New Laptop (and Ubuntu)

I’ve got a training session coming up in a couple of weeks for which I’m required to have a Windows laptop. Of the three laptops I owned at the time of my learning this, one is broken, one is 4 years old and just doesn’t have the power to run the software I’ll need to run, and my main one runs Linux. Sounded to me like it was time to get a new laptop. Doing so would afford me the opportunity to take both a Windows laptop and my Linux box to the training (where I’ll be doing a full day’s training and then, if possible, also a full day’s regular work each day, which necessitates that I have handy the box I can actually be productive on). It would also afford M an upgraded system after I got back from training. So I went to amazon and dropped a grand on another SONY Vaio and an extra GB of RAM. This is a significant upgrade for me, as I’m currently running half a GB and will be running 2GB when the new RAM arrives.

The new computer got here yesterday, and of course I love it. My inclination was to wipe Vista from it first thing, but then I googled around about dual-booting with Vista, and it turns out to be really easy. Vista lets you partition the disk without even so much as a reboot, which for Windows is shocking. So I shrunk the Windows partition and booted from the disk for Ubuntu Feisty. I had to mess around with gparted for a while to get the partitioning just right, but then I installed Ubuntu, and now I have a dual-boot system. So M gets her upgrade a little early. I started moving files from the old laptop to the new yesterday afternoon, and by now, I’m completely migrated.

I can’t say enough about how smoothly the Ubuntu install went. I’ve posted a number of times in the past about all the hoops I’ve had to jump through to get various Linuxes (Linuces?) installed on various laptops, but this time, it just plain worked. No wrangling with xorg.conf to get the widescreen or touchpad to work. No more special network card drivers.

The only rough patches I’ve hit so far are that networking does seem a touch flakey. I can get to other boxes on my network without issue, but I’ve had to restart my wireless interface a number of times this morning because I couldn’t hit things outside the network. So I’ll need to work that out. And when I opened up my laptop this morning, I was surprised to see that it had shut down. Turns out that the power management settings default to hibernating when the laptop is closed, and hibernate, intentionally or not, equals hard shutdown on this hardware. That’s easily enough resolved with a change to power management settings.

So in two weeks, I’ll be off to my training with just one laptop that happens to be blazing fast. My next step is to make a virtual machine of another Windows install so that I can run it in vmware during the training and never have to leave the comfort of a bootup into Linux.

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