I have, once again, emerged from out from under my rock and decided to post.  *dance*  Well, maybe not…

Anyway, I’ve always been an experimenter when it comes with my computer.  Whether it was trying out a Linux flavor, using the latest and greatest Firefox or Flock, trying out Chrome or Opera, or just messing around with it so it’s different, I wanted my computer to be “me”.  My experimental nature found that you have to shop around for a Linux distro sometimes.

Desktop; Running Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex

I just upgraded to Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex last night/this morning.  It runs faster than Hardy did and seems to have a hair more polish than the previous version.  I like Gnome-do, as well as the upgrades to Pidgin.  They’ve incorporated a user-switcher into the panel.  This allows you to not only switch users, but also control your status in Pidgin at the same time.  It doesn’t allow for a custom status, but if you just use the standard “Available, Away, Idle, Busy” then you’ll be happy.  Quite simple, come to think of it.

Other changes include better wireless support (I don’t really need this on a desktop), upgraded Gimp, upgraded Totem and BBC iPlayer integration with Totem.  Score!

I’ve always liked Ubuntu and I always will.  They do the right thing by their users.  It’s still a fairly newbie friendly distro but you can get “under the hood” so-to-speak and tweak things if you want.

Laptop; Running Mandriva 2009

I’ve had varying success with Linux on this laptop.  The most recent distro was OpenSuse, and I had issues with the audio.  I had to fight to get that working.

Anyway, I tried out Ubuntu Intrepid on the laptop.  I had wireless working (score!) but an incorrect resolution and no sound.  So I started digging around to try and fix the screen… Well, I had no luck.  I edited the xorg.conf file to no avail and messed around with it.  Nothing wanted to work.  I decided to throw in the towel and go with Mandriva.

After some initial issues getting the CD burned (elebrin did it for me; I think I need a new burner), I installed Mandriva.  Wireless worked out-of-the-box.  I had to disable something in the sound panel (external anplifier) and that was working.  I just had to change one thing in my settings to get the screen working.  I have a fully functional laptop running Mandriva now.

KDE4 is slick.  It’s slower than Gnome (or anyway seems to be) but it looks so purty.  I like the fit and finish of the environment though.  Much like the inside of a car, a desktop environment has to be pleasing to the eye… You look at it every time you get in the car, or boot the machine.


In conclusion, you may need to try out a couple of distros before you find something that works on your laptop.  Ubuntu and other Debian-based distros don’t work well on my laptop, but Fedora-based ones seem to.  Strange.  It’s a hardware issue.  I have no hardware issues with the desktop.  The only thing that might have an issue would be the nVidia graphics card… and that doesn’t because I use the drivers provided.

Trying out different distros is fun.  If you can get something working on your laptop/desktop, great… if not, try something else or go back to Windows and use as many FOSS programs as possible.  :)

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