Tonight I installed Chromium and Ubuntu Netbook Remix on a free USB I had laying around. I have to admit, still nothing that would really take me away from Windows 7 right now. But, I still wait for an OS, for my PC, that will get me on an open platform.
I haven’t been using the Ubuntu 10.04 installation I did lately In fact, I’m quite glad I did it the way I did it. I dual booted it and dedicated a week to using it. Let me go over the main reasons I failed to convert to Ubuntu, yet again.
- The main reason, it’s slow and sluggish, pretty much all the time.
- It took up too much space on my netbook (visually).
- Chrome kept crashing.
- Flash kept crashing, and was slow and sluggish.
- It took almost 30 seconds to resume from sleep.
- It won’t uninstall!
As you can see, this includes many of the same reasons I have quit using Ubuntu before. Mainly, it’s about speed and good graphic design. I just can’t stand how slow it can become, even with 2gb of ram. It’s also not giving me the option to remove it, gparted does not like resizing my partitions back. So, I may have to look forward to re-installing Windows again, which might keep me away forever! j/k
Today I got bored, and like always, like going back to a drug, I installed Ubuntu 10.04 LTS on a virtual machine. Big mistake! Well, given Ubuntu’s history with me, it may be a mistake. I always have to deal with these itches to install Ubuntu; I love love love the idea of free software and Linux in general. But, if history has proven itself, then I probably shouldn’t install it on my Acer Aspire One. I have tried 8.04, 9.04, and 9.10 on all flavors of laptops, most recently 9.10 on my Acer Aspire One, in which I ended up installing XP so I could get my work done.
Ubuntu just always has “the problems,” maybe I will go through my old posts (not on this site yet) and count all those problems. I just remember it being slow and giving me enough problems that I went back to something that worked: Windows. And, it’s always about doing my work and not having to deal with fixing, hacking or customizing Linux-based OS’s all the time. But, the itch (as I have termed it over the years) is there, and I really really want to try it out. But, this time I am going to be patient and maybe Virtual Box it or something on my Acer and see how it works, maybe spend a couple days trying to use it and see if it slows down at all or just gives me hell.
Oh, Ubuntu, it’s like a bad romance…
My girlfriend needs to use Skype for an interview this week, so I took this as a opportunity to see if Skype worked on Ubuntu 9.10.Well, let’s just say it didn’t. But, good news, I got it to work beautifully.
I Google’d the problem and arrived at bug #433055:
The internal mic works fine with 9.04. There is no sound now with 9.10 and any level of amplification. – 9.10 Internal Microphone Does not Work on Aspire One
Upon reading the details, I tried a number of the solutions which didn’t work. Also, note that sound recorder was working for me prior to using Skype since I used the multimedia selector to select OSS sound driver. But, I changed it all back to Pulseaudio before trying the solutions.
Finally, I reached a solution that worked:
I have found that installing pavucontrol and then using that to unlock and set the input levels from the internal microphone so that one channel is maxed and the other zeroed allows the internal mic to work with Skype! Nothing ever plugged in to the mic socket. I read this suggestion somewhere else, but I’ve lost my record of where. It’s an AOA-150 (ZG5). – Ibid., Steve Jackson, 2009-11-27
The responses to this looked like:
that’s it! Unlocking the two mic channels in pulseaudio’s volume control input devices and setting one of the two mic channels to 0% works around this bug in pulseaudio! I can now see the mic level bar in the volume control follow closely the volume meter (recording) level bar, and arecord and skype are now receiving the expected signal from the internal mic. Re-locking the two mic channels together makes pulseaudio lose the mic signal again, so the problem is likely in how pulseaudio is handling these two mic channels together. – Ibid., Marcus Granado, 2009-11-27
So I installed padevchooser:
sudo apt-get install padevchooser
After installing padevchooser I was able to use the GUI to unlock “the two mic channels in pulseaudio’s volume control.” To start the application it was under: Applications -> Sounds & Video -> Pulseaudio Device Chooser. Then, in the GUI, I went to the tray icon and went to Volume Control, then the tab Input Devices. I had to hit the lock graphic icon to let me slide one bar to the left (to 0%) and the other to the right (100%).
Right now I am in Google Chrome (for Linux, on Ubuntu 9.10) and it runs so much faster. It is incredible the kind of heavy “aura” Firefox creates vs. practically any browser that runs Webkit (even Epiphany). I like fast, light, simple browsers that are concerned with making the web “just work.” Chrome does this in a variety of ways, and for those who use it, they know what I am talking about.
Lately, I have been griping about offline access to information and offline apps and pages. I’ve been looking more into HTML5, and it looks like that is where they are headed (those people are so dang smart). But, as of now, on Linux, in a Webkit browser (Chrome), I can’t use [say] Google Calendar offline. I can use when online, and it runs like a dream. But, I can’t really run it offline. Firefox is so slow and clunky, not to mention a resource hog, that just watching a movie or loading up Gmail or Google Calendar takes a while. (Don’t worry, I’m still happy the 56k days are behind us.)
But, for now I have made Chrome my default browser and will use Firefox to load up Google Calendar and the like (using Gears) when I am offline. But, I thought I would just talk a little bit about how immensely comforting it is to be in a Webkit browser! I’m not sure if there is really anything wrong with this – I mean, thanks Firefox for still being there for me when it comes to features and plugins.
Sometimes I wish Firefox would just move to Webkit. (Although, I do realize what a pain that would be.)