Adventures In Computing

August 28, 2007

That’s One Small Step For A Man, One Giant Leap For Mankind

Filed under: Dell, Gnome, GNU/Linux, Ubuntu, Vostro 1500 — Normand Bissonnette @ 12:54 am

After long deliberations I have decided. I am happy with my decision. My decision was to simply install Ubuntu 7.04 on my new Vostro 1500 from Dell. Since most of the hardware is relatively new the Linux kernel does not support it all. With a lot of hard work from my Ubuntu Community friends I was able to do it in a very short amount of time. I started the installation a 8:30 pm and finished at 10:30 pm. I installed Ubuntu with the Alternate install CD, which basically means no fancy live CD or GUI, all was done in text mode, like it was done in the old days, two – three years ago.

One of the reason it took so short a time is the fact that my Internet Provider, Aliant, has finally given me what I was paying for a fast Internet connection. My Internet connection is now at 5Mbps instead of 1.5Mbps, what a difference? I could not believe it.

Anyway I still have a few issues with my laptop, which I have called Kramer, The Web Cam is not functioning and when I turn off the computer I have weird colours on my screen and I have to completely shut it of by pressing the power button. I’ll be trying to fix these issues in the near future. I don’t think that these can be considered major problems. If I can’t find solutions for these inconveniences I believe that I can live with them until the next release of Ubuntu in October.

You might be asking yourself why I decided not to do a dual booth with XP? Well when I was doing a system back up the damn thing froze. It also froze another time which I can’t recall what I was doing. What is the point of have an Operating System that freezes all the time? I can’t see why myself.

I guess that is it for now. Thanks for all you faithful readers and I hope you’ll join me at the other blog because that one is more fun to read and write. Just click the No Name Blog link.

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August 25, 2007

The Eagle Has Landed

Filed under: Dell, Gnome, GNU/Linux, Linux, Ubuntu, Vostro 1500, Windows, Windows XP, XP — Normand Bissonnette @ 2:13 am

I have received my brand spanking new laptop from Dell today, Woo-Hoo! Mmmmmh laptop. The estimated shipping date was supposed to be September 3 but to my amazement it was shipped on the 20th of august instead. I am so happy right now, I am just like a pig in shit. This is the best thing since slice bread. I have a shit eating grim. Enough of the cliches. My first impression is that it is thicker than I expected but it feels very solid.

I haven’t decided if I dual booth Ubuntu and XP yet, but as you can see I have decided to install Ubuntu as my GNU/Linux operating system. I am not going to do anything until the beginning of next week, so I still have time to decide what exactly I’ll be doing.

I’ve installed security programs on the computer and I will be doing a back up so that I can revert it to almost the condition I received it in.

My fake cnet.com review would be 10 out of 10 because I receive it two weeks before I was supposed to. This review is not based on any of the computer’s performance what so ever(Please refer to “We have Lift Off” post for reference).

I am using Internet Explorer 6 right now and being so used to Firefox I don’t know how people can use a browser without tab browsing. I had to open another window to remind me of the title of a previous post! If you are still using IE 6 change to Firefox or Opera or even IE 7 and get with the times.

It is getting late so I’ll call it a day and early next week I’ll tell ya what i am doing with the laptop.

August 22, 2007

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Filed under: Uncategorized — Normand Bissonnette @ 9:41 pm


I have got decisions to make about my new laptop. The major decision to make is what operating system to use. I’ve been thinking of doing a dual booth XP, for my gaming needs, and a GNU/Linux OS. I might just get rid of XP completely and just do GNU/Linux. At this moment the complete removal of XP is what I am leaning towards.

As I stated before what OS to install? I am debating between Ubuntu, Kubuntu, LinuxMint and Debian. The Two in the lead are Ubuntu and Debian. I am very comfortable with Ubuntu, I have been using it for almost a year (Sept 11, 2006). Nothing really surprises me using Ubuntu now. I’d like to try Debian because it is there and I want to see what Ubuntu is based on. These are good enough reason for me.

Another thing I have to decide if I choose Ubuntu over Debian is do I do an install when I receive the computer or do I wait until Ubuntu 7.10 comes out in October? I know of a few compatibility issues with the Dell laptop I’ve ordered with Ubuntu 7.04, but from forums I’ve seen they can now be overcome. Ubuntu 7.10 will be ready for most of the new hardware, I hope.

I have installed Kubuntu 7.10 tribe 4 on a virtual machine to try it out and as we speak I am installing the KDE 4 beta to try this also. I just can’t wait. I feel like a child in a candy store.
Well that is it for today.

August 18, 2007

We Have Lift Off

Filed under: Uncategorized — Normand Bissonnette @ 10:58 am


Just to let you know that I have ordered a laptop from Dell yesterday. It’s not an Inspiron 1520 as previously noted but a Vostro 1500. It is basically the same machine except for cosmetics. The Inspiron is A “home” laptop and Vostro is a “business” laptop.

This is what I ordered:

Vostro 1500
Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T7300 (2.0GHz, 4MB L2 Cache, 800MHz FSB), Genuine Windows® XP Professional, SP2, English
Vostro 1500 Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T7300 (2.0GHz, 4MB L2 Cache, 800MHz FSB)
[466-8717]
LCD Panel 15.4 in UltraSharp™ Wide Scrn XGA+LCD Display w/TrueLife™
[320-5544]
Memory 2GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz, 2 Dimm
[311-7263]
Video Cards 256MB NVIDIA® GeForce™ 8600M GT
[320-5559]
Hard Drive 160G 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive
[341-4886]
Operating System Genuine Windows® XP Professional, SP2, English
[412-0998]
[420-7291]
[420-7291]
[420-7311]
Integrated NIC and Modem Integrated 10/100 Network Card and Modem
[430-0493]
TBU Adobe® Acrobat® Reader 7.08
[410-0960]
Optical Drive 8X CD/DVD Burner w/ double-layer DVD+R write capability, w/ Roxio Creator
[313-5297]
Sound Card High Definition Audio 2.0
[313-4783]
Wireless Cards IntelJ PRO/Wireless 3945 802.11a/g WiFi Mini Card
[430-2409]
Camera Integrated 2.0 mega pixel Web Camera
[320-5546]
Bundle No Microsoft Office, English
[412-0379]
1st Software No Anti-Virus/ Security Software
[410-1054]
Batteries 85 WHr 9-cell Lithium Ion Primary Battery
[312-0545]
Hardware Services 1 Year Return to Depot Service and Technical Support
[920-0797]
[920-3140]
[930-2960]
[987-6829]
Online Data Storage 10GB for 1 Year Online Data Backup by Dell DataSafe
[420-7368]
[987-7479]
Dell Support DELL SUPPORT 3.4
[420-7180]
Dell Network Assistant DELL NETWORK ASSISTANT 1.7
[420-7189]
Dell Support Centre DELL SUPPORT CENTER 1.0
[420-7186]
Automated PC Tuneup 1 Year Dell Automated PC Tuneup
[420-7367]
[960-8851]

The estimated shipping date is September 3 2007. I don’t think it will be shipped on that date since that is Labour Day in Canada, a holiday.

I’ve read a bunch of reviews on the Inspiron and a few on the Vostro. Most reviewers, that tried the machine, liked it. A few reviewers gave the laptop low marks because of delays in shipping. I give these reviewers a rating of 0.05 out of 10. When you review a machine review the machine not the company. I saw on cnet people that did not receive their laptop giving 1 out of 10 because the shipping date was pushed back. How the hell do you know how the laptop works without trying it. These reviewers should be brought behind the barn and shot and the buried in a shallow grave! Imagine Roger Ebert giving thumbs down to a movie he did not see because the theatre he was supposed to see it in had a power failure and could not show it. Good grief! Give me a f%#king break. Grow up why don’t you.

Enough of this ranting and raving, don’t you hate stupidity. I read a review on major appliances a few months back where the reviewer was giving a bad review on a 4 year old fridge because it broke down and the appliance company was not fixing it for them. The reviewer did not take an extended warranty and the refrigerator had a 1 year warranty. It is too bad the fridge stopped working get it fixed or buy a new one and get the f%@king extended warranty you cheap bastard!

Enough of the ranting and raving, for real this time. Boy that felt good. I guess I’ll stop it at that today because I don’t want to alienate to many people today.

p.s. My review on a HP Pavilion tx1220ca laptop: I give it 0 out of 10 because Staples did not have it in stock and the clerk told me on Tuesday that it would be in on Thursday and now it’s Saturday and they still haven’t received it yet. Am I a bastard or what? No more ranting for now.

August 14, 2007

Never Say Never

Filed under: Uncategorized — Normand Bissonnette @ 10:48 am

Last time I compared the time it took to install Ubuntu and PCLOS. This week I’ve installed XP in a computer for a friend. Am I a traitor to the GNU/Linux movement? I think not, I only did it for one reason: the cash, … and research. OK I did it for two reasons: the cash and research, … and friendship. Lets try that again, I only did it for three reasons: the cash, research and friendship, … and for fun. Four reasons: the cash, research, friendship and for fun.

I’ll state right here and now that I whole hardy support the GNU/Linux movement. I have gotten people to try Ubuntu but most people are like old dogs: you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. From my experience most people want to follow the path of least resistance. A greater number of people will watch The Discovery Channel and watch someone climb mount Everest and say that would be challenge and leave it at that. While a very small percentage would actually do it. I think I have used an overblown analogy because installing and using a GNU/Linux operating system is not as hard as climbing mount Everest. It is a hell of a lot easier and less preparation and it takes less time.

I digress lets get back to the point. I popped in the install disk in the laptop and turn the computer on. It was 6:45 pm. After a few minutes I was asked on which partition I wanted to install I deleted all partition and created one and chose that one. I then chose the NTFS format, not the quick and then I waited, and waited and waited. It took over 50 minutes just to format! I stopped checking the time. The installation took another 35 to 40 minutes since I did not notice when it started. When the computer restarts I install the drivers needed for the chip set, the display, the card reader, the modem, the sound card, the wireless, the web cam and the muse pad. With all the restarts this took between half an hour and 45 minutes, at this point time is flying by.

The next step is the installation of anti virus, anti adware/spyware. I also install firefox and upgrade the windows media to version 11. I install video codecs and ac3 (sound codec for movies). Windows update has been working all along these installation and now it tells me that I have to restart the computer and I need a break. It is now 9:40 pm, I don’t restart the computer I simply turn it off. I decide to continue the installation the following morning.

I wake up at 5:50 am turn on the computer and let window finish it’s automatic updates and go for a walk. I’m back at 6:45 am and the update is done, I have to restart the computer. It take me another hour to download and install Open Office, install plug ins for firefox, install iTunes. I’m almost done. The last thing I install is Nero for burning CDs and DVD’s. I forgot to install Picasa 2, Google Earth and Gimp. They’re now installed. The total time to install Windows XP and accompanying programs and tweaking is 4 hours and 17 minutes whilst it took me an hour and twelve minutes to be at the same point with Ubuntu. Now I did not calculate the Windows update I did this morning and all the drivers and programs I had downloaded before starting the install. With Ubuntu all was calculated. Now the myth that Windows is easier than GNU/Linux is easily dismissed when you install the operating system.

Cost wise, Ubuntu cost 75 cents for the CD it was burned on. Windows XP pro is $249.95, NOD32 is 39.95 and Nero is 69.92. All the other programs I installed are open source therefore free. $359.82 CAN instead of $0.75 my choice is Ubuntu. After looking at the cost of installing windows on a computer, I no longer look for reasons why people use peer to peer sites to avoid paying these ridiculous prices. The same amount of man hours were placed in creating free Open Source programs. The only difference I can see is that one is a labour of love and the other is how much can we get for this.

At the beginning of this post I said that one of the reasons I did this was for fun, I take that reason out, it was not fun it was hard work. I won’t be doing it for another long time. I think I learned my lesson, for now.

I have to go to work now. That is it for this time.

p.s. I would like to state that Windows users are not old dogs, it was only an analogy.

p.p.s I still have not gotten a new laptop. I know that I’ll be going with a Dell Inspiron 1520. I’ll let you know when I order it.

August 8, 2007

Back To The Future

Filed under: Uncategorized — Normand Bissonnette @ 10:05 pm

I will tell you right now, PCLOS (PCLinuxOS) is a fine operating system. I know they will continue to make improvements but at the moment it is not the GNU/Linux distribution for me. So my computer is back to Kubuntu and I also installed Ubuntu so I can have my cake and eat it too. The main reason I switched back are as mentioned before, ktorrent crashes when I try to quit the program and no automatic updates. The ktorrent bug I could have lived with but the funny thing is when it crashed I could not get Firefox to start unless I logged of and then back in. Weird Hey?

I think I’ll be purchasing myself a new laptop. I have been debating between an Acer and a Dell. In the last 24 hours I have flip flopping from one to the other. At the moment I am writing this Dell is winning. Come back to see who will win, if any!

In the last post I mentioned I loved my iPod, and after posting it I realised that I did not mention getting it on this blog. I wrote about it on the other blog. Now you know that I own an iPod video 80 GB, why go nano when you can get video?

Back to my Ubuntu re-install on my computer. A few posts back I wrote about the installation time for PCLOS now lets compare them with Ubuntu. Ubuntu took 16 minutes and 47 seconds to install. PCLOS took 15 minutes and 10 seconds. PCLOS is ahead by 1 minute and 37 seconds. I waited 39 minutes and 33 seconds for my updates on Ubuntu whilst with PCLOS I had to wait 49 minutes and 34 seconds. Round two goes to Ubuntu. Too tweak my system I spent 16 minutes with Ubuntu and with PCLOS approximately 10 minutes. Round three goes to PCLOS. It took longer to set up Ubuntu because not all the multimedia codecs are installed but with PCLOS they are. The overall amount of time installing are, I’ll calculate it for you mathematically challenged, PCLOS 75 minutes and Ubuntu 72 minutes. Not a big difference overall. Now I have my automatic updates. ktorrent 2.2.1 still crashes when I quit the program but it does not affect any other programs. I guess that is why this version of ktorrent is not in the official repositories.

I guess that is it for this post, i see you next time.

August 1, 2007

Back On Track

Filed under: Uncategorized — Normand Bissonnette @ 9:55 pm

Hey everybody! I guess by reading the previous post you know why I did not write in a long time. Now to bring you up to date with my progress with PCLOS(PCLinuxOS). I did not do a lot of work with in the last two weeks with all that happened. Everything works fine, mostly. Ktorrent crashed when I try to quit the program, I consider this a minor inconvenience since I am quitting the program when it crashes. What I find really annoying is the fact that there is no automatic update feature with
PCLOS. We have to do it manually. This is a problem PCLOS people! It should be fixed with the next release if PCLOS wants to play with the big boys.

I almost decided to thrash PCLOS and reinstall Kubuntu but I decided to keep at it. It basically does the same thing, but I am better acquainted with Kubuntu and Kubuntu has a automatic updating feature (Can play with the big boys).

On the computer that I have Ubuntu as an operating system, I have switched for Exaile as my music player to Rythmbox. I’ll stick with Rythmbox until I find something better.

I still love my iPod. Everybody that enjoys music should get one! I can do everything that Mac or Windows users can with the iPod. This is one of the reasons I switched from Exaile to Rythmbox, I prefer Rythmbox’s iPod options over Exaile.

Thank you for your time reading this today, and I hope you’ll come back soon.

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