Category: Reviews

My adventures with Ubuntu

I recently moved from Fedora Core 5 to Ubuntu Desktop for my laptop. This was due to the fact that Fedora Core 5 would freeze every now and then. So after having to do my development work on my desktop, I figured it was time to try a new Distribution. So as some background I have previously run Suse 9.x and Fedora Core 3 and 4 and Redhat. So I had read and heard that Ubuntu was polished and just worked.

So my mind was made up, I did the back-up dance and began to load Ubuntu 5.x loaded fine and everything worked, NICE! I did find a few issues, like the fact that the packaged version of FireFox was ancient (Similar to Suse 9.x) and the package manager used to add new software was passable at best. So I began setting up everything and just before I began using the laptop for current work, Ubuntu 6.x was released. So I did the online upgrade, and it went well, though it took a few hours.

So after the reboot everything looked great except no Wifi. Ugh… Now the funny thing is my wireless card is old, a Lucent Orinoco Gold only supports WEP, just plain old. It has been the only card that I could count on working with any Distribution, but not on Dapper Drake. So, I checked to see if the device was being identified, checked the driver etc…. No luck. So I fashioned myself an aluminum foil hat and dove into the forums. Plenty of ideas and support, I just haven’t had time to try all of them.

Recently people like Tim Bray and Nicholas Carr have recently written about how Linux popularity, as Nicholas puts it, with the “PC elite” is growing. Now Tim Bray cites the fact that Apple uses proprietary formats to store his data and is less open to community innovation / bug fixing. Now, I agree with Tim Bray, increased openness would benefit Apple and help to sustain its more advanced users. The reality is until it just works, the cost of my attention to fix something that should just work, is just to high.

So the bottom line is, my next laptop is going to be a Mac, because as the Angry Penguin put it “It just works”. I will worry about open later, that’s why I have Google.

Links:

Tim Bray’s RSS Feed
Time to Switch

Nicholas Carr’s RSS Feed

The Angry Penguin’s RSS Feed
The Lab Adds A Mac

Testing Gmail for my Domain

I was granted access to the Gmail for Domains beta. The set up was extremely simple, but I still don’t think that a non geek will know what their MX record is. Adding accounts is a snap and the calendar integration is wonderful. I am now wondering how much it will cost for multiple domains. I have multiple domains and would like to manage all my email account for my whole family via Gmail without setting up forwarding. Google definitely has the email interface down. It works great and I love the way email threads are handled. If Google can provide a few more tools, there will be no reason to buy office. Google will have a completely integrated set of office web applications that are completely portable. I won’t have to worry about backing up anything or getting updates and security patches.

Corporations would be well served by a tool like Gmail for domains. Corporations have to get around and over the control issues, if they do Gmail is a no brainer. For companies with large field operations again it’s a no brainer. It’s only a matter of time.

I give Gmail for Domains 5 out of 5 Stars.

Links:
Gmail for your domain

The Passion of the early Police

I have long been a fan of the Police. I have listened to every album and I enjoy almost every song. The album I enjoy most is The Police Live. I enjoy this album for 2 reasons:

  1. Disc 1 is infused with passion and angst.
  2. Disc 2 provides a point of comparison that makes the passion on disc 1 so obvious.

Disc 2 shows how the band had lost its fire and passion at the end. This comparison is hard to make on studio albums, but is made simple with the 2 disc set. So buy the album and do the following:

  1. Listen to both discs in order.
  2. Hide disc 2 and hope never to hear it again
  3. Enjoy Disc 1 and the passion of the Police as it should be remembered

IE 7 1st impressions

I have now had the opportunity to mess around with IE 7 beta 2 for a week or so. Here is a list of things I like:

  • The new tab button that makes opening a blank tab very click-able.
  • The clean tool bar design.
  • Simply supporting RSS
  • The Tab Grid View

I read someone comparing IE 7 vs. Firefox to IE vs. Netscape. I am still a loyal Firefox user but again Microsoft is working hard to remove the functional differences between the two. It has been a long wait for IE 7 but It seems that it won’t disappoint the average user. The IE Blog has been an interesting read.

Web 2.0 Summary

I have spent the last few day at web 2.0 in San Francisco. The conference was the launching pad for 12 companies and my first real experience with a conference with loads of start-ups and venture capitalists. I found that the conference spawned many interesting lines of thought. I really enjoyed the presentations by Dick Hardt, Jason Fried, Jeremy Allaire’s Bright Cove, Steve lavine ‘s Transparensee. I found the conference to be full of hype. Setting the hype aside the conference was worth every penny.