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Posts tagged ubuntu

My first 24 hours with Ubuntu 12.04 – Precise Pangolin

Over the weekend I installed the latest version of Ubuntu Linux. The new incarnation, version 12.04 , is also called Precise Pangolin. This installation was performed on my main work computer.  It took a good few hours to download the upgrade files, around 4 hours if I remember correctly. You may want to start upgrading before you quite for the evening. The final part of the upgrade was a little strange, getting the screen drivers enabled was difficult. However after a few reboots everything settled down.

Before I mention the HUD feature, I just want to say something about the Unity Interface. There is now a way to change the look of the Unity panel within system settings. On the ‘Appearance’ panel, you can change the size of the icons. It’s great you can make them much smaller if you have a small screen. On the ‘behaviour’ tab, you can change the way it appears. This small update makes Unity just that bit nicer, I really did not think to much of it when it first appeared.

On to the HUD or ‘Head Up Display’…

The new HUD gives you a fast alternative to the traditional, menu-based way of telling your computer what to do. Instead of clicking on menu items to give it instructions, you just press one key to bring up the HUD and start typing what you want to do. You’ll then get a list of functions, without ever needing to know in which menu they live.

(Details of the HUD and other new features can be found on the Ubuntu website.)

The idea of the HUD is like going back to the early days, a command line (press ‘ALT’ to activate). However, this time it is ‘program aware’ so the commands you type are relative to the application you are running. I haven’t used it yet and I’m really not sure that I will. Will it really speed things up or just make things more complicated?

So far, everything is working just fine. Switching between programs is fast, despite having 20 or so tabs open in Chrome and Groveshark playing in one of them, Evolution email running, Liferea RSS reader running and a few other apps such as Skype and Dropbox. That might not seem a lot but Chrome and Firefox, in my own experience, can eat up memory while they are running. Ubuntu 12.04 seems to be keeping things under control but I shall see how it goes in the next 7 days.

I am also very happy to see Skype behaving better too. No messing around to get the icon to appear. On screen animations for windows as supplied by Compiz etc also runs fast. It does help I have a decent computer I guess!

You should always use the best tool for the job and use the operating system that supports that job. In my case, blogging, surfing, writing and some basic graphic editing, works perfectly under Ubuntu. The latest version is swift, responsive and still free. I’m sure that I couldn’t go back to Windows…

April fools day round up

April Fools Day

There is no where better place to find April 1st jokes than the Internet. Here is a small selection of ones that I have found so far. If you have any others then please leave a comment below…

Lastly, Lick the iPhone!


First impressions of Ubuntu 11.04

I have now installed the latest version of Ubuntu and have been using it all day. There are a few things I have found that are improved and many things that are not. This is not just from a web surfing point of view but of doing real work.

Before I get on to my gripes here is what I like…

WiFi connections seem to be made much quicker now. When the desktop appears after logging in, straight away it tells me there are access points available. Once I initiate a connection, it happens really quickly, shaving off at least a couple of seconds. Boot up also seems a tad quicker which is good.

Now to the problems…

This is going to be a longer list. For a start, the new interface – Unity – seems to get in the way of my work flow. It may be that I need to get used to it but it just seems to make things harder, more clicks to get to your apps. Luckily, you can select ‘Ubuntu Classic’ when you log in and use the old menu system. Just one problem though, the Skype Icon that appears in the system tray will not show (under Ubuntu Classic) even though it is still running. The current advice is to minimise and not close. However under the Unity interface, the Skype icon is displayed fine. after

One of the new features is a common menu area, very similar to Mac’s. This means that Under Unity, the Windows top bar can behave differently to what you are used to. But there are other problems. When I tried using Google Chrome Browser and TweetDeck, they sometimes refused to show properly. There was a gap between the window and the common menu area. That gap was mistakenly taken as being part of the Window so that when you tried to drag the window, your mouse pointer was actually much lower down. It is know that Unity has bugs…

Overall, on my Samsung laptop, there is no apparent speed increases but moving windows around does seem more responsive. The new office apps are fine (any real difference between them and OpenOffice?) and everything else seems to work as before the upgrade. It sill have not fixed my suspend problems (crashes on wakeup) and still can’t control the screen brightness via keyboard shortcuts.

Otherwise I am still a happy Linux user. Most of the problems I encountered are either things I have to learn/work around or will get fixed as per normal in good time.

If you want the very latest version then go ahead and upgrade but if you are happy with 10.04 then stick with what you have.

Ubuntu 11.04 is released

The latest version of Ubuntu is now available (Natty Narwhal), version 11.04 now features the launcher, a different way to access your applications and work spaces. Check out the other new features, there are plenty of them!

My in-place upgrade is downloading as I type this but it is rather slow. I guess there are quite a few looking to see what the new version has to offer.

For those wishing to try it out for the first time should see the Ubuntu website for the different options.

Engadget, one of my favourite gadget blogs, has posted about the latest version and the comments make interesting reading, like the Windows users who wish they could make the move to Linux,