More on "Ubuntu on Desktop" experiment

After reasonable success with the usage of Ubuntu 9.10 on my desktop - for about 2 weeks, I gathered courage to replace PCQuest Linux 2005 with Ubuntu 9.10 on one more PC.

It is a P-IV 2.4 Ghz, 1 GB RAM, 80 GB harddisk, Intel 845GSVR motherboard and DVD writer. The installation would start fine but would freeze after 3-4 minutes of disk activity. It won't even reach hard-disk partitioning stage. After many attempts, installation worked in Safe Mode. But, after that no matter I did, I just could not make it work in better resolution than 640x480. Installed latest updates worth about 110 MB. No luck. Installed earlier Intel 2.4 graphics drivers. No luck. Tried even manually configuring 'Monitor' section of xorg.conf file. No luck. Gave up after lot of trial and error.

Took out Ubuntu 8.10 Desktop CD from the cup board and put it in the DVD drive. It installed without any problem with full resolution. But, it would just freeze after entering user name password. Found solutions on a blog on the issue, got around the 'compiz' problem by removing this special effect from the desktop appearance. Ever since it's been working like a breeze.

Installed latest updates about 210 MB!!! Ubuntu Software centre even says Ubuntu 9.04 is available. What about 9.10? May be it's not stable release yet!

It has Open Office 2.4. Tried to get version 4.1 but menu system does not have any option to upgrade, as mentioned in the online help. 'Add remove' feature allows just removal of Open Office 2.4. Do I have to uninstall and then re-install? Not sure.

Samba network shares on the Nitix Server works without any problem. What about printing on NetWare printers? Not tried yet. It's working well on other PC running Ubuntu 9.10 with some effort. Of course, it was not printing 2 days back. The print job would just not get released to the Novell NetWare print queue and insist on waiting for 5 minutes. Why? No idea. Even when I manually released it, the print job would again would go in 'wait' for 5 minutes. I gave up then. But it printed properly today. May be it required a 'shut-down' like our good old friend. Well, surely with this feature, Ubuntu will make it in the big league since it has already 'shut-down' before it works mentality some-where in it's spinal cord.

Few things that required lot of search and work and may be it's working now on Ubuntu 9.10 - persistent connection to Samba Network shares. Before this I had to connect to it manually. After manually editing few conf files it's working. But it's far from perfect. I'm unable to get the Samba Network shares on the Nautilus File browser. For example, say I'm in gmail in FireFox and composing an email and want to attach a file on the Samba Network share. I'm just not able to do it directly. I've to copy the file to the local drive and then only able to attach it.

Also, I notice that I'm unable to move e-mail messages in Domino Web Access client 7.0 to domino mail folders. Even I'm unable to attach file attachments or save message to folder while sending mails.

So, I searched if any Notes is available natively for Linux. I found that it is available for Debian but it will not work on Ubuntu 9.10. Bad luck. I found that it works on Ubuntu 8.10 and 9.04 but not on 9.10. In fact, because of this reason alone I decided to quit Ubuntu 9.10 on other PC with low resolution problem and installed 8.10. Of course, I've yet not tried Notes client installation because I'm not sure where to get the Notes Client for Linux. Nitix (now Lotus Foundations) does not offer Linux client on the download site. IBM site offers only 90 day eval copy. Too bad, I've licensed copy of Domino running on Nitix (LFS 1.1) but I'm unable to get Notes Client for Linux (debian). That's about how well IBM has got Nitix in to it's fold!!

Few thoughts on Ubuntu as a desktop OS. Ubuntu will put fear of God in to Microsoft. Well this quote is adopted from a PC Magazine article that I had read when it had reviewed newly released Microsoft Excel spreadsheet on Windows. The title was 'Excel will put fear of God in to Lotus 1-2-3'. Well, you know how the situation is now? Young ones ask what is Lotus 1-2-3? They don't even know about existence of Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet!!!

There was a time when Lotus 1-2-3 was a un-disputed king of spread-sheets in the DOS world. In fact, I'm unable to even recollect name of un-disputed king of Word Processor in DOS days; and even for few years in Windows era. Such is our IT technology world. Software, Technology, Ideas and People become obsolete very fast in today's world.

So, Microsoft (actually, Windows) better watch out - now Ubuntu is on the scene - alive and kicking.

Well, more on Ubuntu later.

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