Sunday, April 26, 2009

Five Minutes of Ubuntu 9.04

Hardware: Acer Aspire 5315
CPU: Celeron 550 2.0GHZ
RAM: 1GB
HDD: 80G SATA
Video: Intel GMA X3100 (GM965/GL960 Integrated Graphics Controller rev 03)
Wireless: Atheros AR242x PCI Express (rev 01)
LAN: Broadcom NetLink BCM5906M
Audio: Intel 82801H (ICH8 Family) HD Audio Controller (rev 03)

Ubuntu 9.04
LiveCD:
LiveCD booted to a desktop with all devices detected ok. Wireless lan was detected, Entered the network key, and all is good.

Installation:
Double-click "Install" on the desktop, then it's seven simple steps and you're awaaaaay! This is one step more than Kubuntu (Review) - that step being "Migrate Documents and Settings", which allows the user to migrate their settings from an existing Windows install. Apparently Kubuntu does not have this option.

Issues found in first five minutes.

If I leave the PC idle for a short while, then move the mouse, the screen flickers. (and No, I do not have "Dim display when idle" checked in Power Management. It flickers like crazy when starting the Power Management Preferences. Flickers at random intervals too.

It flickers.

Plain old boring desktop with not a sign of visual effects (Compiz and such). Actually, Compiz is installed, however doesn't appear to work on this hardware, whereas Kubuntu (KDE4) had all visual effects working beautifully.

When I click "Shut Down" or "Restart" I get a sixty second countdown. When I tell the computer to shut down, I mean now.

Five Minute Goodness:

Suspend to Ram and Suspend to Disk both work on this hardware.

All hardware detected. All drivers loaded automatically and transparently. Imagine needing some special vendor-supplied cd, just to make the hardware work. Or, worse, imagine having to search the Internet for drivers just to get stuff to work. That would be really primitive.

Performance is excellent.

Plain, functional desktop with not a sign of visual effects (Compiz and such).

Conclusion:
This post is way too short for conclusions, as was my testing, but I will say this; Way back in the early days of Ubuntu I tried both Gnome and KDE versions and found that compared to Ubuntu, Kubuntu was lacking in features and polish and appeared really quite buggy. It's good to see some things are constant - eternal, in this ever changing world. This hectic dog eat dog rat race where the rats maybe get eaten by the dogs when the dogs have finished eating each other and then maybe the dogs go to start in on the cats, but the cats haven't got out of bed yet, so then the dogs just eat my shoes instead.

Bloody dog.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Five Minutes of Kubuntu 9.04

Hardware: Acer Aspire 5315
CPU: Celeron 550 2.0GHZ
RAM: 1GB
HDD: 80G SATA
Video: Intel GMA X3100 (GM965/GL960 Integrated Graphics Controller rev 03)
Wireless: Atheros AR242x PCI Express (rev 01)
LAN: Broadcom NetLink BCM5906M
Audio: Intel 82801H (ICH8 Family) HD Audio Controller (rev 03)

Kubuntu 9.04
LiveCD:
LiveCD booted to a desktop with all devices detected ok. Wireless lan was detected, found my local network, however entering network key had no effect. "System Connection" is greyed out in NM, presumably because I am not root, but where is the "Administrator Mode" button?

I was able to suspend from the LiveCD, however on resuming was prompted for a password, and since there isn't one... Tried settings the password from the terminal, but just got an error message of some kind (<-- I am Mr Vague).

Checked with Google, and this is a known bug, going back to 2006, at least.

Installation:
Double-click "Install" on the desktop, then it's six simple steps and you're awaaaaay!

Issues found in first five minutes.

I've already mentioned issues with Network Manager running from the LiveCD. The following applies post HDD installation.

"System connection" is still greyed out in Network Manager. I enter hex key and get a prompt for KDE wallet. I click to allow KDE Datemon (?) access to the wallet. KDE Daemon immediately crashes.

Network Manager is a steaming pile of dog turd. Bring back /etc/network/interfaces. Please.

(Yes, I know /etc/network/interfaces is still there, and I can probably remove NM and use /etc/network/interfaces. I know. I know. I know. I know. But when faced with a clear opportunity to use the phrase "steaming pile of dog turd"... well, you just don't pass up an opportunity like that.)

Went to that thingy KDE4 has instead of the KDE Menu. Started looking for Konsole. Requires WAY too many clicks. Click to open a submenu. Click to go back so you can click to try another submenu... It's worse than talking to the phone company.

Tried typing Konsole in the Search area and it started the KDE Groupware Wizard? Tried again and got Konsole this time. Maybe I hit a wrong key the first time. Whatever. I don't much like the new menu.

Defaults to a single desktop. What? Yes, really. (SPODT)

I clicked "Restart" and got a thirty second countdown. When I tell the computer to restart I pretty well mean now.

Five Minute Goodness:
This is my first experience with KDE4. It sure is pretty. Visual effects are fast and flawless on this graphics hardware.

Installation is quick and easy. Pity about networking being broken, or at least seriously sprained.

Oh! Oh! Wireless network now works! And all I had to do was reboot after changing network settings.

.... Uh, hang on... Single desktop? Reboot to apply changes to network settings? Is Mr Shuttleworth trying to mimic the success of Windows here? Hell it practically IS Windows.

But wait! There's more! Following the reboot I now have two desktops. (?) This Kubuntu thing is a mystery wrapped up in an enigma, wrapped up in a steaming pile of dog turd. (Sorry. Couldn't help myself)

Suspend to Ram and Suspend to Disk both work, though on resume the screen brightness is set quite low.

But it sure is pretty. And quick. Completely (utterly (mind-bogglingly (unreservedly))) blows away Vista on this hardware. Now THERE's a steaming pile of dog turd if ever I've seen one (and I have. Seen one, that is.)

Conclusion:
This post is way too short for conclusions, as was my testing. But if I had to venture a conclusion, based only on a five minute test, I'd probably subtly imply something about how Kubuntu serves to validate Debian's When It's Ready release policy. I am totally subtle like that.

But then I'd completely ruin the whole subtlety thing by saying something like, "If this is the quality you get from time-based releases... Time based releases are a steaming pile of dog turd."

So, it's probably just as well I'm not drawing any conclusions here.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

QOTY

It wasn't until ten years ago that they replaced trial by ordeal here with trial by lawyer, and that was only because they found that lawyers were nastier.
- Terry Pratchett, "The Fifty Elephant"