Being Geeky

I just installed Ubuntu Linux 9.04 (“Jaunty Jackalope”) Alpha 4 on my laptop (I have a second hard disk for mucking about like this).
So far, it seems to have addressed several of the issues I’ve had with previous versions of Ubuntu on my Dell Inspiron 1521 laptop:

  • Based on some limited testing, it suspends and wakes normally. Previously it froze up, requiring a hard restart, which defeated the purpose of having it on a laptop to begin with.
  • Better wifi support. This improves with each release.

Alas, it still seems to be lacking in a few areas:

  • There is no ATI-provided 3D graphics card driver for the built-in Radeon X1250, as ATI doesn’t support alpha-release OSs. Presumably this will be resolved when 9.04 gets released “for real”. In the interim I’m using the open source “radeon” driver, which works well enough for my purposes, but I suspect I won’t be playing any 3D games for a bit (not that I have time to do so). Desktop effects work fine out-of-the-box.
  • Power management still sucks compared to Vista on this hardware. This computer was designed with Vista in mind (it came from Dell with it), and can get about 3.5-4 hours of normal use off of a charge. Running XP or linux results in about 1.5-2 hours of battery life. Something to do with good processor speed-stepping in Vista. A bit of a pain, yes, but not the end of the world.

Otherwise, things look pretty good. Desktop support is better than laptop support, but that’s mostly because laptops use weird hardware most of the time.

2 thoughts on “Being Geeky”

  1. I had WiFi problems with Ubuntu 8 on my laptop (intel discrete ABGN chipset, not just an onboard), that I never had with 7, and was never able to resolve.
    Apparently WiFi and sound issues were common.
    Here’s hoping 9 is better in that regard.

  2. Sound issues were minor for me at worst: the sound was distinctly quieter than it was on Windows. Occasionally the microphone would be wonky too. Go figure.
    I think it’s mostly that laptops have weird hardware, while desktops use fairly standardized parts.

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