The Rambling continues…..


Although I’ve been too busy in the past month and a half to post any blogs, it doesn’t mean that my Linux Ramblings have stopped. If anything it has been the opposite having acquired two more Dell laptops, this time PIII M 500s with just 256Mb of RAM, and moving my main desktop PC over to Ubuntu Linux.

The move of my main desktop over to Linux was supposed to have been Kubuntu running KDE 4.1 and although it installed okay getting KDE 4 to play nicely with my second monitor and my ATI Radeon 9600 graphics card became too much of a fight using the proprietary ATI drivers. So I decided to switch sides and use the GNOME environment in Ubuntu. Unlike some I don’t have a hang-up on the windows manager and use Xubuntu, Ubuntu and Kubuntu on a variety of PCs at home although I still prefer KDE if only 4.2 was more feature rich. I’m sure in time it will be but for the present my main desktop PC is Ubuntu and KDE 4.2 runs on my main laptop.

Anyway, I’ve had a lot of fun getting everything to work. I hope to post my experiences in the weeks to come. A few things do not currently work:

  • Sound – It works but my SoundBlaster Live! refuses to be a 5.1 surround sound card only delivering 2.1 sound. I think the problem is the rubbish implementation of Pulse Audio in Ubuntu! I have a potential fix.
  • Thunderbird – Not yet migrated my e-mail from Windows. Not difficult, just need the time.
  • HP Scanjet Scanner – There is a bug in on one of the Linux libraries which prevents this from working with SANE. It’s not a new bug, having been around since Ubuntu 8.04 and to be fair effects all Debian distros. I have a potential fix, just a case of applying and testing!
  • Nebula USB DigiTV – I hope to get this working although not high on my priority list at present. It’s Linux compatible so should be straightforward.

Working great at present are:

  • Dual Display, although some tweaking is still needed, I just love it! I’ve writing a short user guide on using xrandr.
  • Video playback, smoother than than playback on Windows XP
  • Amarok and Totem – so much better than Windows Media Player and no codec issues
  • Samba file sharing with other PCs and Windows clients including my Wireless HP Jornada 720 PDA. It took some digging around to get my old 720 to talk to Samba. I’ll post how I did this shortly
  • USB file transfer with my HP IPAQ. Works better, more reliably and considerably faster than Microsoft ActiveSync 4.2. I’ll post how I did this shortly
  • Griffith – now that I’ve updated it to 9.9.1. The update was easy once you know how!

So, this is some of the things I’ve been up to. My next few blogs will go into detail how I got the above working on my PC.

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