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Ubuntu is finally working on my computer! Ubuntu 10.10 Review October 13, 2010

Posted by NAyK in Linux, Linux Mint, Recommendation, Reviews, Screenshots, Ubuntu, WINE.
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It is with absolute delight that I report that for the first time ever, on my desktop, an Ubuntu distro is finally working.

I’ve always struggled with Linux distros on my via-(integrated graphics)-chipset. Hardly any distro, apart from PCLinux and Mandriva detected my VIA hardware. Previously, all the Ubuntu distros I tested would have a few positives, but also a boat-load of negatives. Usually, Ubuntu would recognise my internet, but at the same time the graphics drivers wouldn’t allow me to go for more than 800/600 resolution. Therefore I would only rely on Linux Mint or on PCLinux etc for my Linux needs.

However, this time, Ubuntu 10.10 (Meerkat) was (and is) working!

The basic installation process:

1. The installation process was relatively smooth, except it took a long time. Longer than usual. (I’m not sure why).

2. The live CD took a long time to load, plus I was suprised by how “primitive” the Ubuntu logo looked during install. (There was a Ubuntu text, plus four dots. What’s what that?)

3. The options of installation were much better than before, especially giving more control over the partition process.

3b. It was great to see that a VIA driver for my chipset and audio was installed automatically. (ie. it detected my hardware and installed something appropriate).

3c. Also, after installation, it was nice to see that there were only a few updates in the update manager. Suggested that it was a fresh/stable release.

Getting started

4. The bootloader, as usual, recognised my Windows partition, though the default boot screen was boring as usual. (primarily text). somehow, with openSUSE and PClinux, even Mint, I have come to expect a more attractive boot loader by default. (ie. I know I can do some tweeking and install one for Ubuntu. Maybe I will do that one day).

5. The default look/feel was functional (as I have come to expect from GNOME), but somehow it didn’t feel so bad as before. Maybe I have become used to GNOME afterall. It certainly looked better than before.

Functionality:

6.  the internet was working, without needing any configuration. An amazing feature!

7. Also, as soon as I tried out an avi file, Ubuntu asked me if I wanted to install the drivers. I said yes, and most of the codecs were automatically installed. Easy-peasy. (I was concerned that there was no audio, but it turned out that audio was in mute, I wonder how.)

8. I had to manually install chrome, flash and a few other software, like K3B. For some I used Ubuntu’s Software Centre, and for others I used Synaptic.

9. I was concerned that there was no file viewer. ie. I wasn’t able to open a file manager. So I installed Dolphin, and even that problem was solved.

9b. I was also able to install Photoshop 7, using WINE (after installing WINE). The only problem I had was that I had to copy the contents of the CD onto the computer and then make the setup.exe file executable for WINE.

10. there were a couple of times when Ubuntu suddenly hung. I think it was during the time I wanted to change the screensaver.

11. I wish there was an option to change GRUB options through GNOME. However, with some google-found guidance, I realised that Ubuntu 10.10 has changed it’s grub editing options, and it was simple enough. Sadly (still) my Windows XP is my default OS. But I am really enjoying fiddling with Ubuntu (spending more time with it than with Windows).

12. Also, I am concerned that the booting time is not that fast, as some were predicting. When I choose Ubuntu, it waits for a few seconds and only then starts loading Ubuntu. I wonder if there is a configuration issue there.

13. I was also unimpressed with the broadcast option (the one that connects Ubuntu with Facebook and Twitter). It took a long time to set up, and the options to view were too limited to be helpful. I much preferred going to the original Facebook/Twitter pages for updates. Perhaps in the future it will be better.

14. On the whole, I have been quite happy with the general functionality and even look/feel of Ubuntu. It has worked pretty well and easily, and for an Ubuntu distro, that is saying much. I don’t think I’ll be needing Linux Mint after all.

Ubuntu Screenshot

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HOW-TO open an exe file in Linux Mint? January 17, 2009

Posted by NAyK in How-To, Linux, Linux Mint, WINE.
10 comments

wine-logoLinux MintThis is a short post telling users how to open an exe file in Linux Mint. (actually I’m the one who wanted to know and couldn’t really find a direct link that could help me until I stumbled upon this solution so this is for me and people like me).

The answer is simple:
1. Uninstall Wine-doors (it’s a programme that comes with Linux Mint).
2. Ensure that your Wine 1+ is installed (it usually is).
3. Run the exe file by double-clicking!

Basically I use exe files in Linux to test whether they have viruses or not… or simply to extract exe files. So it seems that the Wine-Doors programme in Linux Mint blocks exe execution (or there’s a workaround I don’t know about). But this above solution seems to suit me just fine… since wine is pretty capable as a windows emulator in itself.

Do we really need Crossover? (or using WINE for Dreamweaver 8) June 30, 2008

Posted by NAyK in How-To, Linux, OpenSUSE, Recommendation, Software, Windows, WINE, Working with Linux.
5 comments

I had earlier thought that WINE, the (not) emulator that allowed Windows programmes to be used in Linux, was not advanced enough to use on Dreamweaver 8 and so I opted to work with¬† Crossover 6 for Dreamweaver and Photoshop installations. I had been experimenting with Crossover 6 on my Ubuntu and PCLinux with basic success. But recently, on my newly installed openSUSE 11, I thought I’d try a direct WINE install of Dreamweaver 8, and guess what? It worked. Basically, I clicked the setup.exe file using WINE and the installer did the rest.

Then I decided to install Crossover anyway… why let a license go waste… but I was disappointed that it didn’t integrate the WINE install onto it’s own menu. So instead, I have my Dreamweaver installed in the WINE directory, while my Crossover remains installed but empty.

So, if WINE does the job, why keep Crossover? Of course, I do need to install Photoshop 7 as well… so I’ll wait to bury Crossover only after I install Photoshop 7 (though I have a feeling that I won’t have problems with Photoshop 7). And hold on… my reference to the necessity of Crossover is for programmes like Dreamweaver and Photoshop alone… not other programmes like MS Office or Windows games that I have not tried nor intend to test.

Of course both WINE and Crossover have a buggy implementation of Dreamweaver 8… but that doesn’t mean that I can’t use the programme. For instance, both using Crossover and WINE I find Dreamweaver acting strange… sometimes the menus disappear and setting up sites becomes a bit of a pain with no options to view.. but still there are plenty of workarounds. Then also, <F12> is the command in Dreamweaver for previewing in browser. But now <F12> launches Beagle Search and I have to make my main browser the secondary browser and preview pages with <CTRL> <F9>. Like I said, no big deal.

I was particularly happy that I could continue to use my openSUSE home directory for all my website development rather than the virtual “C” directory that is in some hidden galaxy on my system.

And before I get any comments about this, of course I’ve tried using NVU and Quantas for website editing. And both are good programmes. I haven’t used Bluefish recently (and I actually should install that too)… but I’m sure it’s good too. Blame it to old habits and an expensive license (for Dreamweaver)… I don’t think I want to change habits in a hurry.

ps. I must add however that NVU seems to have improved significantly since I last used it and is more powerful as a web-developer package than I had previously thought.