As promised in my previous post, I gave Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) Netbook Remix a test drive on my MSI Wind U100 last night. The results were promising yet disappointing. Karmic Koala is clearly not ready for the MSI Wind, but I’m crossing my fingers that the situation will change soon.

Had I done a little research beforehand, I’d have discovered this in advance. The release notes mention two separate issues: one with USB, and the other with the screen flickering. Indeed, I experienced the screen flickering, which was enough (in my opinion) to render this version unusable. Hopefully that’ll be fixed soon.

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The release of Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) is old news, I know. And after one of my previous posts, you might think I wouldn’t care. But one of my previous Ubuntu installations left behind a few files that, by Windows XP standards, had invalid filenames (I’m to blame for that, not Ubuntu) and couldn’t be deleted. So I grabbed the latest Ubuntu iso, burned it to a DVD, and booted from the Ubuntu Live CD (it’s a way to run Ubuntu without actually installing it) to see if I could delete them that way. I was impressed with what I saw.

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A year ago I was having a lot of fun playing with and using Ubuntu. I’d created a nice dual-boot system that allowed me to switch between Ubuntu and Windows as desired, and I probably spent more than half my time on the Ubuntu side. That was, until two things happened:

1) I got my iPod Nano, and

2) Ubuntu 9.04 was released.

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My previous post triumphantly announced that my Linksys WUSB54G (v4) wireless USB adapter worked out-of-the-box with Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex and WPA encryption. Since then, I’ve been able to test my other Linksys adapters (WUSB54G v1 and WPC54G v2) to see if they, too, will work without any effort. The short answer is no. The slightly longer answer is that they both continue to work using ndiswrapper (see my previous posts for making the WUSB54G and WPC54G work using ndiswrapper).

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I finally got around to trying another installation of Hardy Heron now that it’s gone final. You might recall that I tried installing Hardy Heron beta a few months ago and I couldn’t get my Linksys WUSB54G wireless network adapter working with it. Hardy seemed to recognized the adapter just fine out of the box, and even detected my wireless network, but I was never able to connect to anything over the web using my browser. My suspicion is that WPA encryption is still not supported for my adapter using the native drivers.

Well, now I’m pleased to report that I have my Linksys adapter working with Hardy Heron using the same procedure that I followed for getting it to work with Gutsy Gibbon.

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I decided to give the Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron beta a whirl today, but really didn’t have much luck with it. First, I was having a hard time integrating it into my existing multiboot scheme on my computer (I use a separate GRUB partition for managing booting between Gutsy Gibbon and WinXP), but I ignored that for the moment. The real difficulty came when I tried to get my Linksys WUSB54G (ver. 4) wireless adapter working. I figured that I could simply follow the instructions that I wrote for doing so with Gutsy Gibbon, but alas, there was no joy. When I tried to manually configure the network settings, I found that I could not select the wireless network settings to modify them. Perhaps this will be fixed before it goes final, or someone else will solve this problem…

In the mean time, my experiment with the Hardy Heron beta has ended. I’ll pick it up again at a later time, perhaps when it’s released in final form.

I’m about to set up a new computer for myself, and it’s going to run both Windows XP Pro and one or more flavors of Linux. Obviously, it’s going to be a multi-boot system. So I’ve been boning up on a lot of the issues associated with setting up such a system, such as:

  • What’s the best way to partition the system?
  • Can I use a single /home partition and just share it with every Linux distro I install?
  • How can I easily share files between WinXP and Linux?

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I’m an Ubuntu user. I made the switch a few months ago. I like it, and I won’t be switching back to Windows. Ubuntu is great, but I’ve never been able to understand the near-religious fervor adopted by aficionados of linux (or Mac, for that matter) when they talk about their beloved operating systems.

Ubuntu isn’t that much better than Windows XP. My installation of Windows XP was always extremely stable, and I haven’t found Ubuntu to be superior in that regard. I made the switch more for philosophical reasons than anything. I was having a big problem envisioning myself running Windows Vista in the future. Vista contains nothing that I find compels me to want to upgrade, and seems to have been created mainly as a vehicle to generate sales for Microsoft. Not that there’s anything wrong with MS trying to make money, but in my opinion there’s little added value. Was I running an operating system or a marketing tool? So I decided to make the switch to Ubuntu.

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Up to now I’ve been using XLog for logging ham radio QSOs in Ubuntu, but I gotta say I’ve never really liked it much. The user interface leaves a lot to be desired in terms of being unambiguous. I’d been using XMLog for doing my general logging under Windows–it’s a great free program that allows me to easily import contacts from my contest logger and exports to ADIF for sending to Logbook of the World. So, this morning I decided to see if I could get XMLog to run under Wine in Ubuntu 7.10.

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