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Fri, 02 Jan 2009

Ubuntu installation on Toshiba Satellite - thumbs up

The installation didn't pose any problems at all. Even the DSL connection worked just like this. Only I ended up, rather expectedly, with an 800x600 (or so) screen resolution. This, however, I managed to fix by replacing the xorg.conf (in etc/X11) with some lines I found in the thread of a video resolution how-to in the Ubuntu forums.

So here we go with a fully functional - if really slow - Ubuntu 8.10 on an ancient Toshiba Satellite laptop. Very pleased ...

Posted on 02 Jan 2009 at 22:33 in /technology. -- Permalink

Wuala vs. Dropbox

While I'm copying the remaining important (?) data from my Toshiba laptop (see previous post) to a USB hard disk drive - sooo slooow! no USB 2 - I'm looking at these "Traces" here again after several months and find I posted a couple of entries on Wuala. Yes, it's a great thing - but in recent months I've used it less and less, and have used Dropbox more and more because the latter is so much more convenient to use. It's hard to imagine any online storage system that's easier and nicer to use than Dropbox, in fact. Even without integration into the file manager on one's local machine it's great because the web interface, recently improved, is extremely good.

Posted on 02 Jan 2009 at 17:27 in /technology. -- Permalink

Installing Ubuntu on an old Toshiba Satellite 1800 laptop

My old (2002?) Toshiba Satellite laptop is the one which crashed on the day of my arrival in China 2004. More precisely, what crashed was Windows XP. The crash was due to a problem which was fixed in a Service Pack (was it SP 1?) which was published days later.

Being stuck in China without my restore CD (I had thought it safer to leave that behind in Germany), I had no choice but to go for the Linux-only option. I think my system was a dual install before that crash but I'm not quite sure anymore. Anyhow, I installed Xandros Linux. That I messed up a few months later while trying to use it with a more recent kernel (because I wanted to run SpamAssassin); a few weeks after that, a new Xandros version with an up-to-date kernel was published. I had already switched to Suse, though. The installation needed some serious tweaking which my brother-in-law performed over the internet (using SSH, I guess). The combination Satellite - Suse was lovely, it makes me nostalgic to think of it. It sure was slow (and whenever I tried to rip whole CDs, the computer would get so hot that it shut down), but that was OK once you got used to it and acted accordingly.

A little more than 2 years ago I bought a new laptop computer. Since I wanted something really, really nice and really, really small my choice was clear: It had to be an IBM Thinkpad X60. It does have its strengths and I like it, but it really is no better than my old Satellite - except, of course, for the greater speed which comes with a newer processor. The greatest disappointment was the battery, which died after just about one year. Sure, Linux is partly to blame for that, but the battery of the Satellite is still OK (even though not particularly strong) after years and years of Linux. I'm pretty sure my next computer will be another Toshiba laptop - unless I settle for a Mac, of course.

A few months ago, I realised that support for Suse 10 had finally stopped. I didn't take the Satellite out of its old bag after that - until today, when (out of a mixture of boredom and the urge to do something new at the beginning of the year) I decided to give it a new lease of life by installing some up-to-date version of Linux. Since I don't have any blank DVDs, I can't use Suse so I'm settling for Ubuntu. I'm trying the normal version first; if that doesn't work, I'll go for Xubuntu and see what happens.

Posted on 02 Jan 2009 at 17:16 in /technology. -- Permalink

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