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.

Advertisements

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.


Apple

July 7, 2008

Apple logoI have always been a reluctant Apple user but over the past year or so I have found myself surrounded by more and more Apple products and you know what?  I like them.

Yes they can be over priced, yes they do overly use DRM, and yes there is an element of style over substance.

So am I that superficial that I can be converted despite all of those things or even because of them?

Well not really, my love affair began fairly simply with my other half wanting and getting a iPod shuffle last year.  I scoffed of course having never used iTunes and read all the negatives about it’s DRM and how it limits the way you can use your downloads and devices associated with it.  And I still hold those views.  But iTunes really is a very slick and user friendly piece of software.  It makes downloading podcasts, which I listen to lots of, and other sundry simple via an Ipod.  However I don’t use iTunes for the negative reasons I stated.  However I still like Apple products.  Again, why?

Well since the day of my partners pink Shuffle I have been curious and as such have tired the majority of their products to the point of now writing this on a Macbook (as you will have an idea of if you have read my previous posts).

I like the iPods, especially when using them under Linux using software that allows you to edit as well as you can with iTunes if not with a little rougher UI.

Having used the nano, classic and shuffle I have found the zenith in the Touch.

My iPod Touch isn’t used for music or podcasts.  Why?  Because I have jailbroken it to use it as a very capable handheld mobile PC.  There isn’t much I can’t do with it using the inbuilt wifi.  It is use to check my email on the fly, sign in to an IM, check on the news, browse the web, check the whether and basically any other operation you can think that you might want to do on the move.  Of course it can’t replace the functionality of a fully fledged laptop but what it can do is replace my Asus EEE 701, which has now been handed down to my partner.  Yes, I love my Ipod Touch, not for it’s Ipodness, but for it’s functionality, when jailbroken of course.

So I guess I can move on to the Macbook.

I had never used an Apple computer until I got my hands on this one.  I knew what to expect from the style and looks; as I mentioned Apple products are simply stunning for the most part.

But hardware and OS X wise I had to lose my virginity.  OS X is slick and smooth, there are problems getting some freeware tools and programs that I am used to using, but  I am happy to be using a system that is close to Linux in it’s Unix core although I have yet to really get under the bonnet.  I haven’t even opened a terminal yet.  As such I can only comment on the GUI and it is functionally simple with installs via downloads very easy and it’s overall simplicity over complexity works well.

Hardware wise I am impressed.  The Core Duo model I have runs fairly fast after my upgrades.  I have installed 2 gigabytes of RAM (The maximum for this model I was rather sad to read), to replace the default 1 gigabyte.  I then changed the hard drive from a 60 gigabyte to a 120 gigabyte model.  What I noticed most doing this was just how easy it was to install the upgrades.  Remove the battery, undo three screws and you have access to everything most users would need to upgrade.  The whole operation can be done in under 10 minutes.  Now I come to my favourite aspects of the Macbook, and these alone are almost enough to keep me on it as my main machine.  The screen is simply gorgeous, the best I have seen on a laptop.  It is clear, bright and unbelievably crisp.  But the coup de tat is the battery life.  5 or 6 hours during my normal usage!!!  Brilliant, and coupled with the above, a deal sealer for me.

Yes Apple.  You have a convert.  Not because you are beautiful, although that helps.  You have your downsides in software availability  compared to a Windows or even Linux machine; and your DRM is horrible.  But your hardware is brilliantly designed and that coupled with the functionality of your devices… well, like I say, the Macbook will be my main machine for the foreseeable future and me and my Ipod Touch are never separated.

Maybe its time for me to try the Iphone?  I just hope my other half doesn’t read that!


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.


Site Updates

April 4, 2008

Added a ‘twitter’ widget to the site again, and why not…

Added my Amazon Wish List to the sidebar, and why not, you never know…

And I need to edit the partition’s on this laptop… my 125gig windows one needs expanding so I’m going to have to eat in to the Linux 125gig… shame.


Integrated webcam

March 8, 2008

I hadn’t bothered looking at the integrated webcam on this laptop since I rid it of Vista, so I thought I would have a look today.

Considering this laptop, the Dell xps M1330, can be bought with Ubuntu preinstalled direct from Dell, as expected, the webcam works out of the box driver wise.  Software?  Well Ubuntu 7.10’s repo’s include a program called ‘cheese’ which picks up the cam straight away and allows recording of video and photo taking.  The other option is downloading Skype 2 Beta for Linux which also runs the cam ‘out of the box’.

[singlepic=66,100,75]

[singlepic=67,100,75]

[singlepic=68,100,75]

Me and me and Marie.