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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Ubuntu 7.04

So I've experimented with Linux for years, running Slackware, then Debian, then Red Hat, on and on. Recently, the flavor of the month has been Ubuntu, and it's been some pretty good stuff. I was running WoW under Wine with only minimal trauma, although audio driver issues eventually forced me back to the warm embrace of Windows. However, I may have to revisit that with the latest Ubuntu release, 7.04 "Feisty Fawn".

I keep an old laptop around, mainly for watching downloaded TV that Janie and I missed on the Tivo for some reason, or to browse on while I'm working out on the elliptical trainer. It had been running the previous Ubuntu, 6.10, and since I never store anything on it I want to keep, just stream stuff across the network, it made for an easy target to try the new OS.

My biggest complaint with 6.10 and this particular system has been the wireless drivers. I've got a 3Com 802.11 a/b/g PC card in the system, with an Archeros chipset I think, and although 6.10 works fine with WEP encryption, to get WPA, I had to install a bunch of additional software, none of which I ever got working correctly. So for the most part, I just used the system with my FON router to surf, and that kept me from accessing any of my saved content on my desktop.

Feisty however includes some new drivers, and within moments of the install completing, I was online on my g network with WPA. Now I can stream old tv shows and such right to the laptop, instead of copying things to a memory key first. If you're interested in running Linux on the desktop, check out Ubuntu, although if you're interested in running Linux on the desktop, I'm guessing you already have. Next stop, upgrading my Linux partition on my gaming rig, and getting WoW running again. Maybe I'll have better luck with the audio drivers this time.

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