Saturday, November 13, 2010

After you Install Ubuntu You Should...

1. Update your fresh Ubuntu installation using the Update  Manager

2. Open the  Ubuntu Update Software Center and install the following programs:  Chromium, Gimp, Xiphos Bible Study Guide,  and whatever other software you fancy.

3. Go to the Bisigi Project page and install Bisigi Themes Package.  These are just cooler than the  default Ubuntu Themes.

4. You may also want to install Ubuntu's Restricted Extras if that floats your boat.

Unity Lacking in Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Remix

I decided to do away with Ubuntu 10.10 on my Acer Aspire AO-532H Netbook and re-install the Ubuntu LTS 10.04.  The main reason is because of Unity.   There is no way to configure the darn thing, and it takes up way too much desktop space.  There should at least be an Auto-hide feature, but even that is lacking.  Mark Shuttleworth has said that Autohide for Unity may be coming for Ubuntu 11.04, but for now this version of Ubuntu Netbook Remix is painful to use.  Windows 7 Starter has a better desktop layout.

It is scary to think that Unity is going to run on Ubuntu Desktop when 11.04 is released.  Touch screen devices will dominate the market at some point, and someday Unity will be the goto choice to run on a desktop.  It's just that someday has not arrived for me yet.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Easy Upgrade to Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat on Acer Aspire One AO532-2326

Yesterday I took the plunge and upgraded may Acer Aspire One Netbook, which is the AO532-2326 model to Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat.   I used the update manager to perform the upgrade and every thing went  fine.  The new Unity desktop is really sharp compared to the desktop that came with Ubuntu Linux 10.04.

The upgrade went fine by opening a terminal and running update-manager -d.

The mousepad  still does not quite work right.  The mouse stays active while you type, causing inadvertent mouse clicks while typing.  To get around this I use the Function-F7 key to enable and disable the mouse whenever I am typing in a window. I do not have this problem if I use the Windows 7 OS that is also installed on this netbook.

Another small change is that you may want to use the new Ubuntu fonts that come with Maverick Meerkat.    These can be enabled in the desktop appearances section.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Covert a Business from Linux to Windows

I love to read stories about how small businesses convert to Linux from Windows. There are many paths to follow when converting Linux but there is always one common thread. The first is to take it slow and have the patience to work with individual users to make sure that they become more comfortable with working with the new operating system. In addition, if it is a business that make heavy use of applications, you should always try to find the open source equivalent of those applications to run within Windows first.  This will  make users comfortable with the open source applications before the big switch.

Here is a link to an interesting article about the conversion of Windows to Linux. Hey, and they are using Ubuntu too!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Ubuntu Suspends Acer 532H Netbook When Battery Powered -- A Fix

One problem I have come across when running a Acer 532H netbook on battery  power is that it will suddenly hang and go into suspend or hibernate mode.  It seemed to have occurred once the computer started to to get warm and the fan was about to change speeds.

There is a simple fix for this problem.  You simply should update the BIOS.  This will fix the suspend of hang problem on your Acer 532H netbook when running Ubuntu on Battery. As of BIOS v1.25 the hang problem does not occur.

If you left a Windows 7 partition on your machine then all you need to do is boot into Windows and  go to the Acer Support website and select your netbook model.  Windows 7 has a built installer that will flash the BIOS for you.

If you do not have a Window 7 partition, then you can head over this how-to flash your BIOS in Ubuntu post on the Ubuntu Forums.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Fix for the Acer 532H Touchpad and Scrollbar in Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

I came across a fix for the vertical scrollbar on the touchpad for my Acer 532H laptop in Lucid Lynx Ubuntu Remix. With a vanilla install of Lucid Lynx it does not work properly.  The vertical scrollbar allows you slide your finger up and down to move your web page up or down.

I found the fix on the Ubuntu Forums. Here are the steps to activate the change permanently on your Acer Laptop.  It involves adding a line to a file in the /etc/modprobe.d directory.

1. Open a terminal and open up the editor by  typing:  sudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/psmouse.conf   and add this line to the file:

options psmouse proto=imps

2Then select  File  -- > Save  (saving the file in gedit)

Note that the psmouse.conf file does not exist and you are creating a new file in the /etc/modprobe.d directory.

Then Reboot.  The fix should be in place when your netbook is re-booted, as the psmouse.conf file will be read into the kernel when it restarts.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Dell Inspiron 5150 Laptop working great with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Lucid Lynx

I installed the Release Candidate of  Ubuntu 10.04  LTS Lucid Lynx on my old Dell Inspiron 5150 Laptop.  I have had this laptop for about 7 years, maybe even longer than that.  So far it appears that everything that worked in Ubuntu 9.10 still works the same under  Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Lucid Lynx. I was a little afraid that they may drop support for older hardware or something, but they did not seem to in the case if this old Dell Inspiron laptop.  You never know...

The one thing that is is different with this laptop is that the internal sound card stopped working several months ago.  This is a hardware issue as it just suddenly stopped working.  I guess the transmitter or the reciever is worn out.  We used this computer extensively as a dekstop, so I guess it just gave up.

Rummaging through my junk drawer, I found an old PCMIA wireless card that fit in the slot, and Ubuntu recognized it immediately via the restricted drivers tool.  That was a nice suprise!

I also went out and purchased 2GB of laptop memory and installed it for an upgrade from the 512MB it was carrying.

So, everything still works on this old Dell Inspiron 5150 laptop, wireless, headphones, and speakers.  I will keep this old computer around for a few more years. With the long term support offered by Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, why not?  This laptop still works as a good internet surfer.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Ubuntu Netbook Remix 10.04 Works With 2GB iPod Shuffle on Acer Aspire One 532H

I have an older 2GB iPod Shuffle and decided to test it out with Ubuntu Netbook Remix 10.04 on my little Acer Aspire 532H. I believe this is the 2nd generation iPod, the one with the little clip on the back.

The iPod seems to work very well when you plug it into the USB port. When the iPod is plugged into the little Acer's USB port, Rhythmbox starts right up and recognized the iPod and its music files that I had imported from another PC. I then proceeded to move files back and forth and it worked well. Files delete in a flash, but it takes a little longer to upload files from the PC, unto the iPod.

I could also play music from the iPod through the PC speakers using Rhythmbox

I suppose there also would be no problems using it to carry music that is downloaded from Ubuntu One Music. I have not purchased anything from Ubuntu One Music yet, but the seem to have a good selection of music.

Rhythmbox hung once when I removed the iPod without using the "eject" feature within the Rhythymbox software. This feature can be found by right clicking on the iPod icon within Rhythmbox and selecting "eject." I was then greeted with a little green light on my iPod that said it was fully charged and ready to go! If the little light is flashing yellow on your iPod, remember to "eject" it from Rhythmbox before you disconnect, so the sync can properly finish.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Ubuntu Firefox switches back to Google for Default Search

Not that it was a big deal, but Ubuntu Developers flip-flopped, and have decided to keep Google as the default search engine in Firefox. When Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx is released in the later part of April, Firefox will be using Google as the default search engine. Yahoo is now out of the picture, and the developers have offered no informative reasons why the made the change.

I have reached a point now where I am not using Firefox as a browser if at all. It seems that Google Chrome Beta is working just fine, either on a netbook, laptop, or desktop computer. I have not had any problems with the Chrome browser even though it is still in Beta.

Although Google acts like big brother, keeping track of everything that you search for, it is making some headway in developing some decent applications.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Install of Ubuntu Netbook Remix 10.04 on Acer Aspire One 532h

I took the plunge and decided to install Ubuntu Netbook Remix on my little Acer Aspire One 532 H. Most everything is working OK, except there are some mouse/touhpad issues that are fairly well documented. It seems that the suspend while typing function on the touchpad is not working properly. The workaround is to use Fn-F7 to disable the touchpad manually if you want to get down to some serious typing. The multi-touch features and the scrollbar is also not working either. Searching around the forums, there seems to be some intricate solutions around, but maybe I will just wait for it to get into a release.

The install went smoothly and only took about 15 minutes. I decided to keep Windows 7 and dual boot into Ubuntu. The only change from the default install that I made was to make the Ubuntu partition a little larger then the Windows 7 partition. Windows 7 is OK, but the pre-installed antivirus software annoyed me when it asked to me to re-boot my computer, right when I was on a roll in getting some real work done. This is just the sort of thing that always irked me when using Windows in the past, when third party software wants to reboot your machine, while you are in the middle of getting some work done. So, now Windows 7 is treading on thin ice and may still yet get wiped off this little netbook.

Everything else seems to be working OK. There is a known SD card issue, and I have not tried out the microphone. That should be an issue too. The sleep works fine while depressing Fn-F4. The wireless works OK out of the box, but it does seem to drop out randomly, then reconnect. The hot-key to turn it on and off does not work. You can turn wireless on and off manually, though.

If I could get these few little annoyances fixed, then it will be hasta-la-vista Windows 7.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

UNR 10.04 on Acer Aspire One 532h-2326

I created a USB disk with Ubuntu 10.04 Netbook Remix and took my new netbook for a spin.

So far every thing works. In order to boot from the USB disk, plug in the USB key, hit F2 when you turn on the power, and in Setup, arrow over to Boot. then select the USB key you wish to book from by moving it to the top of the list with the F6 key.

So far, it appears most things are working. Wireless was recognized right of the bat, which is a first for me in Linux. The interface for Ubuntu Netbook Remix is nice too! Plus you can change the background, which is not possible in Windows 7 without a third-party work around.

Now the question is, should I wait for the final release of 10.04? Install 9.10? or use the current beta of 10.04 and upgrade later?

What a conundrum!

Ubuntu Netbook Remix on Acer 532H-2326

I got a new netbook today and want to run it with Ubuntu Netbook Remix. The Acer AspireOne 532H-2326 is one of the cool blue ones that come with a 250GB disk drive. I figure I can use Windows 7 on a smaller partition and set aside about 150GB for Ubuntu Netbook Remix 10.04.

The first thing I did was upgrade the netbook to 2 GB of memory. There seems to be a little bit of confusion on the internet about whether these Acer netbooks are upgradeable. Some sites say you need to update the BIOS. The system I have had BIOS V1.02 which seems out of date. I popped in the memory without the BIOS update and it was recognized, and is working great. The memory stick I am using is the following:

Crucial 2GB 256Mx64PC2-5300 CT25664AC667 DDR2 200-Pin SODIMM Laptop Memory

and it cost about $45 Amazon.

This is may first time using Windows 7, and so far it seems pretty nice. It runs pretty good on this little netbook. I also want to keep Windows just in case a BIOS update is needed. It is much easier with Windows installed. Yea, I know about FreeDOS, but for now it is worth it to keep Windows around for a little bit longer.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Upgrade to Ubuntu 10.04 LTS

I decided to hit the old upgrade button and went from Ubuntu 9.04 to Ubuntu 10.04 Beta. On my machine it was not a smooth transition. If you are using the proprietary Nvidia drivers it would behoove you to uninstall them before you do the upgrade, then reboot to revert to the open source video driver. Then do the upgrade. There is a bug in the current Beta release that will cause the upgrade to fail.

You probably should do this before any upgrade. Anyway, being in a hurry, I neglected to uninstall the proprietary driver and my upgrade stopped in midstream. To get around it, I rebooted and entered into the failsafe graphics mode, reinstalled the proprietary Nvidia driver, rebooted, and the computer seems to be playing nice now. The bug seems to have been reported numerous times on LaunchPad, and will likely get fixed soon.

Other than that, everything seems to be working fine. It will take a while to get used to the buttons on the left side of the screen.

There is a new chat client widget (gwibber) in the notification bar that seems pretty handy. There is a whole bunch of other changes that I still have to look into. It looks like the Software Center has been re-organized, and the Ubuntu One Music Store is also something new. I like it so far...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Ubuntu Buttons: A Simple Solution

I did not press the update button the other day to download and upgrade to Ubuntu 10.04. I decided to wait a while before I do the big upgrade. I'll give it a few more weeks.

I also saw that the maximize, minimize, and close buttons have been shifted over to the left side in the latest release from some screenshots online. This is not a big deal for me. Some Ubuntu users, especially those who are Microsoft converts are complaining loudly about it. Mark Shuttleworth put his foot down and said that this is how it is going to be.

By the way, if you want to move your buttons back the other way, then type this command:

gconftool-2 --set /apps/metacity/general/button_layout --type string "menu:minimize,maximize,close"

Mac converts, what little of them there are to the Ubuntu ranks are probably quite happy. In KDE is it is not a big deal to switch buttons around, it is as easy as opening the preferences window and sliding them where you want them. You can also place them in different order.

For the next Ubuntu release, maybe they should just put the buttons smack dab in the middle. It will appease the Mac users, and the Windows users. Or maybe it will just piss everyone off?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Ubuntu 10.04 Beta Released

I am on the fence about upgrading to the beta release of Ubuntu 10.04. It is easy enough to try, and it is ooh so tempting.

Simply hit alt-F2 on your keyboard and type: update-manager -d in the pop-up window, and then you are presented with the upgrade option. I have the Update Manager window sitting before me with the magical upgrade button sitting before me this very minute. Ubuntu 9.10 has been running great so far with nary a glitch of hang. The desktop also looks very sweet with Bisigi themes displayed.

Should I press it??

Thursday, March 4, 2010

An Interesting Blog Post about Linux

I came across an interesting blog post called "Why Linux Still Sucks", and I have to say that on some fronts I agree with what Adrian is saying. Things have not changed much with Linux usage, and desktops in recent years. GNOME is still GNOME, and KDE, well KDE took a step backwards with its 4.0 release. As far as the gaming, OEM support, and hardware issues listed in his post, there is still little support from larger companies catering to the Linux crowd.

Earlier today Ubuntu released some screenshot images of Ubuntu 10.04. The images do not look too bad. Most people do not stay with the default theme anyway because the brown theme that Ubuntu had wall a little too poopy. Maybe users will now keep the default theme. It is starting to look suspiciously like a Mac desktop....

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Ubuntu 10.04 to Support iPhone and iPod

According to a couple of websites I have come across, Ubuntu 10.04 will support mounting of iPhone and iPod devices. You are able to browse the files on the device using either Nautilus or RhythmBox. However,

I am not sure if this will get many users flocking to use Ubuntu 10.04, but it is great news for the desktop operating system, and for Linux users, too. It will certainly give Ubuntu more leverage in the desktop market.

But, I have and iPod, but never really gave much thought to using it with my Linux box, mainly because it has such a seamless integration with the iTunes software.

The nagging question is: Will Apple allow this continue? Or will they issue a firmware "upgrade" to take care of this little problem.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ubuntu Netbook Remix Drops Open Office

Okay, first there was the deal to make Yahoo the default search engine on Firefox browsers that come pre-installed on Ubuntu Systems. It is well known that an agreement was fleshed out between Cannonical and Yahoo, with Cannonical receiving a sort of gratuity for the move.

Now, Open Office is going to be dropped from Ubuntu Netbook Remix in favor of Google Docs. This is supposed to be so that that Ubuntu Netbook Remix will be more streamlined and efficient for netbooks. Last I checked, you can buy netbooks that have well over 100GB if disk space. And Open Office is still an efficient program--way faster then Microsoft Word, even with the Java platform.

If you are looking to save disk space, why not just make AbiWord the default word processor in Ubuntu Netbook Remix. It is more powerful than Google Docs, and users are not required to get Google accounts. Don't get me wrong, I use Google Docs, but it still has a long way to go. Plus, you still need a Internet connection to make it work. Google has dumped Google Gears, and still is a pain to get to work on Ubuntu. Has anyone got Google Gears to work on Ubuntu?

Of course the option is always there to go ahead and download and install Open Office...

EDIT - 3/01/10 -- OK looks like Open Office is baaaaack! ;)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Default Search for Ubuntu Will Set to Yahoo

According to a report out of The Register, the next version of Ubuntu, Lucid Lynx, will have the default search setting for the Firefox Browser, set to Yahoo Search.

Is this a big deal? Not really. It is easy enough to change the search settings on Firefox. Just click on the tab just to the left of the search bar and select which engine you wish to use. It is the little search engine icon. Then the default is set. Even if you quit and restart your browser.

The funny thing is that Yahoo is actually paying Cannonical to have their engine set as a default. Since Microsoft is now in partnership with Yahoo, in a sort of weird way, Microsoft is paying a share to build and distribute Ubuntu. Still, not quite as overt as the Novell deal, but the link is there.

Will there be a backlash against Ubuntu in the Linux world? Who knows. Let the griping begin!

I have been using Chrome a lot anyways. It seems to work quite well.

Friday, January 8, 2010

An alternative Desktop for Linux: LXDE

LXDE is a fairly new desktop for Ubuntu and other flavors of Linux that has been around since 2006. It uses less memory than Gnome or KDE. According to some reviewers, LXDE even trounces Xubuntu in memory tests. I have and old laptop and I gave LXDE a spin, and yes it is lighting quick. It sports a usable, and intuitive interface as well. I can foresee something like LXDE running on a netbook or some other lightweight computer.

For more information about LXDE, here is a nice review: A Review of the LXDE Desktop for Linux

To install LXDE on an Intrepid Ibex Ubuntu or newer run:

sudo aptitude install lxde

I run this Ubuntu 9.10 with no problems.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Chrome Used more than Safari

In the browser wars, Google Chrome has established itself by skipping ahead of Apple's Safari browser in terms of usage. In comparing the two, Chrome seems to offer very similar features. What makes Chrome stand out is speed. Safari is nearly as slow as Firefox and Explorer on my rarely used Windows PC. But as in my Ubuntu PCs, Chrome is very fast, especially on start-up. I doubt there will ever be a Linux version of Safari, but it would be nice to do a comparison.

There seems to be ways of getting Safari with Wine on Linux, but that would not quite be the same. In either case, I'll stick with Chrome for now. The beta version has been running very well. It will be interesting to see if Chrome catches up with Firefox. My guess is that it probably will!