Of OSs

I decided that that laptop needed a cleaning and decided to try and “do it right” this time by putting on Vista and Ubuntu, and leaving enough space for images/backups.

My first task was to find my Vista DVD. That wasn’t as easy as one would think, but I found it eventually, in the office, in a gift bag. The logical place for it really.
I backed up all the useful stuff, mostly pictures and reports for Tara. There wasn’t really much else on there. I don’t use it enough to fill it with junk. I think I should start using it more.

Popped in the DVD, and did the usual hd partitioning stuff. The Vista install is mucho slicker than the XP install, and cutting up the drives was pretty easy.
The only thing it doesn’t let you do is choose how to format the drives. I mean, of course the main partition is going to be NTFS, but the others are formatted that way by default.
Other than that little gripe, the install went just fine. Once I rebooted, it found all my devices and was generally working rather well.
First thing that I did was kill that stupid User Control thing. I hate that, with a passion.
Then I did the updates, and all the other crap one associates with reinstalling Windows.
Since this was a Dell, they included a resource CD. It had extra drivers(like for the touchpad) and whatnot.
You install the Resource CD. Fine. But running it was another matter.
It kept complaining about a missing OCX file. I checked online, and Vista has all this stuff installed by default.
So I turned on ActiveX installer, and that still didn’t work.
Looking online, I found that you have to have the User Control ON for that CD to work!
Double Irritating.
So I did that of course, snagged all the stuff I had to snag, and turned off the User Control.
Then I installed the Games.
With Vista Business, they’re not there by default. Well, they’re there, just not there.
You have to “activate” them. Guess no one in the business world plays solitare.
But now they have Majong, chess, and a few other good games.

I wandered about the internet, looking for all the basic/useful things to download, installed them, then decided to tackle Ubuntu.

We all know of my problems with 7.10 on the main system, but since the laptop had a flashy new LCD screen, all would be good.
Happily, it was!

I goofed with the partitioning and forgot about swap space. Remashed all the partitions to solve that, and off I went.
The installer for Ubuntu is really great, and is just as easy as the Windows ones. And it gives you the same amount of options, which is to say none.
Guess that’s ok. I was used to the Mandirva screen allowing me to install just what I wanted. Oh well. No biggie.

Finished the install, did the reboot, got sound(woot) and logged in.
First things first, check for updates.
There are none.
Huh. This things been out a month, and you’re saying that no one’s updated anything in Ubuntu?
Not likely.
Oh look, forgot to setup networking. Silly me!

Open up networking, choose wireless, put in all my happy info(supports WPA now BTW) and…uh…nuthin.
I’m using WEP shared hex key. First there’s no option to choose Open or Shared key, and apparently that makes a difference.
There was no way I was going to get online wirelessly. I looked all over the net, and found a ton of info, even how to edit the interfaces file manually, but no dice.
The wired connection worked just fine though. So I’ll use that.
And update….huh…still no updates.

Open up the package manager, and choose all my packages(which used to be done for me), then go to the update tab…well looky looky!
They’ve turned off ALL THE UPDATES!
I have to set this manually.
Who’s likely to do this(out of the box)?
I mean, I suspect that’s why it was always set for you when you installed.
Why change that now?

This and the wireless made me want to try Kubuntu. I found that some KDE apps just work better than Gnome(and some Gnome better than KDE).
Go to Kubuntu, and the only torrent available is a DVD. woot…
So not today.

Is it just me, or has Ubuntu been going downhill for a little while now?
With a community oriented thing like Ubuntu, the forums are usually the best place to find help, and for the most part that’s true.
However, people are setting up polls with upgrade/install results, and it’s not looking good:
Generall install/upgrade: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=580852

huh, thought there were more. Maybe I kept running into this poll.
Anyway, it’s not a great vision for one’s product. But then again, forum are generally the most vocal yet in the minority when it comes to these kinds of things.

Every version of Ubuntu does something wonky for me. While everything works in one distro, it doesn’t seem to in the other. And vice versa.
I know I used wireless on this laptop in the past, and it sees the card and everything, just dosn’t want to do anythign with it.
And the update thing?
EVERY PAST version of Ubuntu had this set up automatically, at the very least for the security ones.
Why the sudden change? Was there that much of an outcry that people just didn’t want all their software to be current?
I kinda doubt that.

Anyway, I’m sure you’re bored of this post by now. Most things I write about seem to be gripes with this or that.
But that’s just the way I feel these days 😛


  1. thinkschematwo


    Vista and Ubuntu, eh?

    Can’t say that Vista turns my crank (though in all fairness, I tried leaving UAC on the couple of times I tried it). The last go around was pretty much it for me until a SP comes out (It was oddly way flakier the second time around… updates?!?).

    Ubuntu soured me a little too… The last time I installed it, I couldn’t get it to connect to the outside world (well… until I reconfigured the router to do DHCP). Seems it really wanted to use DHCP and IPv6 (from what I could tell). Other than that, I’d just really like better package management. Synaptic (?) used to be cool, and while being able to add universe, etc. more easily is nice… It doesn’t feel as good as it used to. Still, my leanings going forward are to some kind of Linux distro…

    Then again, I spent last night re-installing OSX on the Mac mini. I had relegated it to a kid machine, but Thomas has too many Windows games (and VirtualBox, while intensely cool, just doesn’t cut it).

    [After bedtime and RDP to the Windows box allows me to remain productive too… Darn .NET!]

    Sounds like last night was a night to bundle up with a mug of your favourite beverage and bask in monitor glow.

    [I’ve got to touch base with flyingsquirrel re: QuickSilver… I’m missing something… I almost dropped him a line today, but screwed up keystrokes and ended up revisiting my home page… Is it too much to ask people to follow CUA?]

    Keep us posted on the Vista/Ubuntu trek!

  2. flying_squirrel

    I’m linking Gutsy, but I haven’t been spending nearly enough time with it. Gutsy was a big feature release, though, and those are never good, stability-wise. I think Hardy is going to be where we get something that’s good and stable.

    Which makes sense, given that it’s a long term support release. Like Dapper was.

    I’d say stick with the LTS release, except you seem to get stuck with older app releases that way. I think Dapper is still Firefox 1.5.x

    Having non-security fixes off by default makes sense to me. Any fix is a potential bug. And, really, it’s the distro (I’m assuming) that gets tested thoroughly, not the intervening patch releases.

    I didn’t know they did that, though. I’m going to have to go turn on non-security updates…

  3. flying_squirrel

    Yeah, they did something weird with the networking manager. That’s one of the main reason my site was down so long after the server machine died. I was trying to switch from DHCP to a static IP, and it didn’t want to co-operate.

    Quicksilver takes a while to cotton onto. To get the feel for it, you really have to get deep into it.

    And I’m not there yet. I just use it as a launcher, really. To get into it, I really think I need to use it as my primary interface. I’d love to do that, except I have to do it on Mac OS X, and I’ve decided I don’t want that to be my primary OS.

    But I’m getting into stuff I’m going to post about…

    Check out the Quicksilver guy’s video on Google Video to give you a really good overview.

  4. thinkschematwo

    Hey, I’m open to the idea of idea of installing something else… (despite the questionable decision of putting aside the fancy paid software)…

    It seems to be that getting anything else on a mini is rough… Tends to involve XCode, BootCamp, partitioning, and then what you want…

    (It’s got to be simpler!)

    The good news is that everything I use these days (with the exception of .NET dev tools) is pretty architecture independent — so when I figure things out it’s all good!

    Hmm… Maybe I’ll do some more digging… (can’t be any more difficult than setting up SharePoint Service by hand… well, maybe…)

  5. thinkschematwo


    Because I’m easily tempted, I broke down and installed Ubuntu…

    (For those wondering about the Mac thing… turns out new BIOSes make it just like any other install… So much for just trying it!)

    In any event, the first thing that happened after I logged in was I was told I had updates…

    I’m wondering if the lack of an active network when you were installing caused it to toggle off?

    Pretty slick so far though (not sure I like the default wallpaper though…)

  6. thinkschematwo

    Thanks for getting me to reconsider what I’m doing (intentionally or otherwise)…

    I’m already happier with the increased comfort of the keystrokes I’m familiar with!

    (Ubuntu is snappy on the mini too… Kinda neat really…)

  7. packetfire

    I had zero problems with the latest Ubuntu installs, except that the network manager didn’t seem to translate my password string correctly into a hex WEP key (that I really shouldn’t be using anyways). If you want some help with any Ub funny business this weekend we can take a look at it together.

    Re. UAC in windows, I’m told there is an automatic setting in Vista that will leave it on, but always allow. Apparently the benefit of this is that IE runs at a lower privilege than your account, which cab be a Good Thing ™.


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