Adventures In Computing

July 13, 2008

Goodbye Kubuntu, Hello OpenSUSE

Filed under: Elive, Gnome, GNU/Linux, GoblinX, Hardy Heron, KDE, KDE 4.0, Kubuntu, Kubuntu 8.04, Linux, Ubuntu — Normand Bissonnette @ 5:14 pm

I removed Kubuntu 8.04 KDE 4 remix and installed openSUSE with KDE 4.  My first impression was:  Wow this looks great.  OpenSUSE looks very polished compared with Kubuntu.  Everything works as it should,  I am impressed.  I have been using it for a few days and I was thinking off going back to Kubuntu because I know it better and can get things done faster with it until today.  On my Kubuntu box with KDE 3.5.8 I can’t get my Kafeine player to do anything.  This bug only affects Kubuntu, why?  I tried every fix I could find on the net, nothing works.  OpenSUSE works, why not Kubuntu?

I decided to keep openSUSE 11 KDE 4 on one box, Ubuntu on the laptop, Ubuntu on the eeePC and on the last box I’ll be getting rid of Kubuntu 3.5.9 and going with something else.  I am debating between GoblinX and Elive.  Both of them have new releases this week and I have been waiting for both of them to try them out.  One of them will be left on a computer for longer than a few days, I don’t know which one yet but I will find out pretty soon.

I really like Ubuntu they have a fine product but I cannot use Kubuntu anymore or until Canonical decides to put more resources towards it.

June 22, 2008

Avant Windows Navigator on The eeePC

Filed under: Asus, Avant Windows Navigator, EeePC, Gnome, GNU/Linux, Hardy Heron, Linux, Ubuntu, Ubuntu 8.04 — Normand Bissonnette @ 11:22 am

I decided to try Avant Windows Navigator on my laptop and eeePC.  I sort of like Apple’s dock.  After working with it on my laptop for a day I installed it the eeePC.  I figured that it would give me more real estate on the small desktop. It did.  Do I like it or not?  That is the question.

I was undecided if I wouldawn keep it or not on both computers until I tried to play video on the eeePC.  The eeePC froze!  I could move the mouse but if I clicked on something nothing happened!  At first I didn’t know what was the cause but when I asked myself what did I change that could have caused this to happen the only answer I could come up with was Avant.  Before I removed Avant I had to make sure that was the cause.  After I turned off the computer by holding down the power button, I turned it back on and tried the video again and it froze.  Turn off, turn on computer quit Avant Windows Navigator tried video and it works perfectly like before.  I knew then without a doubt that Avant was the problem.  I decide to turn avant back on one more time and try playing video before taking drastic measures.  The eeePC froze again.

I had to make a decision.  Do I keep Avant or not.  If I keep it on the eeePC I have to spend sometime trying to fix it so that I can enjoy video on the small PC or completely forget watching video on the eeePC.  I chose the easiest option for myself, I removed Avant from the eeePC.  I did not like it enough to convince me to invest the time debugging it.

I do not have this problem with my laptop, so as I am writing this it is still on that computer.  I have been using it for that last few days and will leave it on for at least a complete week before I make my final decision if I keep it or not.  At the moment I don’t see any advantage to keep it maybe I will change my mind later on I have been known to do that at times.

June 14, 2008

Ubuntu Works Just Fine On The eeePC

Filed under: EeePC, GNU/Linux, Hardy Heron, Linux, Samba, Thunar, Ubuntu, Ubuntu 8.04, Xubuntu — Normand Bissonnette @ 2:57 pm

Earlier this week I played around with eeePC.  I had Ubuntu 8.04 and I decided that I would go with Xubuntu to see if it would be faster.  I installed Xubuntu, tweaked it so that everything worked (wireless, function keys and the like).  I then tried to configure Thunar for samba browsing.  I screwed up and it did not work.  After a few hours of trying to fix it I gave up and reinstalled Xubuntu.  This time I got it right and I could my other computers while using Thunar.  I was tweaking the system and I lost my two panels.  Piss me off!  I was not impressed.  At the same time as this I could not connect to my wireless network with my full size laptop, what the hell?

I had to erase my wireless password on the laptop and enter it again to get it to work.  I figure this out after a few minutes.  The eeePC was a bit harder.  After playing with it for an hour or so I got back my panels but I could not get Samba browsing with Thunar.  Damn, damn, damnation!  I was tired off all this bull and I decided to take the easy way out:  I installed Ubuntu again and after tweaking the system everything works fine.  The moral of this story is if it works don’t fix it.

I’ll just add that I have gotten rid of a panel to give me more “space” for applications.  I also tried the new Ubuntu netbook remix that we all have been hearing about the last few weeks and it promising.  It is not yet ready so I uninstalled it.

Back in June 2006 I posted a picture along with “Procrastination” I guess that I am either a visionnary or psycic since it features a Heron and now I am using Hardy Heron on several computers.

May 20, 2008

My Linux Anniversary

Filed under: GNU/Linux, Hardy Heron, Kubuntu, Kubuntu 8.04, Linux, Ubuntu, Ubuntu 8.04, Vista, Windows, Windows XP, XP — Normand Bissonnette @ 10:56 am

As of today it has been two years since I changed from Windows XP to GNU/Linux. I started my Linux experience with OpenSuSE. I remember after formating my computer I could not get my Internet connection working. I work a few hours to get it. If you have been reading this blog you know that I am now using Ubuntu/Kubuntu and I remember that right after installing Ubuntu I did not have to do anything the internet worked right out of the box.

linuxIt has been a very interesting two years, I have a lot about computer since the switch. I could do almost anything when I used Windows XP and it took maybe one year for me to be able to say that I could do anything with Linux. I got a lot of help from Google, forums, various Wikis, How-Tos and several blogs. When I am unsure I just search the internet with Google and most of the time someone else has had the same problems before and a solution has already been found.

Two weeks ago I installed Ubuntu on a friends computer and he is having problems with the computer freezing. I think his problem is faulty RAM because the computer had these same problems using Windows XP. He is now shopping for RAM. There are several reasons for switching over to a GNU/Linux systems, the main reason that I upgraded to Linux was no more software piracy for me. Two years ago almost all the software on my computer was downloaded using P2P software and being a cheap SOB I did not pay when I could get it free. I felt somewhat guilty and to get rid of the guilt I either had to spend thousands of dollars or go with free open source software. I chose the cheapest path and I did the right choice.

Most people will use their computers only to surf the Internet and do a a bit of word processing. GNU/Linux is perfect for these users. If you don’t mind using “non-free” codecs, most users fall in this category, you can watch DVD’s and listen to music. I have stated before that where GNU/linux is lacking, is in the gaming area. With the money you have saved (Vista $239, Nero $99, Microsoft Office $179…) you can buy either an Xbox 360, Playstation 3 or a Wii. Maybe you can purchase two of the three gaming console if you use Gimp instead of Adobe Photoshop ($699).

If you are willing to do things differently and you are ready to learn something new you should start thinking of switching to something better, why settle for mediocrity when the alternative is so much better?

May 14, 2008

Epiphany in Ubuntu

Filed under: Epiphany, Gnome, GNU/Linux, Hardy Heron, KDE, KDE 4.0, Konqueror, Kubuntu, Kubuntu 8.04, Linux, Opera Browser, Ubuntu, Ubuntu 8.04 — Normand Bissonnette @ 12:49 am

I have written about browsers before. Now that I am using the newest versions of Ubuntu, it is time to speak about them once again. In Ubuntu Firefox 3 beta 5 is the default web browser. Before I updated my Ubuntu computers I was using epiphany. The reason I was using Epiphany because I found it faster than Firefox and less memory use. The only issue I have with Epiphany is less extensions than Firefox. I had run the Betas of Ubuntu and had freezes and crashes both with Firefox and Epiphany. When I did a fresh install of Ubuntu on three computers, I decided to give this newer version of Firefox a chance. After two weeks I’ll be going back to Epiphany. Firefox still freezes and I prefer the feel of Epiphany, maybe I’ll go back to Firefox once they are done testing it and are in the official release.

In my Kubuntu installs I am using Konqueror. I had said that Konqueror is slow. Not anymore, Konqueror is faster than anything I have tried. I don’t know what the did but it worked. I do have issues with the KDE 4 version on Konqueror, such as not being able to play streaming audio. I have no such problems with Konqueror in KDE 3.5.9. At work I have installed Safari from Apple to give it a go, but I haven’t done any thing with it yet.

I haven’t been using Opera since updating my computers, but as soon as I finish this post I’ll be installing it on the KDE 4 computer and hopefully It’ll have streaming audio working. I’ll let you know.

May 6, 2008

Install Fest Part Two

Filed under: Asus, Compiz-Fusion, EeePC, GNU/Linux, Hardy Heron, Linux, Mandriva, Ubuntu — Normand Bissonnette @ 2:52 pm

A week ago tomorrow I installed Ubuntu on a friends computer. I also had to install a DVD burner in my friends computer. I had issues with the new DVD writer and the CD writer. After screwing around with them I figured that I did something stupid and I should not have made this stupid mistake. Both the DVD writer and the CD writer were set as masters. All my ROM issues were resolved when I set the CD to slave. What a stupid mistake on my part.

After this install I decided to take a break from computing. I can be quoted as saying “I hate computers”. I have taken a break from working on computers. This has lasted until Saturday. I survived five days without working on my computers. After work on Saturday I installed Ubuntu 8.04 64 bit on one of my computer and the eeePC also has Ubuntu 8.04 on it.

I had tried the Ubuntu server kernel on a 32 bit install so that I could use all of my 4GB RAM. I could not get the goodness of desktop effect because I could not get the Nvidia driver to work. This computer being very vain, needed the Compiz-Fusion effect.

I did not like that when I was using my eeePC every time I booted the laptop I had to mount my samba shares. This computer has only 8 GB of memory so I use the hard drive of another computer to save my large files. Ubuntu does this automatically so I switched it to Ubuntu. I have noticed that with the desktop effects on UbuntuI can pay video and there is no jerkiness like there was on Mandriva.  There are quite a few How-To guides out there so do a google search and you’ll have a brand spanking new Ubuntu OS on the eeePC.

I have also installed DSL (Damn Small Linux) on an older IBM notebook. There is a learning curve here.  I might install it on an other older computer that only has 32 MB of RAM and I can’t find anything else that will install on it.

April 30, 2008

Hardy Install Fest

Filed under: Gnome, GNU/Linux, Hardy Heron, KDE, KDE 4.0, Kubuntu, Kubuntu 8.04, Linux, Ubuntu, Ubuntu 8.04, Windows, Xubuntu — Normand Bissonnette @ 2:24 am

heronThe Heron was released last week and I haven’t said a word about it.  Well I have a bit busy installing it on several computers. I have installed Ubuntu on three computers. I have installed Kubuntu on two computers, one with KDE 3.5.9 and the other with KDE 4.0.2.  All went well with the installations except for a stupid mistake I made because I was not paying attention.  I accidentally erased a drive containing data that I wanted to save.  I checked of ext2 instead of ext3 on this drive and lost all the information on it.  I was fairly pissed off at myself at the time but there is nothing I can do now.  What is done is done.

One of the installs was for another co-worker and I am glad that I did not have to install Windows again. GNU/Linux is a pleasure to install whilst Windows is hard work to install.  By the end of the weekend I have two more installs to do and then I rest for a while.

If you haven’t tried Ubuntu/Kubuntu/Xubuntu/Mythbuntu/…buntu now is the time.  It is a great distribution.

April 5, 2008

Hardy Heron Another Step Forward For Linux

Thursday after work I updated my laptop from Ubuntu 7.10 to Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron beta.  Everything went fine with the update.  I like the neHeronw Clock in which we get the weather and we can add cities from different time zones.  Transmission is the new bit torrent client, I haven’t tried it here But I had used it when I was running Elive on one of my computer.  I beleive that the powers that be who decides which applications should be installed by defaults, should look at Deluge as the bit torrent client of choice.  It is a full featured client and it is easy to use.  About two minutes ago I started using Gnome-do and I like it very much.  It is sort of like Katapult on the KDE desktop.  There are still some bug, like no hibernation on my laptop & Epiphany crashes for no apparent reason.  It is going to be a fine release once all the bugs are worked out.  If you are adventurous install it now but if you want to wait until it is perfected you only have to wait until April  24 2008.

After the seeing how smoothly Ubuntu was updated on my laptop, I decided to update my Kubuntu 7.10 to 8.04 beta.  I already am using the KDE 4.0.3 version of Kubuntu 8.04 so the next step was the KDE 3.5.9 version of Hardy Heron.  This time the update was very painful.  I had to install it from scratch after the update because I could not do anything with it.  Thank God for live cd’s because there were some data that I had not backed up before attempting this update.  From what I have been experiencing Kubuntu is buggier than Ubuntu.  The KDE 4 version of Kubuntu has less bugs from my experience.  Everything will be fixed by April 24th and both Kubuntu distros will be great.

Blog at WordPress.com.