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‘Ubuntu’ is Swahili for ‘no wifi’?

Okay, okay…Ubuntu is actually slipping into place much better than Fedora did (I hate to admit that; I was a Red Hat fan).

I nicked a castoff laptop from work which I’m trying to turn into a studio machine. But it’s 2:40 in the morning and that’s as far as I’m going to get tonight. I have come over unexpectedly shit-faced.



Comment from Andy
Time: April 8, 2009, 1:34 am

I’m finally starting to like Fedora again. They created approximately 100000000000 maddening “bugs” between FC4 and FC10, but finally fixed it enough by, well, only last month for me to actually like using it again. I loved FC3 on my HP laptop and it ran great for years, but a hard drive failure as well as the ragged condition of a laptop used every day for 4/5 years kept me from trying to revive it. I absolutely hate the new KDE and refuse to use it. I’m not sure I’ll ever forgive them for completely sh*t canning 3.5 for that hideous, bloated, slow, buggy cartoon desktop they have now. I was never a GNOME fan before, but I’m actually getting used to it now.

Please tell me that Ubuntu has actually made a simple graphical installer by now. That’s what kept me from using it before. I have no patience for, or trust in engineers too lazy to make a decent installer. If they made it a pain in the ass to install, what else will be a kick in the face to use?
(Psst.. nudge, nudge… Don’t tell anyone, but I liked Red Hat too)

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 8, 2009, 8:20 am

Yeah, install was an absolute breeze (so far). One disc, pop it in the drive…fifteen minutes later, you has Linux. If a drunken weasel can do it, it’s pretty damned easy.

I’m just starting to play with it now. Seems nice and stable. Pretty to look at. Fast to boot. Just getting into the nitty gritty bits as we speak.

I get the Linux bug every nine months or so. Load up the current most popular distro, spend a few weeks playing with it, and love it — except that I can’t get the things I most want to work (like wifi and DVD) — and give up on it. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Everybody told me Ubuntu was the way to go this time, but I resisted because…I absolutely LOATHE this whole “it takes a village” faux-African bullshit.

If all wisdom arises from Africa, how’s come it’s such a shit-hole?

Comment from Mrs. Hill
Time: April 8, 2009, 8:42 am

‘Cause after it arose, it up and left!

But yeah — my Ancient and Venerable Parents have an ME machine that either needs to die once and for all or be resurrected as a Linux box. This will be my first Linux adventure, so I’m still staring at it with my head on one side, but it looks like Xubuntu might do the jorb (their ‘upgraded’ RAM is 320MB :P).

Comment from Gibby Haynes
Time: April 8, 2009, 9:22 am

I like hats too. And not just red ones either. All colours, shapes and sizes. Except those ones with fruit on them. I think they look tacky.


Bless you.

Comment from lizardbrain
Time: April 8, 2009, 10:01 am

“Humanity to others?” WTF does that mean, anyway? The touchy-feely one-world crap annoys me no end.

That said, Ubuntu (always deliberately mispronounced) is what I push on people who are fed up with Windows and open to another OS.

For years, I’ve maintained Linux boxes of one distro or another for my daughter and grandkids. Last year my granddaughter, 11 years old at the time, installed Ubuntu by herself on her own computer. She’s no geek. If she can handle it, most anyone can.

Ubuntu does have issues with wifi, though. It was a horror show getting it to work on my old Thinkpad (older than my granddaughter), but with a lot of help from the Ubuntu Forums, I got it done.

Updates are almost painless, compared to the distro I use now (Gentoo), as long as you choose all the defaults during initial install. I learned that the hard way. I’ve always kept the boot, root and home (and usually other) partitions separate; Ubuntu sometimes runs out of space on the boot partition, because it doesn’t clean out the old boot files soon enough. Now I just throw everything into one big partition and let Ubuntu’s updater steal space from root or home.

I’ve never tried to install while drinking, though.

Comment from Lemur King
Time: April 8, 2009, 2:09 pm

Fedora has given me nothing but grief in the wifi area… I have scoured high and low, tried settings that don’t even exist, gone the ndiswrapper route, for literally hours and hours and hours, and had to concede that in some areas… some… Microsoft has a leg up.

But Fedora’s still free. So I dual-boot. If my games ran under linux w/o all the nasty emulator crap, I’d ditch Winders entirely.

Glad you found something to make a faraway Weasel content.

Comment from jwpaine
Time: April 8, 2009, 4:26 pm

“If all wisdom arises from Africa, how’s come it’s such a shit-hole?”

Haven’t you heard, Weez? It’s all Amerikkka’s fault.

Comment from dfbaskwill
Time: April 8, 2009, 4:38 pm

And now they tell us Bush’s policies saved 1.1 million Africans from death from HIV/AIDS. Those 1.1 million Africans now, of course, join the chorus of the world declaring America evil and racist! Go figure.

Comment from David Gillies
Time: April 8, 2009, 4:51 pm

I’ve never had problems with WiFi under Linux. I usually have pretty middle-of-the-road hardware which helps. At present my only WiFi-capable machine is my Mac, which of course found and connected to my 802.11n router about 1.5s after I plugged it in.

Which Ubuntu version are you using? I forget what they’re up to these days. Kleptomaniacal Kinkajou? Lascivious Lemur? Masturbating Monkey? It’s probably time I bit the bullet and replaced my 6 y.o. Dell (running Dapper) with something a bit more au courant.

Comment from jwpaine
Time: April 8, 2009, 4:53 pm

Lots of Americans just don’t get it: We can do nothing to appease the various & sundry who hate us. Even our disappearance from the planet would incur decades, perhaps centuries, of continuing contempt and blame.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 8, 2009, 5:45 pm

Irritating Ibex, David. I think Jerkwad Jackalope is out later this month.

It’s fine so far. The wifi issue is a hardware problem. This laptop is a really splendid road-warrior Compaq that came out about ten seconds before built-in wifi was standard, so I have an old Linksys PCMCIA card in it. Nothing but trouble, those things. I’ve got it plugged into ethernet for setup.

Comment from dfbaskwill
Time: April 8, 2009, 6:14 pm

There is nothing worse than having to converse with a fine gentleman in India for an hour and a half because you goofed up and clicked the “update now” button on your Quicken when shutting it down. Might as well take a blunderbuss and shoot your computer every time. Start with a new computer and a new “clean” account balance. (Of course every computer is bought precisely ten seconds before the next great advancement and it has been that way since Babbage’s machine.)

Comment from MCPO Airdale
Time: April 8, 2009, 7:04 pm

Here is the extent of my ‘puter knowledge: “Honey, does the green light mean it’s on?”

Comment from Machinist
Time: April 8, 2009, 8:06 pm

A looming allusion!!

Comment from unkawill
Time: April 9, 2009, 12:59 pm

If all wisdom arises from Africa, how’s come it’s such a shit-hole?

Too True! Thanks for the laugh.

Comment from Andrea Harris
Time: April 9, 2009, 10:57 pm

I’ve been using Ubuntu on a Dell laptop for months now. It’s become my main machine, since I can sit in front of the tv with it. (It’s not quite so easy balancing my desktop on my lap…) I did have trouble with wifi — the machine apparently has a built-in wireless thing but the guy I bought it from told me it never worked well even under Windows. Ubuntu just refused to recognize my wifi card, so I finally broke down and bought a USB wireless receiver. It works like a charm.

I like Ubuntu pretty well — it has all the same kinds of programs I use under Windows. I don’t do gaming, so that’s never been an issue, and I have grown to hate Microshaft Office — OpenOffice is a fine substitute. The few things I don’t like about Ubuntu and Linux in general are the ugly or at best plain fonts created for it, but that won’t become an issue unless I get rid of the Windows desktop (and I haven’t done graphics in a while, which is what I mainly used fancy schmancy fonts for). There are some other things, like wonkiness with Firefox for Ubuntu having trouble with some internet apps, but Adblock Plus took care of most of those.

Comment from Mrs. Hill
Time: April 10, 2009, 1:53 am

“A looming allusion!!”

From a warped past!

Comment from Sockless Joe
Time: April 11, 2009, 12:46 am

My increasingly decrepit Dell laptop has some apparently obscure broadcom wifi chipset not recognized by the ubuntu install disc. I put in an old motorola pcmcia card to see if that would take… also a (different) obscure broadcom chipset sans default drivers. Since I was running live-cd environment and not wanting a real install yet I haven’t bothered tracking down the right drivers.

I do have debian 5.0 on VirtualBox to run exactly two programs that I use once a month or so.

Haven’t used anything red hat-ish since 2001. Used RH extensively during a college finals/papers period when Windows decided to crap out on me.

Comment from blake
Time: April 12, 2009, 1:08 am

We use Ubuntu here on all the servers and a couple of the desktops.

You don’t even need to install it. You can just use the live disk.

Comment from Gudis
Time: April 13, 2009, 7:50 pm

You could always try Puppy Linux, it’s fast as hell and has great wifi support. The interface is fucking crazy, but you can’t have everything…

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