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Journal mcgrew's Journal: The Upgrade 3

My hard drive had been getting a little flaky, with Linux occasionally telling me there were problems when it started booting... in fact, it was adamant: "Back up all your data and replace your hard drive. Press F1 for setup or F2 to continue." Linux or the BIOS? At any rate, since I was going to need a new drive there wasn't much point in upgrading kubuntu, so I burned it and set it aside.

I was going to get a new hard drive, DVD burner since the old one barely works, a TV tuner card, and a little more memory to give it its maximum. But I bought a new Acer notebook instead. So the other Saturday as I was nursing a hangover and after a little coffee I decided to go ahead and upgrade.


I've never seen an upgrade like this one. It was a little flaky at first but... wow.

I didn't see an "upgrade" option on the install screen, so I selected "try it". Well, the wallpaper was different. There was an "install" icon on the desktop, and since I had all the data backed up I said "screw it" and clicked,

It appeared to hang at the end of the install, so I killed the process, removed the CD and rebooted.

I wasn't impressed. I couldn't get Firefox to install; it said the package manager was already open, even though it wasn't. I went to a terminal to install it... and it didn't like my password. I shut it off, figuring I'd try SUSE or Mandriva again, as I haven't tried either one in years. I used to love Mandriva, and SUSE was highly praised.

I booted it the next morning, and was informed there were a zillion updates, so I told it "go ahead". The password dialog came up. Crap... Ok, try again... it took the password. After the updates I was able to install Firefox with no trouble.

And... WOW, I've never seen a software upgrade like this. With Windows, an "upgrade" slows your machine down, changes where everything is, and looks shinier. With Lunux upgrades the speed stays the same, and you get a few extra features and maybe it's shinier. This was different. Incredibly different. Gentlemen, I am impressed!

This is an old machine with only about 750 megs of memory and a flaky hard drive. Videos stuttered and wouldn't play in fullscreen. The upgrade must have made great strides in memory management, because now it will play videos full screen without stuttering at all, even with multiple windows open! Before the upgrade, trying to use fullscreen crashed the video.

Samba is installed by default now. I could never get these computers to talk to each other before, now I could read any file on the Win 7 machine. A few Windows settings and I can now write to the Windows machine from the Linux box.

All the apps have extra touches. Aramok will play MP3s now. The annoyances in K3B were gone. Everything was snappier no matter what you were running. You can have a slide show as your wallpaper now...

I'm not sure what version of kubuntu I was running before, I think it was 9. If you had a hand in the improvements, pat yourself on the back. You guys really outdid yourselves this time.

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The Upgrade

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  • All flavors of ubuntu mark their versions as (year).(month) or by name. So if it was latest available version and you remember when you installed, you can figure out the version number and code name here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubuntu_(operating_system) [wikipedia.org]
    As far as I can say, it never let me down on any machine :) but haven't tried the latest couple of versions yet.

    • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

      Well, it was eleven point something (I wrote it down on the CD). If you haven't tried newer distros, you really should. This one's head and shoulders above 9.x. The old computer really flies now (except, of course, on the odd time it has trouble reding the bad disk that I really should replace).

Riches cover a multitude of woes. -- Menander