Tag Archives: fedora

Gnome3 and Fedora

Just before the latest version of Fedora (Verne) was released I was installing the beta on a laptop to take it for a spin. I’d been using LoveLock since beta and Gnome3 suited me well. There has been a lot of talk about it and the lack of customizable options for power users but that must not be me. For a week now Verne has not disappointed and I expect that to continue.

Here’s a pic of my desktop.

What I like most is the clean simple look and integration of the windows key to find applications and recent documents. I’ve never been a “put a shortcut on the desktop” kind of guy, to much clutter. So having nothing there is great and I don’t need/want to add anything. The online accounts integration is nice, the notification tray is there but not in the way and using Ctrl-Alt-UpArrow/DwnArrow to move between screens (vs Ctrl-Alt-Right/Left) is just fine too.

Another pic with apps open.
Desktop Pic

Can’t wait to see what’s coming next!

HP you surprised me

On May 25, 2011 FedEx delivered a new laptop, a HP ProBook 4430s. This is it’s my first purchase where Windows is not the OS from the manufacture. The last few years I’ve used a couple used IBM T42’s which are excellent machines, and the keyboard will spoil you. When it came time to find a replacement I wanted something that didn’t come with Windows, as I wouldn’t be using it, surprisingly the search led me to HP.

At the start of 2011 I did the same search and found Dell’s Vostro V13. I read Dell offered it with Ubuntu pre-loaded but was never able to find out how through their on line store. I did purchase one and it is a good package. Every thing worked out of the box with Fedora 15 and Gnome3 but there were two issues for me, the keyboard was too cramped and batter life was low. That was enough to send it off to mom, she needed something to replace the 7 year old Compaq, and I could search from something more suitable.

I’ve read good things about Zareason and System76, they both have a good selection and offer Ubuntu. The construction wasn’t what I was looking for and some of the other options out there were ThinkPads or Dells with Linux loaded. I wanted to find something with a metal chassis and not much plastic. To compare would be the construction of a MacBook Pro, but I wasn’t looking for a Mac. It took a few months until I came across the HP 4430s Notebook. This model, if you configure it, offers Suse Enterprise 11 installed. I haven’t used Suse for a number of years but the “flavor” of Linux wasn’t important. The fact the hardware fit my criteria and was available with Linux installed sealed the deal.

On first boot it took awhile as it uses KIWI to install the OEM image. A standard suite of applications is included, Gnome 2.82 as the window manager and all the hardware (wireless, camera, card reader, sound) worked… as one should expect. There are plenty of pics on the web, so I don’t need to put up much here but I will say if you like to “get under the hood” access has never been easier. Memory, drive, processor, etc is just pull the battery and slide the cover back after releasing two holding pins.

I’m enjoying it so far especially with an Intel SSD and Fedora 15 (Gnome3). I’d recommend the ProBook 4430s if your in the market for something non-Windows, 14′ wide screen, wireless, bluetooth, card reader, and ever thing working. If Suse is not your flavor pick another. I only had to load iwlwifi-6000g2b for wireless, every thing else worked out of the box. It’s great to see mainstream companies offering solutions like this. Thank you HP!

Ubuntu is impressive

About a month ago I switched from Fedora to Ubuntu and needless to say I am impressed. Back in 1998 when I first found Linux and started playing around it was a RedHat boxen version (6.0) that I spent $40.00 on. I have pretty much been a RedHat man till they changed there business model and released there last free version, 9. Then I started looking to other distros and used SuSe for a while. It was not but a few months later that I was back to RedHat, this time with Fedora Core 2.

I was pleased with Fedora but after getting a new laptop this year and loaded Core 3 I had some difficulties with the display and wireless. Now I got those worked out but it was not without some googling and trial and error. The last straw was when attempting to customize the desktop I pretty much broke my login. Now that could have nothing to do with Fedora and everything to do with me, I’m not sure but after fixing it again started me wondering about what else was out there.

I thought maybe it was time to go a little more hard core and took a stab at Gentoo but quickly found that installing was a little more than I wanted to deal with. That led me to Ubuntu. Now the “hard core” comment can get thrown out the window here but this distro is impressive.

The installation is not GUI but that doesn’t matter, IMHO. What does matter is that hardward is recognized and setup correctly, Ubuntu did so without a problem. Video, sound, mouse, NIC’s, USB, CD/DVD .. all were recognized on installation. What was not found was an appropriate driver for the built in SD card reader and on board modem. These I don’t mind since I don’t use them. I’m sure with some googling I could find the correct ndiswrapper for the modem but not for the built in SD card.

To date it has been a little over a month with Ubuntu and I’m loving every minute of it. I still have Fedora Core 3 on a spare drive, the original 80GB. So this 10GB spare I’m using at the moment will become the backup soon and I put the original back and load Ubuntu. For now since I’m not doing anything with a CMS product I don’t really need the space. But that will change.