Saturday, 17 May 2008

Travels and Travails with Ubuntu

Historically, I've dabbled with Linux on the desktop for the past five
or six years. I started with Mandrake on a Thinkpad 600e or T23, running
Lotus Notes 5 or 6 under Wine ( aka Notes Under Linux or NUL ).

More recently, I've used SuSE and Red Hat distros include SLED and
Fedora, but mainly ran Notes etc. via VMware.

This all changed a few weeks back when I installed Hardy Heron ( aka
Ubuntu 8.04 ) on a Thinkpad T60p. The installation was very smooth, and
I spent a happy few hours playing around trying to get Notes 8.0.1
installed and various VPN clients working.

In the end, I wimped out and went back to Gutsy Gibbon ( aka Ubuntu 7.10
) and then used a very slick utility provided by the company to get
Notes, VPN, wireless etc. all working.

Compiz is very nice as a a 3D desktop manager, and allows me to whirl my
displays around at the touch of a mouse button, which looks nice. I do
see a few glitches when, for example, I get stuck in a desktop that
rotates but shows none of my running applications - I'm sure this is
(l)user error, so I'll keep playing away.

I've also seen colleagues struggle with projectors under Ubuntu, so I'll
test it before I go further off piste ( if I can get a second display
working without restarting X, then I'll be happy ).

I'll also run VMware for the various Windows apps. that I need to use,
until everything is available on Linux ( or pigs start landing at T5 ).

Also spent a wee while helping a frolleague (Pete H) getting Hardy
working on his Thinkpad T61p - this uses the Nvidia video card ( rather
than the T60p's ATI card ) which looks rather spiffing. I believe
suspend/standby may also work better on the T61p.

So, this weekend, it's more happy hacking, whilst ensuring that I'm
ready to demonstrate WebSphere Portlet Factory etc. to an internal
audience at our spring Technical Sales School event next week.


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