Making the switch to Ubuntu!

| tags: ubuntu

I've been fooling with Ubuntu for just over a week now. I started with wubi, then did the standard install with a CD I made. At home on the old Dell D800 laptop it was super easy. Wireless didn't work at first but a quick Google search on feisty d800 showed I had the kind of wireless card that needs some microcode. Asking for the fwcutter-??? module fixed things right up. A work on this old Dell 690 things were made tricky by the funny interaction between the scuzzy disks and the ide disk in the bios. Murray fixed that in just a few minutes with some grub incantations.

I'm amazed at the stuff that just works.

  • Plantronics headset
  • Logitech Pro 4000 webcam works fine with my OpenCV hacks
  • All my NTFS partitions are accessible
  • Skype works great for chatting with Kelly
  • Printing both here at work and at home is fine
  • My little tray app for reminding me of appointments, written for Windows using wxPython, works fine, even appearing in the notification area like it should. I had to put a 5 second delay in it on startup or the icon got squashed. I bet there is some event I'm not properly handling
  • My wallpaper generator only required changes to the few lines associated with actually setting the desktop wallpaper, otherwise it works fine
  • My spam filter works fine, only requiring me to rip out the windows specific code for making it a service and replacing it with the bits required for becoming a daemon.
  • Pidgin is fine as a replacement for GoogleTalk.
  • FireFox, of course, works fine though I'm surprised to see that some sites render just a bit differently than on Windows
  • Unison looks like a fine replacement for my homebrew synchronization strategy

That's not to say I haven't run into some issues. I'm going to try to post workarounds that I find so I can remember them for later.

  • I don't like the default font I'm seeing. Captial J is not a descender! It looks too much like a lower-case j.
  • On the 690 here at work, I have many sound devices (Audigy2, Plantronics headset, RME Hammer Fall, built in, etc.) and apps seem to choose willy-nilly where they want to play.
  • I think its losing occasional mouse clicks. I haven't pinned down when. I notice it in the Synaptics package manager. The Search button will ignore my click until I move the mouse out of it, and then return to it. I see it, I think, in other places too.
  • Differences in the way focus and selection are handled really screws up GBmail. I think I could make it work but I'm trying to switch to Thunderbird instead. That has its own set of issues, that I'll writeup later.

So, I think I'm going to stay. Either I'll do Windows development in a virtual machine, or perhaps on a real box, co-located here in my office.