Random Reflections!

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Archive for the ‘Linux-BSD’ Category

My experimentations in the open source world.

compiz on gutsy

Posted by nixbert on October 30, 2007

I finally upgraded to release 7.10 of Ubuntu over the weekend. While the process itself was smooth I lost all compiz effects like wobbly windows which I had configured on the fiesty fawn release (7.04).

Some digging later I found that this was not so uncommon for the impatient souls who had  given in to the eye-candy temptations and configured all the snazzy stuff before it was in the official release (fiesty vs gutsy)

Anyway, some googling later I managed to find following two websites that cover what needs to be done to get it right.


Ubuntu Forum

Moral of the story (you bet there is one) – In rapidly moving world of IT it pays to be a little patient if you *really* need your machine for stuff other than tinkering around. After all you don’t take your souped-out racing car for grocery shopping. Do you?


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some thoughts on Dell’s Linux move …

Posted by nixbert on March 29, 2007

While reading the DELL Ideas-In-action section one thing stuck me as little special.

Here’s the nugget – “Majority of survey respondents said that existing community-based support forums would meet their technical support needs for a tested and validated Linux operating system on a Dell system.

Well I also took part in the survey and I remember voting for the same as well. There are two things this could mean –

  1. Those who voted were mostly people who know their way around techy stuff and if necessary have the ability to seek information out and work on it.
  2. A case could be made that the ‘poll’ mobilised the open-source community and a significant number voted.

On the face of it, above means that Dell is looking at a niche market and sales could be lower than anticipated.

In any case I am fully expecting the Linux-Dell to be priced a little more than similarly spec-ed windows box even though Linux is ‘free’. This because, a number of vendors like Norton, McAfee, AOL etc etc indirectly subsidised windows box by paying Dell to load trial versions of their softwares on machines shipped to home users. (I cannot believe any reasonable business would want any of that crapware on their machines). This obviously is not going to be case with a linux installation. However, I am not aware of ratio of business to home machines that Dell ships. So this impact could turn out to be minimal if this ratio is skewed towards the biz side.

In any case it is heartning to see Dell acting constructively on the inputs of the survey.

Power to the People!!

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my old frustations with linux on laptop

Posted by nixbert on March 29, 2007

With recent development on Dell-Linux front (see post below) I can’t help but remember the considerable time and effort I spent in getting my laptop to run linux 2 years back.

This because my laptop (Inspiron 9100) had top of the line (at that time) ati radeon 256 meg video card which delivered 1680×1050 widescreen resolution. Now I am not sure why but somehow card on my machine just refused to work with Linux ATI radeon drivers. This despite the fact that I downloaded the official driver from ATI website and then spent considerable time and effort to get it going. In fact I ended up blowing my LCD screen’s backlight. 😦 Then I had to connect an external monitor (effectively blind), back up my data and send the laptop to dell for repairs!

I am glad that now Dell has taken initiative to ship linux. Now the hardware vendors will have to make sure that their products don’t act snooty with open source world. Good news indeed.

In fact i recall reading somewhere that even HP ships machines with pre-installed linux if someone requests machines in bulk!! Fantastic development!

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Dell to offer machines with preinstalled Linux

Posted by nixbert on March 29, 2007

YyyeeeSsssss !!

If you remember, I had vowed never to pay a single dime to MS for Windows Vista as far as my personal use is concerned. Well my task has been made that much easier!

Very soon Dell is going to start offering machines with Linux pre-installed.

This essentially means that Dell will now start shipping hardware which is compatible with one or more of the popular distributions. While this does not end the need for configuring your machines (for those who are so inclined) yet it is significant development because it is now almost guaranteed that such efforts will not be futile because of hardware vendors not playing ball.

Here is the link to the news – Link (This may be slashdotted at the moment)

More info on official Dell Site

and finally Dell Blog

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Posted by nixbert on February 17, 2007

On my way to Hyderabad airport I noticed a dude speeding along on his bike.

Why am I telling you this? Well… he had ‘Ubuntu’ stickers on his helmet!

Hmmmm… geeky!

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Vista Free Zone

Posted by nixbert on February 8, 2007

Saw the MS Vista ad on TV for the first time.

I have decided that I am never migrating to Vista. Ever! At least not on machines that I pay for. I may be forced to use it at work though.

I am going to use Linux as my main platform and also experiment with BSD. At the outset I see two issues, which could derail my plans.

  1. I will have to replace my laptop sometime in next 2-3 years and its going to be hard to find one that does *not* ship with Windows (Vista).
  2. Laptops ship with winmodems :-(. So if i have to use a dial-up connection I may not be able to do so on Linux. I would rather use XP in such circumstances (i’ve paid for it already when i bought my current laptop) rather than cough up more dough for Vista.

I am confident I can handle everything else.

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