Ubuntu 6.06 LTS (Dapper Drake) on my Sony Vaio PCG-K115Z

TuxMobil - Linux on Laptops, Notebooks, PDAs and Mobile Phones
To give a quick background, i have played around on Linux until about Redhat 7.0 was the king and Redhat 8 was expected. But since then i have been working on proprietory system software and never had the chance to use Linux. That was until recently. I have taken some time to go through some articles, seen some screenshot and decided that Ubuntu seems to be a good place to start.

So, today i got around installing Ubuntu Linux (Ubuntu 6.06 LTS (Dapper Drake) to be precise) on my Sony Viao Laptop. I obtained the CDs free from Ubuntu Shipit. I must say that my first impression has been - not bad.

Also, for people who are interested, i have been recording all the links i have found useful on my del.ico.us account (you should be able to see the feed on the right hand panel of my blog).

Here's a quick list of the flow:
  1. Booted off the CD and played around with the LiveDemo - My Vaio's never looked better.
  2. Got down to installing. The Disk Partition Manager is non-intuitive! I preferred the one i last used with Redhat 7 (years ago!) and that was seamless.
  3. Oops, look what i've done. I've just lost my Windows partition (thank god for backups!)
  4. Most of the installation was smooth and took about 45 mins to an hour until it rebooted me into a classy looking Ubuntu login screen (Nice!)
  5. It seems to have configured almost everything nicely, except i am not able to see my battery status and my Wifi's connections dropping occassionally.
  6. I went through the update manager - it seems to have been at work for about 35 mins (a lot of updates downloaded and installed).
  7. Played around to see whats new (i like Synaptic, Gaim continues to look ugly - i miss Yahoo! and Gtalk!). But i *love* having all my chat contacts in one screen (score 1 for Gaim)
  8. New bunch of Games - some of them are quite interesting. I lovvve Mahjong!
  9. Firefox is here, Evolution looks a lot like Outlook. I played around with Fonts and set my screen resolution (thats what its called right?) to 80 DPI. The Vaio screen is one of the BEST parts of owning a Vaio.
  10. I plugged in my ipod - opened up as drive. A help document says i need GTKPod. A quick command line (sudo apt-get install gtkpod) got what i needed. I have been using ITunes on windows. This is nothing like it and it takes ages to "parse" my songs (which are in few thousands!). So ITunes for windows was still better for this one.
    Update: Found a nice link: LinuxJournal.com - Ubuntu and your IPod.
  11. That brings me to my songs. Copied them back from backup. The copy was quick and swift (go Linux!). However, i havent found a good music manager for my files (i used Winamps Music Library on Windows). Althought XMMS is nice, but its got that creepy GTK look. I like my graphics crisp! So its back to my old favourite VLCPlayer for me (apt-got it again).
  12. CD Burning - Nero was the Boss! Help told me that the replacement was GnomeBaker. But its not AS good. But its free right? So who am i to complain. But fortunately, i have a licensed copy of Nero, i remember having read that i can download a copy for Linux as long as i am a legal owner. Must do that sometime (yay! if thats so).
  13. Next come my photos. No issues getting pictures off my camera and there's a XP like thumb viewer and image browser as well. Downloaded Picassa from Google. It tries to maintain the Windows look and feel on Linux (why!). But its pretty slow to get started. But once it does, its quite ok.
  14. Compression - I have .zip, .arj, .ace and .rar files (all from my various compression favourites from time to time). Zip and arj dont seem to be a problem. I apt-got (heh, that is almost a new verb now) the software for .rar and .ace. But one issue with this is that i dont have a right click in Nautilus (the file browser) that gives a menu "Extract to /" like most of the common compression programs on windows (what a pain!). And whats more they make me select a folder EVERY time. Perhaps there's a better - but it certainly isnt obvious to me.
  15. An old favourite XChat is here. Fired it up. Just selected defaults. Connected to #ubuntu. Met someone who walked me through re-installing my Wifi Drivers. He also gave a link to keep handy. My Wifi connection has been rock-steady since! Thank you faceless stranger.
  16. I read something about enabling 3D rendering using my graphics accelerator card. Trolled through the Ubuntu User Forums and found a couple of posts that helped (search terms: ATI 3d rendering). Again, i ran into someone on IRC that set me right in 25 mins flat! A note here, most of Ubuntu help document asks the users to reboot! In my earlier days of linux, rebooting was considered laughable. So what happened?
  17. The next day. Linux has been running overnight. I usually run my bittorrents every night. Apparently, there's a very limited number of choice for good clients for Linux. The first is Azureus (but thats a known memory hog!) and another one for KDE. But most IRC folks i asked recommended utorrent and wine. I was able to set it up and get utorrent up and running in a few minutes. But again, the graphics look sooo bad, that i stopped using it. All in all, there is no decent native app for bittorrent on Gnome. Update: Try freeloader (sudo apt-get freeloader) or gnome-btdownload(sudo apt-get gnome-btdownload)
  18. I found a nice Indian wallpaper at Aqshar.com's wallpaper collection. It fits beautifully on my Ubuntu desktop. I have been noticing a strange problem since yesterday evening. My USB mouse stops working every hour or so. I have to unplug and plug it in everytime (what a pain!).
Update: This post is now listed at TuxMobil.org's Linux Laptop installation survey.

Note: Just noticed that this post is getting really long. Its continued => here.

Update (24/03): I've recently upgraded to Ubuntu 7.04. Related notes can be found here.

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