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Author Topic: Ubuntu on Dell laptop  (Read 8384 times)
Ivan
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« on: February 25, 2009, 01:56:48 AM »

Tonight I officially gave up with Ubuntu. I've been trying to install it on my computer as a double-boot system, but have had no end of trouble.

I have actually managed to get it to run....but after installing XP, I found I needed to reinstall as XP messes something up.
Then I discovered that many of the drivers didn't work in Ubuntu, so had to fiddle around looking for the replacements.
At several points, I needed to do job A, but in order to do so needed to do task B which required task C etc....eventually you forget what you're actually trying to do as you take many steps backwards.

I never got the wireless bit to work. There is a patch for doing this, but trying to install it either causes the computer to hang, or it fails to upload.

The final straw was when Firefox started misbehaving (it would connect to internet via ethernet cable). It started by loosing the bookmarks, and then the 'forward' and 'backward' arrows failed to function, which makes web browsing impossible. Having looked up the solution on the internet (several typing sessions in the 'terminal'), firefox now fails to run at all. I tried uninstalling and reinstalling, I tried creating new profiles, but nothing works.

It's a real shame, as I want to like Ubuntu, but trying to get it to function even basically, is very intensive, and sadly it seems that even with the fancy windows-like interface, you have to be a computer programmer to make it function. Reluctantly, I've had to make do with WIndows XP.
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daftlad
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« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2009, 02:05:37 AM »

i am using it now but it doesn't work properly, the cd audio doesn't work and the amount of time spent is unreal.
i wish a sorted out linux distro was available, i would maybe even pay for that.
laters
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rt29781
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« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2009, 06:27:10 AM »

I am typing this on a Dell Inspiron 1725 running Ubuntu 8.04 on an 8Gb USB key.  I have used this system continuously for 6 months and I have not had any problems.  I don't recommend a dual boot system, too many things to go wrong.  Also with a USB key the HD is almost never used so the computer uses much less energy and runs cooler.  I do use the HD to store data but only in a batch mode.  My wife has Vista still on her Dell and I can tell you she has far more issues with that than I do with Ubuntu.  When I set up the system I had a few geeky puzzles to solve around recognising the Dell wireless card but that didn't take long.  If my Dell had been supplied with XP rather than Vista I would probably never had used Ubuntu but having said that I like Ubuntu and it never resets.  I have used other colours of Linux (Redhat mostly) and Ubuntu is far easier to use and needs the command line hardly at all after setup.
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damnager
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« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2009, 06:56:03 AM »

Ivan,
       one of thebig problems with Ubuntu (and many other well known distros) is that the drivers that are designed for Wondoze need to be wrapped in another program to work in Linux. This is because the manufacturers do not want to release their code so the universe can hack it and make it work on linux.

If you download Mint http://www.linuxmint.com/ then a lot of these drivers are incorperated by default (you just have to agree to load them). For example; wireless is a BIG issue with linux, every install I have done has got the wireless working but the trick is to have a cable connection at the beginning of the install so it can download the necessary bits and bobs. It also has mpeg codecs installed as standard (so you don't have to search for the codecs required to get your mp3 or movies working). 

It is also based (as many are) on Ubuntu so you have the warmth that the community is large and on the whole helpfull. The updates are drawn from Ubuntu so the likelyhood of security patches being turned around quickly are good.

Give it a try, just remember to have a cable connected for the first part of the install.

Keith
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martin
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« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2009, 08:44:00 AM »

What a great shame! I may well have been lucky, but I'm typing this in an aged Dell laptop that's happily been running a dual boot installation that I installed using Wubi. The only "issue" I had with drivers was one printer that wasn't listed in those available, apart from that, it's run like a train ever since it was first installed the best part of 18 months ago. If I remember right, even wi-fi worked once I'd "switched it on"  Smiley
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mespilus
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« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2009, 08:57:54 AM »

Tonight I officially gave up with Ubuntu. I've been trying to install it on my computer as a double-boot system, but have had no end of trouble.
 It started by loosing the bookmarks,

Can I suggest the
Foxmarks add-on

This synchronises your bookmarks to an online server,
so if your pc 'loses' your local bookmarks you can download them again.
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martin
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« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2009, 09:30:33 AM »

if you "export" your Firefox bookmarks, and address book from Thunderbird (or whatever) in Windoze, an easy way is to email them to yourself, then open the email in Ubuntu  Smiley
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petertc
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« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2009, 07:35:21 PM »

That's a shame that you have had problems.
Laptops are a bit of an issue due to the built in hardware.
As one of the previous post's was saying try Mint or else try Mepis , they are both based on Ubuntu but have some tweaks with them.
I have found that some laptops are better than others. I have an old ibm which needed a lot of tweaks to get the sound to work. but an hp laptop worked out of the box ( neither of these have wireless)
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Ivan
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« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2009, 01:01:05 AM »

I was willing to persevere with the hardware. I'd got most of the drivers working except the wireless, and I thought I was well on the way - but failed to get niswapper (or something like that) to install to wrap the windows driver in. When firefox started playing up after only a few hours use - which is not a driver-related problem, as far as I can see, I figured I could spend the rest of my life learning the intricities of the ubuntu code, as a lot of it involves typing phrases into a terminal window. Perhaps my problem was due to installing a 64bit version of ubuntu, as I have a 64bit motherboard.....I do despair when Dell sell me a 64bit computer with 32bit software, and I then find that 64bit drivers aren't available and sadly the 64bit Ubuntu won't run - looks like I've got a 64bit chip that's never ever going to run at full tilt.
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Richard Owen
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« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2009, 08:17:11 AM »

The extra bits in your chip aren't going to effect the speed at which it talks to hardware devices.

It only affects the amount of memory it can address.

The speed increase comes from the processor being able to pull and push data 64 bits at a time rather than 32 bits at a time. That's great as long as the communication is between processor and ram. As soon as it goes to disk, lan card, etc. all bets are off. A 64 bit driver for a lan card isn't going to make it move the data any faster.
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Ivan
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« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2009, 11:28:23 PM »

No, I can appreciate that. BUT, you cannot use a 32bit driver in a 64bit operating environment, apparently. Not easily or reliably, anyway. Which forces me to use a 32bit operating environment if I want wireless etc to work.

It seems mad to manufacture a 64bit computer that won't run in 64bit mode. I wouldn't expect massive speed gains, but I wouldn't buy a car advertised as 300bhp, to then find out later, that the gearbox can only handle 150bhp, and so engine management was throttled back accordingly.
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StBarnabas
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« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2009, 11:49:12 PM »

I used to be able to do both cars and computers 25 years ago. Modern operating systems for both seem to be (deliberately?) vastly complicated. PDP-11's and VW Beetles I used to understand....
StB
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damnager
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« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2009, 07:02:30 AM »

Ahhhh, PDP11's at UCL nicknamed Snow white and the Seven Dwarfs (yep ther was 8 of them) circa 1975. Took over from an IBM 360 65 with 512k of real memory. They lasted untill midday when everyone had logged in and then died, couldn't cope with the influx of data so they reverted back to the IBM  Grin

Memories  Cry
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Richard Owen
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« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2009, 07:09:09 AM »

No, I can appreciate that. BUT, you cannot use a 32bit driver in a 64bit operating environment, apparently. Not easily or reliably, anyway. Which forces me to use a 32bit operating environment if I want wireless etc to work.

Quote
Modern operating systems for both seem to be (deliberately?) vastly complicated.

True. It's depressing what gets forgotten. Back in the early '80s, Data General produced a beautifully elegant architecture that allowed all their 16 bit stuff to work in the new AOS/VS 32 bit environment. And later in the '90s, Hewlett Packard did the same with HP-UX and their PA-RISC chips.

What I can't work out, is that since all the 64 bit Intel chips are based on the HP architecture, why microsoft can't/won't take advantage of that. The only conclusion I can come to is that Microsoft doesn't understand operating systems.
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« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2009, 07:41:39 AM »

What I can't work out, is that since all the 64 bit Intel chips are based on the HP architecture, why microsoft can't/won't take advantage of that. The only conclusion I can come to is that Microsoft doesn't understand operating systems.

M$ sell 64 bit versions of all their new OSs (XP, Vista and Server).  It's the choice of the hardware vendor what they choose to bundle the system with.
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