First impression of Ubuntu 9.10

13/11/2009 at 1:36 pm Plaats een reactie

After about two weeks of using Ubuntu 9.10 on two out of my four machines, it’s time for a small evaluation. I installed the new Ubuntu on my laptop and one of my desktops (two other machines have previous versions of Ubuntu).
Let’s start with the laptop. As stated in my previous blog, the upgrade just did not go well, so I decided to go for an installation. Installing Ubuntu 9.10 was a snap, and I had no difficulty at all installing the rest of the packages that I need on that machine, the Ubuntu software center is just a very fine tool. Apart from the default software (OpenOffice, Evolution, etc.) I mainly use Dia on that machine; Dia is an excellent Open Source alternative for Visio; I use it for diagramming and for network drawings. Anyway, for all needed software, installation was a snap. Usage: the machine is faster, the video is faster, and I am able to do one thing with it that I was not able to do until now: leave the machine on for as long as I want, in any location, and with any internet connection, whether wired or wireless! Pausing  or even hibernating the machine in between locations works absolutely flawlessly, I wake it up, I select my network, and that’s all there is to. If the machine is attached to a network cable, I will have my network cable doing the Internet connectivity. When at home, without restarting the machine, I select my home wireless, and I’m connected. Ubuntu Desktop 9.10 is just a very fine piece of work!
Now for the desktop: I had a little more trouble on that, but in the end, the machine just works well. Especially the video part was a thing that was not difficult, but I had to find the correct video setting. For the video part, Ubuntu 9.10 dynamically recognizes the video card installed in a computer also after installation (that’s new to Ubuntu 9.10). However, when starting the video part (known as the X session), Ubuntu tries to find the optimal resolution for a screen, which might be somewhat over the top for the video controller memory. For my desktop for instance, attached to an old Compaq V700 monitor, Ubuntu decided that a resolution of 1600 x 1200 pixels would be best…a resolution that my video controller did not like at all (VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation 82845G/GL[Brookdale-G]/GE Chipset Integrated Graphics Device (rev 01). Video memory would be exhausted after a couple of minutes, and the machine would just appear to hang. But since changing to a resolution of 1280 x 1024, the machine works just very fine. On that desktop, I use Firefox, Evolution, OpenOffice.org, GnuCash, F-Spot (for organizing photographs), and I use it for scanning. All works just fine, and fast, very fast, even on this old Pentium 4 machine with just 750 MB memory!

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