Installed Ubuntu Linux 8.04 (Hardy Heron)

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Installed Linux this weekend » Ubuntu 8.04 (released April 2008). Woohoo! I'm stoked.

Installation couldn't have been easier. After creating a 20-gig Ext3 partition on my new hard drive (see previous entry), I answered a few simple questions, stated my time zone and » Voila!

Ubunto Hardy Heron 8.04But then I booted up and couldn't connect to the internet. Ugh. Learned since that 'Wireless' is one of Ubuntu's biggest weak-spots.

Gotta be the worst place for a weakspot. Cuz everybody is wireless these days. And without internet, your PC is pretty-much worthless.

I was tempted to give up. Tried many networking configs. Nothing worked.

"Shouldn't be this difficult," I murmured, getting frustrated. (Ain't like I've never configured a network connection before. Only so many variables.)

I even carried my laptop to the coffee shop, where they have free internet, with NO password (WEP/WPA), and I still couldn't connect. So it wasn't an encryption problem (like I thought).

 ••• today's entry continues here below •••

Discovered I had to load "firmware" drivers. [Not sure why they use the term 'firmware,' .. which traditionally refers to instructions residing on the hardware (itself), cuz these 'firmware' drivers that I installed reside on the hard drive (like regular drivers), tho in the /firmware directory.]

Soon as I put those files in that directory and rebooted » boom! Instant internet. Ubuntu found them automatically.

So I've been living in Linux-land these past few days. Very different from Windows (-ville). Different mind set, culture, attitude .. "feeling" if you will. My theory for why Linux has such a different 'feel' (which is difficult to describe) .. is cuz it's been created with good intentions. And now it rivals one of the world's financial powerhouses. Remarkable story.

I really like that they use the command line a lot (in a 'terminal'). Becoming familiar with the command line is the main reason why I wanted to install Linux (.. to hone my administration skills for our new VPS).

Part of configuring Linux is making it easy (as possible) to go back-n-forth between Ubuntu and Windows (to exchange files & data).

Having no internet in Linux meant I had to keeping rebooting to Windows, to use the internet (to ask questions) .. and then boot back into Linux again, to try more configs. Got frustrating fast. But I persevered. (Patting myself on back.)

A little whacked now .. been deep in it for days. First time coming up for air. Everybody says same about Linux » have to be willing to work thru the sticky spots.

Ubuntu 8.04 is code-named "Hardy Heron." [I see herons all the time at the Back Bay, here in Newport Beach. Big birds. You don't want one of them dropping any 'presents' as they fly over.]

Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy HeronThe Linux community refers to this release as simply 'Hardy." Like all releases, they shorten to the first word .. such as:

  • Ubuntu 4.10 (Warty Warthog)
  • Ubuntu 5.04 (Hoary Hedgehog)
  • Ubuntu 5.10 (Breezy Badger)
  • Ubuntu 6.06 (Dapper Drake)
  • Ubuntu 6.10 (Edgy Eft)
  • Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn)
  • Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon)
  • Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron)
  • Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex)

Ubuntu uses the release format. So 8.04 was released April 2008. Releases are regular (every 6 months): April & October. Best to wait 30-60 days, for bugs to be worked out and patches posted.

Their method of installing new software and upgrading (patching) installed software is impressive. Superior to Windows. You can update 50 programs all from the same page. Lots of little things they do I like, such as their menu layout. And the community support is the best I've ever had.

Speaking of installing new packages, and updating software .. my current install is consuming 5 gigs, but there are many more packages I'd like to explore. I'd say 10 gigs is a minimum partition size, with 20 (like I have) a good number .. if you're tight on space.

I installed Linux several years ago, beginning with » Caldera OpenLinux, and then later with Mandrake (now called Mandriva). Ubuntu is based on Debian, which I believe is famous for package management (installing & upgrading software). It's as simple as putting a checkmark in a box (to install/upgrade) and removing it (to uninstall).

OpenSuse is another distro you hear a lot about. Best to pick one that's popular (safety in numbers).

For more along these lines, here's a Google query preconfigured for the terms » ubuntu linux

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Had a similar problem awhile back, also with Ubuntu/ Hardy.

I chose a different route - basically I switched Distros to Mint/ Elyssa, itself based on Ubuntu/ Hardy.

This alone didn't solve the problem, but after rounds of tweaking/ help at the forums I found that the problem could be with some of the latest updates.

Also, something about the new kernel 2.6.24-16+ generic just doesn't work as well, at least not for my Intel Pro Wireless 3945ABG chip.

Like a prat I simply intalled every update that came along (my sources were dodgy too, so mea culpa) and poof! bye bye WiFi.

In Mint/ Elyssa there's a utility called MintUpdate which serves basically the same function as Ubuntu Update, with some additional screening - Levels 1-2 are guaranteed to work by Clem, Mint's developer. Levels 3+ are ubuntu-based and aren't yet tested/ proven.

Once I disabled Levels 3+ I found that my wireless works fine - wherever I am, password or not.

I'm likewise a noob to Linux (6+ months mostly on Ubuntu) and as with any other Linux fan I've tried 20+ Distros, always trying to stay on the bleeding edge - latest kernels, Gnome versions etc.

What tipped me over to Linux was how much better the experience was - even my old Fujitsu lifebook could handle features equivalent to MS Vista Ultimate on my (then) new hp 520 notebook (yep, actually forked over some good money to see what the fuss is all about!)

The only thing I think I'm gonna miss is Silverlight Top Banana if and when that ships, if it hasn't already.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Rad published on July 28, 2008 5:16 PM.

2-GB RAM + New Hard Drive = Laptop Wow! was the previous entry in this blog.

Long-term Stress + Bug's Digital + Audio Nostalgia + Virtual Machines + The D Word is the next entry in this blog.

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