per second – was an IBM supercomputer running Linux.
  • In fact, over 80% of the top 500 supercomputers in the world run Linux. Windows just doesn’t have the capability for high performance computing.
  • Linux will revitalise your old hardware, with snappy performance.
  • It’ll make better use of your modern hardware, too, delivering faster performance and better memory management than Windows.
  • The Linux check for software updates will update everything – not just the operating system or vendor-supplied apps. It will facilitate updating all your software, in one convenient spot.
  • You don’t have to lust after software you can’t afford. The software is given away.  You don’t have to pirate software you can’t afford. The software is given away.
  • Linux doesn’t crash without any apparent reasons. A crashing web browser can’t render your system unusable.
  • Linux doesn’t reboot by itself! Automated software updates won’t force your computer to reboot if you leave it alone for a while. Don’t you hate it when you’re downloading a huge file and go to bed thinking it will be done when you get up just to find Windows sitting at the login prompt again with the cheery “Your computer was rebooted to apply important updates” message?
  • Also contrary to rumour, Linux supports a whole mess of hardware out-of-the-box. There are more drivers bundled with Linux than Windows. You don’t have to resort to finding the vendor’s site or using Windows Update to make things work.
  • Linux brought about the entire Netbook subnotebook market. The Netbook wouldn’t have seen the light of day if it weren’t for a license-free operating system and suite of applications to help slash the price.
  • The open source philosophy protects you from malice due to the inordinate amount of peer review it offers. You wouldn’t have the G-Archiver Trojan stealing Gmail passwords if it were open source, for instance.
  • Linux is released when it is ready. The software is free so there is no pressure to release it before it is ready just to achieve sales targets.
  • You can give Linux to your parents and grandparents and know they’ll have no problems. It will boot fine, let them check e-mail, browse the web, share photos, print and write letters without fear of their online safety or software crashes.
  • Linux is designed by people who genuinely seek to maximise performance, not maximise profits. The overall speed and experience is monumental.
  • Not to mention the large industry-wide backing Linux receives. Such large organisations like IBM and Sun Microsystems and Oracle and Red Hat and Ubuntu are feeding into the advancement of Linux. Yet, only Microsoft is working on Windows. As a result, Linux is advancing beyond what one corporation could achieve and has major enterprises invested in its success.
  • Linux Just Works

Ok, so those are my hand picked reasons from the list.  I basically picked them because they were the more general, universal reasons in the list.  Have a toddle over and read the full 100 at iTWire if the mood takes you.


Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex Alpha 6 on a Dell XPS M1330 Laptop

September 26, 2008

I normally upgrade my Ubuntu installation to the latest Alpha when it becomes available.  I just love being an early adopter for no other reason than that.

However up to Alpha 5 I have been unable to get the M1330 to boot using the install media or a direct system update via the net.  Black screen crashes with each method.  So along comes the Alpha 6 yesterday or the day before and I try over again.

And we have success.  I have tested both the distro upgrade via the net from 8.04.1 and also a direct, clean install from the i386 live cd.  Both work flawlessly.  The only bug I had, which was resolved it seems by an update released shortly after I upgraded, was the wireless, which didn’t work correctly.  However, like I say, this is now working fine too.

The system itself seems to be slightly faster and more responsive.  Other notable features?  To be honest to look at and use on the surface 8.10 looks and feels pretty much like 8.04.1, but we are in an early alpha stage.

I know that there are features under the bonnet that have been upgraded.  The new kernel, new xorg, ACPI support and others.

I’ll say well done to the Ubuntu team.  This really does feel like a stable and a faster machine with Intrepid Ibex on it.  I look forward to more rolling updates to see where it goes from here all the way up to the final release in October.


Google Android SDK 1.0 with Ubuntu 8.04

September 25, 2008

For those of you of programming nature I have found an excellent step by step, hold your hand guide to installing the Google Android SDK under Ubuntu.  It’s an idiots guide and that’s how I like it.

Anyway, I have it all installed and will be playing around with it today with the idea to possibly develop applications for the Android market place.  We’ll see what happens.

Anyway, here is the link.


Macbook Part 2

July 5, 2008

It is finally here and although it is second hand I had to sell my soul on ebay to get it.  It is the first generation Macbook so it is over two years old.

It needs some work.  I have replaced the hard drive from stock I already had laying around.  It also needs some ram as the stock it came with is minimal and I hope to install some today.

However….

I am writing this blog post from the machine!  It is running OS X Tiger and  I have to say I am impressed with how slick it is.  It is nice to have a propriety machine that isn’t windows based.  It means I can finally migrate ‘totally’ away from the Redmond machine.  I expect I will be fiddling with for some time to come and that my Ubuntu Dell will be neglected no doubt.

It also means that the Asus passes to my partner and hers passes to our eldest.  She has been needing hers replacing for a while after she broke it.  So everyone wins.

Anyway, on with the work!


Macbook

June 30, 2008

Well, it has been a busy week.

Saturday saw my step-daughter Charlotte’s 8th Birthday.  She got everything she asked for of course and I grabbed about an hours footage of the day on camcorder and make a DVD.  I can see quite a home movie collection building soon!

I also switched back from openSuSe to Ubuntu.  I just can’t fault that Ubuntu at the moment and nothing else comes close as far as I am concerned.  I also found out why I was having problems under clocking the CPU, the Intel Speed stepping was disabled in the bios.  All in all pretty productive as I can now increase battery time significantly.  That is of course coupled with the underclocking of the mobile nvidia card.

I have been finding it hard to make anytime at all for leisure time online at all.  CJ is being a monkey during the night.  Last night I didn’t get any sleep at all.  I have however had time to list some items on eBay which I am using to fund my final purchase for a while.  That is where the Macbook comes in.  Hopefully I will raise enough money to complete the purchase.  As for money.  It is as tight as I have ever known it.  But we are managing and that is all that matters.

I seem to be going through quite a phase of personal blogging at the moment.  Hopefully this will change when I have the spare time to write down all my thoughts on the state of the world and the people in it 🙂

That’s all for now though folks.


It's Distro Time

June 22, 2008

OpenSUSE 11 Installing

The time has come around again for me to do some switching around with regards to the Operating System I use on my main computer, my Dell XPS M1330 laptop.

Up until yesterday I had been using a dual boot system consisting of Ubuntu 8.10 Hardy Heron which I have been using on and off since the alpha stage of it’s release.  Along with Ubuntu the other OS was Vista Home Premium.

So why did I feel the need to change this set up?

To be honest I have been more than happy with Ubuntu for a long time but I wanted to switch from the dual boot system with WIndows eating up half of my 250gig hard drive, to a streamlined linux only option.  I don’t use Vista often enough to justify it being installed here.  I do, however, have Vista Ultimate on our desktop should I need it for whatever reason.

After deciding to get rid of Vista I could simply have deleted the partition, formatted it to ext3 and added it to the Ubuntu partition and edited the grub bootloader.  But I decided to take this opportunity to try out a few new major Linux distribution releases and then stay with one based on whichever I prefer.

First off was Fedora 9 which although very smart looking failed me due to issues with the way the display is managed.  The fact that there are problems getting the proprietary Nvidia drivers working for my mobile laptop graphics card is something I can’t live with.  Stuck without this working properly the system runs hot and the display simply isn’t up to scratch.  Maybe Fedora will be worth another look when this issue is resolved properly through the repos provided.

Next up was Linux Mint, which is a perfectly fine distro.  It is basically a modified Ubuntu Heron which includes the restricted extras like codecs.  The front end is very smart indeed but I found that it was basically a pretty Ubuntu and the extras are things I already had working in Hardy Heron.

I am currently writing this on the Gnome version of openSUSE 11.  This is definitely a promising distro and one which I have not used for any length of time before.  That is about to change however as it installed like a charm detecting all the relevant hardware, including the wireless, out of the box.  I need to keep an eye on the battery life as that is one thing I have discovered with different Linus Distributions on laptops.  They all seem to use up battery power at different rates by default, with Ubuntu being the easiest on power consumption as far as I can tell.

Next on my hit list is Debian, which I have used before and I know will take a bit more setting up on this laptop.

At the moment though, as I said, it’s time to give openSUSE a fair run out.  I’ll post my thoughts on it later.


It’s Distro Time

June 22, 2008

OpenSUSE 11 Installing

The time has come around again for me to do some switching around with regards to the Operating System I use on my main computer, my Dell XPS M1330 laptop.

Up until yesterday I had been using a dual boot system consisting of Ubuntu 8.10 Hardy Heron which I have been using on and off since the alpha stage of it’s release.  Along with Ubuntu the other OS was Vista Home Premium.

So why did I feel the need to change this set up?

To be honest I have been more than happy with Ubuntu for a long time but I wanted to switch from the dual boot system with WIndows eating up half of my 250gig hard drive, to a streamlined linux only option.  I don’t use Vista often enough to justify it being installed here.  I do, however, have Vista Ultimate on our desktop should I need it for whatever reason.

After deciding to get rid of Vista I could simply have deleted the partition, formatted it to ext3 and added it to the Ubuntu partition and edited the grub bootloader.  But I decided to take this opportunity to try out a few new major Linux distribution releases and then stay with one based on whichever I prefer.

First off was Fedora 9 which although very smart looking failed me due to issues with the way the display is managed.  The fact that there are problems getting the proprietary Nvidia drivers working for my mobile laptop graphics card is something I can’t live with.  Stuck without this working properly the system runs hot and the display simply isn’t up to scratch.  Maybe Fedora will be worth another look when this issue is resolved properly through the repos provided.

Next up was Linux Mint, which is a perfectly fine distro.  It is basically a modified Ubuntu Heron which includes the restricted extras like codecs.  The front end is very smart indeed but I found that it was basically a pretty Ubuntu and the extras are things I already had working in Hardy Heron.

I am currently writing this on the Gnome version of openSUSE 11.  This is definitely a promising distro and one which I have not used for any length of time before.  That is about to change however as it installed like a charm detecting all the relevant hardware, including the wireless, out of the box.  I need to keep an eye on the battery life as that is one thing I have discovered with different Linus Distributions on laptops.  They all seem to use up battery power at different rates by default, with Ubuntu being the easiest on power consumption as far as I can tell.

Next on my hit list is Debian, which I have used before and I know will take a bit more setting up on this laptop.

At the moment though, as I said, it’s time to give openSUSE a fair run out.  I’ll post my thoughts on it later.


KDE 4

March 10, 2008

I was harsh with KDE 4 last time I had it installed and with the release of 4.0.1 I wanted to go back for another look.

It’s live-cd based on an openSUSE engine worked like a charm, the install however isn’t for the dual booting faint hearted.  If you want to resize partitions to create space for the install, hold on to your pants.  I ended up exiting the installer and manually creating space before going back for the install itself.  Which ran very smoothly.

However it does partion its free space in an awkward layout, I haven’t looked too deeply tonight but I will!

I have left the KDE 4 install for this blog post anyway as I have no internet access out of the box with my wireless which is a black mark to start with.  I’ll update more as I use it more in the week.