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.