Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Ubuntu: Feisty Fawn

I managed to download ubuntu Feisty Fawn from the Taiwanese servers and got it relatively quickly. I installed it last Friday, and have been using it for a few days now and Im glad to say its pretty good!

First off, the installation process was OK, although it b0rked slightly while doing a Windows document migration. I just clicked cancel and it went away. Just slightly disconcerting.

After installation, I went into System/Preference/Desktop Effects, and immediately enabled compiz. Magically, it started up immediately, and it worked out of the box without me having to install any other drivers for my laptop's ATI Mobility Radeon 9200. Wobbly windows galore!

note: nice drop shadows, transparency on background windows and frames

Not wanting to miss out on the new eye candy, I installed beryl following these instructions: 3D Desktop (Beryl and Xgl) on Ubuntu Edgy Eft with ATI card
Installation, as I have now taken to expect, was a breeze. Synaptic is very nice. I just wish it would download files in parallel, and/or change to faster mirrors on the fly (ala Download Manager).

Beryl Settings and its Emerald Theme manager are extensive. There are a whole load of gizmos to test out and modify. Changing the drop shadow blur, the K factor in the wobbly windows, how windows minimize and appear, and whether to have over-the-top effects is addictive, and can waste a good hour or two of your life. Beware.

The other things I have done in making myself at home is to leverage on Google's tools to self integrate in the many different platforms. The Google Browser Sync for Firefox makes sure that my bookmarks and cookies are stored outside my Windows and Linux partitions. Ive also had to download my must have Add-ons, Mouse Gestures, PermaTabs, Google Notebook and Chatzilla.

I have Lotus Notes installed, running on CrossOver Office. Unfortunately the Lotus Notes window crashes or rather disapears when I do a beryl rotation of the cube. Its strange.

Ive setup some network printers. Pointing to a HP printer via JetDirect was easy, but setting up a printer which was shared by Windows was strange. I set SMB as the protocol, and everytime my computer located a Windows machine, a pop up appeared asking for a password. So if your network contains many machines (like mine) "Good Luck." Other than that, I managed to type in the Windows share name, and CUPS managed to find the appropriate share on that machine and I was up and running after selecting the correct printer driver.

Only now I wish there was an option to print 2 pages in one as most Windows HP drivers have the option to.

peeking behind Firefox... Lotus Notes, GIMP and OOo Calc running 'transparently' in the back ground

Other than that, the fonts look really good on my LCD display, and its certainly an impressive distro. Try it out today.

I passed a copy to Aizat and he too is finding it worthy of an upgrade.


yk