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Journey into Ubuntu: Part 2 August 24, 2006

Posted by rjdohnert in Reviews.
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I have been putting Ubuntu through its paces lately to see if it could keep up with my busy, hectic lifestyle where I move from being stationary, at one place, and when I go mobile and access 7 different wireless networks. I also installed another Ubuntu test machine, a Compaq Deskpro, 1 ghz PC with 512 mb of RAM. I found out someone had put the SLED “Slab” packages out and had them available for this distro so I installed it on the Deskpro.


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Its very reminicent of using SLED 10 especially when you use it all the time and while for a stationary desktop its nice to use, on a laptop its a different story. But you get the same functionality in some cases that you get with SLED 10, add the Clearlooks theme and you wouldnt know the difference.

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The only problem is that the Ubuntu version, whether you have Beagle installed or not defaults to the standard GNOME search utility which kinda sucks. But as I have gotten Beagle to work on the Compaq and have only gotten Beagle to work half-assed on the IBM ThinkPad its not that bad.

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So back to wireless and working with my busy life. First I needed to find a way to be able to mix and switch from network to network as I access at least 7 unique wireless networks in a day. I had to go and through synaptic get the network manager and GNOME version of Network-manager. Unlike Windows it doesnt come preinstalled. That utility made a hell of a difference. I was able to switch and move between a ll the networks but 1 and even worked with my StarBucks T-Mobile account, since Im doing some freelance consulting work during my transition period only one of my clients networks wouldnt work with the Utility no matter how hard I tried and I had to go in and manually set the network up. Only in cases where I found myself in a Windows only network did I have some hinderances and when I had to use VS 2005 I had to use Windows. If the Mono project manages to get 100% compatibility with the .NET Framework it would be nice if the MonoDevelop IDE could import VS 2005 projects but thats unlikely to happen anytime soon.

I have hauled this laptop everywhere and have used it basically as my only desktop for a week and while yes, i do miss Windows — Alot and I miss BSD — Alot it wasnt painful and yes there are a few weak spots in Ubuntu that keeps me from recommending it for people who are less that very computer savvy. Linux has come a long way since I first started using the system all those years ago and yes progress is good. I still recommend Windows and Mac for the less tech users and if you are a very competent person Ubuntu would be a good choice.

Another downside I found with Ubuntu is one I find with most other Linux distros. The lack of quality in some of the applications like Beagle and F-Spot, these were not Canonicals fault as they arent included by default. Beagle as I stated only works half-way some of the time, F-Spot crashes on a regular basis. I find the Nautilus search fast enough for what I need it but Novell needs to work at making it stable and work flawlessly like WDS and Copernic do on Windows and as Picassa and the new Windows photo manager in Vista. It seems like Novell was in such a hurry to throw em out there to counter Microsofts offerings that they really didnt care how well the tools worked. If you are going to use Ubuntu, stay away from Beagle and F-Spot unless you just feel like getting frustrated.

Overall, a very good distro and worth taking the look at for the extremely tech savvy user or if you just want to learn Linux. Plenty of help resources for Ubuntu are available. It also depends on your line of work as well. If you are in desktop publishing, photography or multimedia you are probably better off with the Mac or Windows. But if you are into administrative tasks and are in a development environment there is no harm in exploring Ubuntu or any other Linux distro for that type of environment.

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Comments»

1. Chris - August 24, 2006

I think your “review” is crap and just shows your ignorance or/and incompetance at using the Linux environment. Stick with Windows douche bag. Linux is ready for everyone. If you are going to post something on Channel 9, make sure its quality and quit posting your blog there. READ: NOBODY CARES!!!

Oh, SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop beats Ubuntu in every way

2. Al - August 24, 2006

Chris can go play in traffic. I mean there is nothing wrong with liking Linux but to elevate it to a religious ideal is just intellectual dishonesty. That level of zealotry is on par with that of members of the Jihad who strap bombs to themselves. Hey, now there is an idea. Perhaps Chris can take a page from their book. Just do it out in desert somewhere. I hear that cactus hate Linux.

3. Al - August 24, 2006

Labeling as somehow “inferior” those who do not subscribe to your ideology is also a sign of this same fanaticism.

4. Al - August 24, 2006

I couldn’t have argued my point any better than that.

5. rjdohnert - August 24, 2006

WARNING: Chris, one more time and you will be banned and not allowed to post comments at all.

Beer28, I deleted your posts because you are just being derogatory, unacceptable. Im very good at the work I do and I have never had a problem finding a job or maintaining clients for my freelance work so I guess a lot of people would disagree with you on my career path. You had been warned before about using profanity and deragotory e-mail addresses instead of your real one. So now your IP has been marked as spam and if you have anything to offer I will post it, otherwise I wont. Also, I never accused you of being the Chris above so go soak your head.

6. Erik - August 24, 2006

There is lot of TODO in Ubuntu, but I’m pretty pleased how good is even now. Edgy Eft feels much better than Drapper though …

You should try Tracker instead of Beagle. If everything goes well, Tracker will be _the search engine_ in GNOME (hopefully it’s in 2.18).
http://freedesktop.org/wiki/Software/Tracker

https://launchpad.net/distros/ubuntu/+specs
https://wiki.ubuntu.com/EdgyReleaseSchedule

7. Lorad - August 25, 2006

One thing you should do is install the VMPlayer on Ubuntu and get a good XP image for the VS2005 setup. You may find in your travels that a client will want VS2003 and it is nice to just pick a VM and go.

I like VMWare under Linux better than under Windows mainly because the resource management seems to be better, after runing VMWare for days on my XP machine at work the VM is slower than the same one at home on Linux.

Heck I remote desktop into my VM on Linux from work if I have to get a file committed that I missed.

8. tin72 - August 26, 2006

I like your blog. I love the creative way on how you were able to come up with a good presentation of your topic. I was able to understand in a way when those photos were posted. So keep up the good job!

9. JRB Technology - September 19, 2006

My move to 100% Linux.

my desktop
Well the move to be 100% on Linux is going well. Ive fully tested VMWare for those occasions I that I need to do windows based programming. Vmware is a software based hardware emulation program which lets you virtually create a computer bas…


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