[conspire] Ubuntu 6.10

Daniel Gimpelevich daniel at gimpelevich.san-francisco.ca.us
Thu Dec 28 19:54:00 PST 2006

On Thu, 28 Dec 2006 16:28:35 -0800, Edmund J. Biow wrote:

> But reportedly there is no hardware reason there shouldn't 
> be compositing support for the VIA driver.

I was referring to two free/open drivers. I forgot about VIA's crapware as
a third option.

> In my limited experience the stock VIA driver is still pretty raw for 
> xorg 7.1.  In Arklinux 2006.1 on a KM400 using VIA whenever I try to 
> start Stellarium or Celestia I get booted out of X rather quickly.

What a coincidence. I originally installed Ark 2006.1 for the express
purpose and hope of getting DRI working on S3 Savage. Much to my immediate
dismay, the kernel had no module for it because the need to included had
simply been forgotten. I fixed that, but it was ages ago, and I still have
been unable to get DRI working on S3 Savage using any distro at all.

> I'm showing friends vacation photos on the TV over S-Video.

That reminds me: On S3 Savage, when the display is set to 1024x768, the
composite video out shows the upper-left 640x480 of the screen. Anybody
have any idea how to fix that?

> Next you're gonna tell me boxen and mouses are not proper words.

No, I'll tell Hansel & Gretel.

> Most people don't bother to keep 
> paying for the services once their 3 month trial subscription lapses, 
> but assume they are still protected despite the nag screens that they 
> dismiss every time their boot up.  Plus, folks who use the alternative & 
> often free AV screeners like AVG, Grisoft, AntiVir, etc., tend to be 
> more experienced and more likely to actually update their definitions & 
> use other products to scan for trojans & bots.

That doesn't wash. People who let their subscriptions lapse would also be
reluctant to put the blame on Norton or McAfee, instead diving it between
the proximate source of contagion and user error. The newfound inferiority
was primarily discovered by people who had the very latest Norton AND
McAfee definitions, and still ran the alternatives, which intercepted
things AFTER both Norton and McAfee reported clean bills of health.

> If the laptop has 
> a license for XP I believe it is legal to install an older version 
> instead (at least that's what a network administrator friend told me who 
> blows W2K on boxes that have XP licenses).

News to me.

> That's one opinion.  I use Fedora and Blag (a Fedora based distro from 
> Brixton) and can't honestly say that it is any buggier than other 
> distros (Sarge excepted).

I believe I was the first person on this list to recommend Blag as
preferable to Fedora. Bugs are not a valid criterion, because there is no
such thing as software with no bugs, as opposed to software with only
undiscovered bugs. What you were up against under Fedora were nothing less
than user interface design limitations and flaws. With a release cycle
like Debian's, it's still perfectly reasonable to expect absolute
perfection in the implementation of stated user interface designs.
Everybody knows that Ubuntu's release cycle is much more demanding, but if
expectations are lowered in proportion to how much more demanding a
release cycle is, Ubuntu always exceeds expectations more than any other
Linux distro used on the desktop, whether its name is a trademark of
Software in the Public Interest, Inc. or not.

> To stick to issues with listening to music the Edgy version of XMMS, for 
> instance, freezes if you enable the Double Size option unless you beckon 
> it using 'export XLIB_SKIP_ARGB_VISUALS=1 && xmms';

This is minor compared to some of the problems Edgy causes. Also, it's a
bit inappropriate to compare Sarge to Edgy due to differences in intended
stability. Better Lenny to Edgy, or Sarge to Dapper, or Scud to Feisty.

> it doesn't have 
> ID3v2 support (unlike Sarge, which I'm listening to at the moment),

So they removed it from the Sarge version in the Edgy version?

> for some reason, all the fonts look like crap on XMMS (and certain other 
> GTK programs) on every version of Ubuntu I've seen.

Huh? KDE always makes every font look the way fonts do under Windows at
lower screen resolutions. Ubuntu's GNOME, OTOH, actually makes them
readable without all that KDE eyestrain, especially for GTK programs.

> I downloaded a lot of media players 
> and none of them did what I wanted.

Were you alone in what you wanted? If not, a niche exists for yet another
GUI wrapper around some media playing engine or other, which may very well
have already been filled. If you think you'd have to look for such a
thing, think again. By itself, being active in the Linux community goes a
long way toward stumbling onto niche windfalls regularly.

> When 6.04 came along I decided that 
> 5.10 was good enough.  But I installed Breezy & Badger on a friends' 
> boxes, and I guess it went OK, but I didn't find them compelling and 
> didn't set them up at home.

So, you're pretty much basing all your impressions on your experiences
with 5.04 and upgrading it to 5.10 (Breezy Badger). Not only have you not
seen the only currently even halfway decent version (6.06), but you used
the very first release of Kubuntu (Hoary Hedgehog) as your benchmark.

> Both of those installs provided an 
> above average amount of aggravation, so I guess that colors my opinion 
> of Ubuntu.

Yes, an Ubuntu installation requires far more bite-and-don't-let-go than
most other modern distros, but if installation/setup time and effort are
money, you generally get what you pay for with Ubuntu. The same can never
be said of Slackware, for example.

> I'm not sure I follow this.  Don't we still have to use ndiswrapper to 
> use Broadcom wifi?

Where have you been? Under modern kernels, ndiswrapper doesn't even fully
function with Broadcom 802.11 hardware. AFAIK, Ubuntu was the first distro
to ship 100% native Broadcom 802.11 support that anyone can inspect.

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