All entries for Friday 27 April 2007

April 27, 2007

Ubuntu Feisty Fawn – Initial opinions

So another Ubuntu has been released and so far my opinions have been OK. This release doesn’t feel a big change from edgy. Stability is has been quite good and the new artwork makes it appear more professional.
The upgrade on my laptop (Xubuntu) went flawlessly and even managed to fix Alsa which I had broke recently. It did however, break the 3D direct rendering of my Rage Mobility graphics card, but then this is only important for hardcore gaming and I wouldn’t attempt this with an 8Mb graphics card. Annoying but not worth trying to fix.
I did a complete re-install of my work desktop. I had broke the exchange back-end of evolution, screwed up the Apache install and free-nx was playing up so I decided to cut my losses and install from fresh. The first annoyance was that my graphics card has two outputs; a DVI and a VGA which I am running two LCD monitors off; didn’t work with the live CD. Unplugging the VGA had no effect but unplugging the DVI and it was fine (just meant crawling around under the desk). After this hitch the install went fine. Playing around with my desktop and the desktop effects is kinda cool. They are however very buggy. Windows don’t go back to where they came from on rotation of the cube and somehow have multiple desktop has got confused. Also Matlab (the program I generally use most) doesn’t display when the effect are turned on. This is probably down to some JAVA flaw but it means no fancy effects at work.
My home desktop has an ATI graphics card (booo!!!) instead of a nVidia so the desktop effect wont work without 3D acceleration and installing the drivers fixes this but breaks the composite extensions which the effects need so no wobbly window here either. Bummer!
E’s laptop upgrade (again Xubuntu) went flawlessly, the new version boots without a huge list of errors, the sound card finally works and the wireless card switch now works which means that if someone has turned it off I don’t have to boot into XP to turn it back on! Very well done here.
So, a lot of minor problems have been solved. ATI graphics cards are still a major headache as the main improvement has been the 3D desktop effect which are buggy (which is too be expected as they are still experimental) but as the ATI Linux drivers are so bad don’t allow you to use.


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