Sunday, July 26, 2009

Karmic Koala Installed

Well I had to download the ISO again and re-burn it to disc. But after doing this I was able to install Ubuntu 9.10 Alpha 3 just fine. As it turned out I could not install from the Live CD while in the OS but I could from the boot option menu. Here is a screenshot of how I have separated partitions pre-install of Karmic Koala.


I did stay with the default filesystem ext4 for the root partition but opted for ext2 for the home partition. I chose the ext2 filesystem based on an article on the HowtoForge site that talks about accessing Linux files from Windows and gives three examples. The third example, The Ext2 Installable File System For Windows, allows read and write ability and is the one I am going to try out. More on that later.
At first try this version seems quite responsive. But like I stated before, I am quite disappointed they didn't put Firefox 3.5 in this release but opted for 3.0.11 instead. Perhaps this will change as the release gets closer production stages.

I did like the responsive boot and the log in dialog box has changed similar to that in Fedora 11. So far so good. I have no complaints yet other than Firefox. Running the newer kernel 2.6.31-4-generic and using GNOME 2.27.4 is rather smooth. I do believe the wireless implementation of the Atheros chipset has improved too. All I had to do for connectivity was input the WPA key and I was connected. And even without testing I can tell the Internet page views are faster without the long delays I had with 9.04. For all the Ubuntu fans this may very well be the best release yet and there is still about 3 months to go before the final release.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Failed Install 9.10 Error 5

Attempted to install Ubuntu 9.10, Karmic Koala, only to have it fail with an error 5. The error message stated the cd drive or the iso could be bad. I will try again tomorrow after burning the cd at a slower speed. I did run the live cd and it performed very well. Even the wireless connection seemed snappy. I did not get to run a speedtest yet. I was very disappointed that they didn't include Firefox 3.5 but instead stuck with version 3.0.11. I thought Alpha release meant cutting edge? All in all it looks very good so far.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Ubuntu 9.10 Alpha 3 Is Available

Hey all you Ubuntu fans according to Distrowatch, Canonical has release Karmic Koala Alpha 3 for Ubuntu 9.10. I will certainly give this a try since I did like 9.04 it just never really performed that stellar in the wireless department. It connected fine using the Dlink-652 wireless card in my laptop but wasn't as responsive as Fedora 11. See the Speedtest results I posted a while back for Ubuntu and Fedora. So I am curious to see if they have improved the performance for the Ahteros chipset in this version. I will give it a try this weekend and report back. Two of the more noteworthy changes are the 2.6.31-3.19 kernet and ext4 as the default filesystem. I suggest you head over to their website for the full run-down of the newest features in Karmic Koala.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Windows 7 Is Offially RTM

As usual I am a day late in the news but I thought I would post a link anyway. Microsoft has officially released Windows 7 to manufacture (RTM). This comes exactly ninety days before the scheduled launch of October 22. This is the time to ensure that all your apps work and your hardware is up to date otherwise when it does arrive you could be very disappointed. Don't be one of those folks who thinks everything will just work. You can still get the download RC and the Windows 7 advisor I posted about a few days ago.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Friday, July 17, 2009

Critical Flaw Fixed In Firefox 3.5

Firefox users should update to 3.5.1 and close a security flaw that was rated as critical. Malicious code could be used to crash Firefox and install more software on your machine. Users are encouraged to update as soon as possible. Read more at Mozilla Links blog here.

Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor Tool

This post has been moved to Working With Windows.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Firefox 3.5 Update Coming Soon

Lifehacker is reporting the update for the Javascript security hole and the slow start-up of Firefox 3.5 should arrive at this week. I personally have not had issues with the slow start-up but plenty of people have reported this bug. For full details see the Mozzilla Links page here.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Slow Firefox Startup In Windows?

If you are a Windows user and Firefox 3.5 is starting rather slow then this is the link for you. Mozillalinks has posted a work around for this issue and users are reporting good results. I haven't noticed this issue myself since I am predominately using Firefox 3.5 in Linux right now. They are reporting that a fix is in the works from Mozilla coming in v3.5.1. So hop over to Mozillalinks if this issue is effecting your Firefox.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Stop: 0X000000D1

I powered on my laptop to Windows XP a few days ago. I really haven't been using it with Windows lately preferring Fedora 11. But I had to do some banking and I have yet to move stuff to Linux in this area yet. I still want more experience with the OS before I commit this information. So on this night I logged into the bank and did what I needed to do. No problems with that. I'm logged in and I might as well check out the web and see what's going on tonight. Then it hit. At first my connection slowed to a crawl and I thought I was getting pegged by malware. So I ran a scan but it came up empty. Then I went back to surf some more but nothing would open. I pinged a site and that was okay so I re-booted the router. Still nothing. It was then that the dreaded blue screen appeared. Stop: 0X000000D1, IRQ_not_less_equal. Believe it or not but this was the very first blue screen I have ever had with this laptop. Needless to say I was a bit bummed and confirmed to myself that this is why I am going to Linux. Any way the stop error referenced the NDIS driver and I knew exactly what to do. Yesterday I finally got around to downloading the driver update from Dlink and I installed it today.No more BSOD and I'm running it right now. It is always puzzling as to why after all this time, hundreds of hours in use, the driver decided to go south. I haven't even used it except about twice a week lately to do my banking. This is just one of those Windows mysteries that hopefully Microsoft will improve with Windows 7. I admit I have been really lucky about blue screens with this laptop. I just can't figure out what happened. Well for me anyway, I will continue on my quest to learn Linux better and eventually do my banking on it too.

One of the most famous and funniest BSOD's of all time.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Fedora and Firefox Update Agony

As I reported in the last post, Firefox 3.5 update is finally in the repositories for Fedora. Now I usually don't have many bad things to say about Fedora but this update was not thought out very well. When I ran the update to my surprise when Firefox started, the add-ons dialog box came up confirming I had installed 73 add-ons. Wait a minute I thought, I didn't approve this type of install nor was I told or given a choice. The add-on are all foreign language packs that I wouldn't ever use. This should have been a choice to install or to pick and choose which ones to install. Too many add-ons will slow performance in Firefox and I definitely did not need all 73 packs. So if this happens to you here is my solution. Open a terminal session as root and enter:
(The # just denotes root, no need to re-enter it.)

# cd /usr/lib/firefox-3.5
# firefox

This will launch Firefox as root. I had a couple of warnings that I ignored. From here you can open the Add-ons tool and un-install any language pack you don't need. A bit tedious but it gets the job done. If anyone knows of a better way let us know in the comments.

Firefox 3.5 Available In Fedora Repositories

The full release of Firefox 3.5 is now available in the software updater application. Fedora 11 was released with Firefox-3.5b4 which was one of the last beta releases. If you are running Fedora you can now update using the Add/Remove Software tool or Yum. I have not checked other distros but I'm sure they are updating as well given the popularity of Firefox especially in the Linux community.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

6 More Days For Special Windows 7 Offer

I know this is a little late but when something like this pops up you have to tell folks about it. If you have any desire to upgrade to Windows 7 this may be the time to order. Read all the details on the Microsoft Windows Blog about the offer. The following is from the blog:

"Finally, as a way of saying thank you to our loyal Windows customers, we are excited to introduce a special time limited offer! We will offer people in select markets the opportunity to pre-order Windows 7 at a more than 50% discount. In the US, this will mean you can pre-order Windows 7 Home Premium for USD $49.99 or Windows 7 Professional for USD $99.99. You can take advantage of this special offer online via select retail partners such as Best Buy or Amazon, or the online Microsoft Store (in participating markets)."

Lately I have been concentrating on Firefox and Linux so it was easy for me to let this news slip by. Personally I have no intention of upgrading to Windows 7 until I buy a new laptop. I don't see any reason to updgrade until there are benefits for my equipment. Your milage may vary so if you were or are planning to upgrade you might want to consider this offer.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Firefox Downloads Surpass 12 Million Worldwide

This is really cool a real-time map and graph of Firefox downloads. The USA leads the way with over 2 million downloads as I write this. I find this very interesting in the gee-wiz category. How high will it reach after one week?

Friday, July 3, 2009

Xmarks Available For IE

Now I admit this isn't headline news any longer. It has been available since April 3, 2009 but I just discovered it tonight. I use several different computers from the three I have here at home to all the ones I use at work. On some machines my bookmarks are lengthy and well organized. On others they are a complete mess. What a pain, ugh. Why I never searched for a solution before will always remain a mystery. At work I use IE only to see sites as most of my customers will see them. I still feel the need to keep up to speed with IE since I do provide support for end users. But at home I am almost exclusive to Firefox (also use Seamonkey which is based on Firefox). In comes Xmarks also formally known as Foxmarks providing a tool to sync all my browsers on all the machines I use everyday.

Update Firefox 3.5

Okay I have been using Firefox 3.5 now for a couple of days now and I like what I see. It is snappy and has fast page loads while using Linux and a 54g wireless connection. Two of the three extensions that had reported as not compatible have updated. If you are new to Firefox or want to learn some new tricks, check out the tips and tricks page from Mozilla. There are tips for newbies to advanced users. I really like the built-in site checker. In my opinion this is a better implementation for checking websites than Microsoft's phishing filter. How many times have you closed a tab on accident? I know I do it all the time. With 3.5 you no longer have to go into your history list to re-open the site. Simply use the control + shift + t keys and the last closed tab re-opens. There are more new features than I have had time to try. Check out the tips page an see which ones you will like and use.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Update Firefox 3.5 Install To Linux

I was right about one thing and that is someone would publish what we need to get Firefox running in some Linux distro. Lifehacker comes to the rescue and pointed me to a blog, Kabatology, I would have probably never found. I will have to explore this site more fully as it looks to be rich in content. I am using Firefox 3.5 right now from the download I made the other day. I tried then to run Firefox using the ~/firefox/firefox command, but it failed each time in Mepis. In AntiX after navigating to the /home/firefox directory, I just double-clicked on the shell script file firefox and I now had Firefox running. Kabatology mentions the same command but also gave alternatives to starting Firefox in Ubuntu. One of which was double-clicking the firefox script file. Their tip was for Ubuntu and since Ubuntu is Debian based, as is Mepis and AntiX, I knew it would work for me too. I didn't have to run the wget command since I had previously downloaded Firefox. So many thanks to the Lifehacker team for finding the tip and thanks to Kabatology for sharing their knowledge.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Linux Distros Lagging In Package Updates For Firefox 3.5

I must say that I'm quite disappointed that I haven't been able to update to Firefox 3.5 in Mepis or Fedora. I've been touting the flag for these distros pretty high and I really thought I would at least see the Fedora 3.5 beta have an update available. But I ran apt-get update on Mepis and no new Firefox. Tried a yum update for Fedora and the same results. If I tried for just the package I would get no package available nothing to do. This was very frustrating since I know the Linux version is on Mozilla's website ready to go. In their support pages Mozilla does mention that the various distros do control the version upgrades for Firefox. Even the update now feature is locked out. I even checked the about:config file and it was locked there as well. I downloaded the Linux version but I can't do anything with it. I haven't given up. My guess is others are having the same trials and soon a Google search will turn up the methods. For now I rant and tomorrow I will test it out on Windows XP. I haven't had the time to even test drive it in Windows. Anyone using 3.5 now? What do you like about the new release? Did they leave out something you want?