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Ubuntu Anyone?

571 Views 9 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  RobtRoma
I just built a PC using some old parts and decided to install Ubuntu Linux on it to see how it would work. Actually, I installed a copy of Win-XP on it first and then did the Hardy Heron dual boot full install. Aside from the fact that the initial installation did not recognize my bluetooth keyboard/mouse and I had to get an old wired kb & mouse, the installation was very smooth and didn't take that long at all. I was able to connect to the internet immediately to look for updates. First time I tried the built-in update service it locked the computer. I rebooted and tried again and it downloaded and installed all 99 updates without any issues.

Next I tried to add a few programs using the Add/Remove Programs option. I tried 3x to get a program to download and install but every time the computer would lock up on me and I had to reboot. I gave up on that for now and started to play with a few of the appearance options. The fist thing I looked at was the themes and changed to a blue theme. Then I went to Visual Effects and changed that from 'None' to 'Extra'. Problem was it made me download a new video driver and reboot because the basic driver by Ubuntu wouldn't do the advanced graphics. Once the driver installed and I rebooted, I was able to go into the Visual Effects and make the change. 'Extra' makes a big difference in the way the operating system feels. It feels more advanced now. I like the way the windows fade in and out when opening and closing. The "rubber window" effect is neat but I think I will grow tired of it quickly.

Next I went and changed the theme of Firefox 3 to a 'Vista on XP' theme. I like the way the buttons look now but the menu headers disappear when I mouse over them. Firefox loads quickly but I'm having quite a few problems with the way the text is rendered on some websites. It's like the video driver resolution is not set to the native resolution of the monitor even though it is. AOL mail is difficult to read and even this site has some issues with the spacing of the letters. Some letters are spaced nicely, others overlap while others seem a little too far apart. On AOL, some of the text on the buttons is actually larger than the buttons. It's just odd. It's a small thing on this site but it is noticeable to me...

This is only my 2nd day with it and I can't say I'm hugely impressed just yet. It's locked up on me much more than I expected. I've read that "it just works" but that hasn't been my experience. I think I'll need to play with some of the settings to see if I can get it to render pages better. That will help a lot. I also need to see if I can get the thing to play videos. I tried one that was sent in an e-mail and it said I needed to download something but I couldn't figure out exactly what or how to get it. I also need to see if I can get the bluetooth working and find an open source Virus Program.

Has anyone else out there tried Ubuntu or other Linux distributions? Any advice or thoughts?

FYI - the PC has an ASUS P4C800-E Motherboard, a P4 3.2 GHz processor, a WD 80 gig HD (split into 40 gig for XP and 40 gig for Ubuntu), 1 gig of RAM, an Nvidia gForce FX 5500 video card, a floppy drive, a CD-RW drive and a DVD Reader/CD Writer Combo Drive. I'm also using the built-in sound and network adapter.
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Another site that I visit has a couple of guys using it. I do notice that they get dropped on occassion and they have pc problems more frequently than anyone else...I don't know if that is at issue here. But I am most certainly not a trailblazer on software. I prefer the tried, true, and debugged packages. And one more thing, I don't run Vista either.
I prefer stuff that works too and I have a ton of software for Windows but I do like to tinker and learn new things. I was experimenting with Linux because it is supposed to be so much more secure and attacked much less. I was hoping to do a dual-boot with Vista on another PC. I would do all my banking and finance stuff with Ubuntu and all my other not so critical stuff on Vista.

Also... I'm planning on giving this PC to my Niece for her Sweet-16 if her parents will let me. I was really hoping I wouldn't need to buy another copy of Win XP but it looks like I'm going to have to. I tried to install AIM because I know she uses it but I couldn't get that figured out yet.

I was finally able to install the codec for the video player. Basically they didn't have anything that was Ubuntu Approved" so I had to go to the "All Available Software" option. I found what I needed there but before I could install it, Ubuntu had to let me know that it wasn't approved software. It felt kinda like the security measured they put into Vista. I also installed a video editing program but I haven't had a chance to look at it. If it works well I might have another reason to continue playing around. :)
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I just spoke with out local Linux lover. He said, "The only thing Ubuntu has going for it is that it is bootable from a CD. Otherwise, it's just another name on a Linux freeware package."

He actually prefers the Firefox 7.1 of the freeware Linux packages. :thumb:
I read, in a Popular Mechanics, that you can load Linux onto a Sony PlayStation3 and run it like a full computer. I don't have a PS3 (yet) but a friend of mine at work does and he's trying it out. If it works out for him I'll start a thread about it to spread the word.

I myself have not used Linux yet....
I'm pretty sure you can. I know of X-Boxes being hooked up together and used as servers.
I don't have a Playstation 3 either. Not sure I would want to fiddle with one like that though...

As for the Linux machine, I decided to take the Ubuntu off before I gave it to my niece. I purchased an OEM copy of Vista Home Premium. I figured the learning curve was much less for her and she might like the multimedia features. It installed fine and feels fairly snappy considering the hardware in the box. I'm curious to see how long it takes for her to muck it up with Limewire...
I give her a week if she has geeky friends, and two months if she's not friends with anyone... :bill:
Just as well you bought the new software Robt. One of my online friends is dumping Ubuntu. Too many issues, little ones, but just the same....

Scroll bar on the right side doesn't always showup. :( And this is the new version.

Colors come and go for the background. :confused:

Drops off line in the middle of a posting.

Locks up the memory and will not execute anything till it is rebooted. Sounding more like Windows 3.1 ???

Enough for now. Just thought that you would like to know that it isn't perfect either.
Good to know...

By the time a reformatted and installed Vista, Ubuntu was actually working fairly well. The lockups were much fewer and the programs were installing. I just felt visually it was lacking (the text looked terrible in 1/2 the programs) and I was sure she wouldn't be able to figure it out. I know she uses AIM and I still couldn't figure out how to install it. She is happy with Vista. She has a friend that has it to so she can get some help with it. Overall, she was thrilled with the gift. My only issue with the PC is the inexpesive wireless network card stopped working since I gave it to her last weekend (after I already sent in the rebate form :rant: ). She's also a 2 hr drive from me. I told her I'd come by in the next week or two to fix it. Then all will be good in my windows world again :) :lol:
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