Ubuntu switcher

Ubuntu Feisty Fawn came out last week and I finally decided to pick up another harddrive (they’re cheap, after all) and dual boot Ubuntu.

I’ve been pondering the switch for a while. I have to use Windows all day at work, and I’ve never been overly fond of it. Sure, it’s not quite as offensive as it once was, but my nonconformist tendencies kinda force me to look for alternatives wherever possible.

I bought my first PC in 1999 (I’d owned and used Amigas all through high school and university. I had to give it up in the end because, honestly, a 7 year old computer just isn’t useful no matter what sort of computer it is). When I got it, I’d fully intended to run Linux as my main operating system. Maybe I’d dual-boot Windows 98 for games or something, but I had no intention of staying there.

That didn’t last very long. Desktop Linux wasn’t anywhere near ready for prime time. It was just painful.

But here I am, 8 years later, trying it again.

I’ll switch to bullet mode to talk about specifics.

  • I’ve got the pptp client connecting to work. I had to flip the “Refuse EAP” switch in the settings because the debug log said the connection errors I was getting happened right after an EAP request. Huhn. I have no idea what that means either.
  • So I can log into work and log into my desktop with the default remote desktop client. Hurray, I can do work stuff.
  • I miss foobar2000 already. I haven’t exactly settled on a music player, but my favourite so far is Muine.
  • OpenOffice Spreadsheet kinda sucks. The graphing is pretty primitive. Gnumeric is quite a bit better, but it crashes when it tries to import my diet-related Excel spreadsheets. I’m thinking about writing something to accomplish the same task with Python, GTK and sqlite. That could be fun.
  • Gaim isn’t Trillian, but I guess it works all right.
  • I actually got my Dell 1110 printer sort of working. I was kinda annoyed after I got the thing that it was so resolutely Windows only. I hope Dell starts thinking about Linux drivers. They’re going to be selling Ubuntu machines, so getting their hardware to work with them would only seem sensible.
  • In some cases, hardware support is actually better than Windows. Probably because hardware manufacturers are shitty software developers. So having actual coders have a crack at the hardware yields better results. Sometimes. Except when shit doesn’t work. Like my Linksys USB wifi adapter.
  • I still hate The Gimp. At some point I’m going to want to edit images and I’m going to be forced to use it. I’m not looking forward to that day.

4 thoughts on “Ubuntu switcher

  1. matt

    Hey!

    Good luck!

    I thought the same thing (about Ubuntu 7.x), but ultimately it’s the little sacrifices that build up to drive you nuts.

    [I tried 6 on the new machine, but it handled the video and monitor pretty poorly… ie. pretended to like my video changes then after a second reboot trashed X…]

    You should see if Pidgin offers anything better (yeah, it’s Gaim, but the latest…).

    I still prefer Debian, though it’s approach to software selection (motivated by reasons I accept, and even largely agree with) makes life more difficult than it needs to be.

    The good news is, things should get easier still with Ubuntu joining forces with Linspire. Click ‘n’ Run (?) is pretty cool.

    (Besides Dell likes it… :-) )

  2. Jonathan

    Hi

    Just wondering how you got your Dell 1110 working with Linux. My friend runs open source exclusively and would like to get his Dell 1100 working on Linux.

    Cheers for any help,

    Jonathan

  3. Jonathan

    Sorry, that should say Dell 1110 – he has the same printer as you. And please change my name to Jonathan in the previous post if you can :-)

  4. flying squirrel Post author

    I can’t remember the exact steps I took. I just used the generic GDI driver when I was prompted for a driver. (I found a reference to that in a forum somewhere).

    It doesn’t work perfectly by any means–some PDFs don’t come out quite right–but it’s been good enough to print out emails and things when I’ve needed that.

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