Ubuntu 8.10

Ubuntu 810 download 203 updates on first boot

I’ve been using Ubuntu on a variety of desktop and old laptop computers for the last few years at home. Less virus hassle, no big issues converting documents between platforms since OpenOffice became available, and the ‘desktop experience’ is getting better all the time.

I installed version 8.10 this morning on this Asus Pundit P1 box complete with the dreaded NVIDIA integrated graphics and the whole process took about one hour. Video ‘card’ recognised and a choice of NVIDIA drivers offered. I installed the recommended one, and switched on the graphic effects. I now have bouncing windows and genie like minimisation without too much flicker on the no name 1280 by 1024 monitor.

The flash plug in installed from within Firefox when I went to a Web page that used a flash animation. I installed Java 6 from the Synaptic Package Manager, and found that I need to do restart Ubuntu, not just the Web browser, to ensure that Firefox could find the Java run time engine. I’m not sure why a restart is needed. Before I worked out what was going on, navigating to a page with an embedded Java applet provoked the “Plugin Missing” pop up in Firefox. When clicking on Install Plugin, Firefox then told me that the plug in was already installed… Loops like this confuse people. I also installed the wonderful Liberation font family using Synaptic so that my Open Office documents will open without any changes on Windows or the iBook.

Ubuntu 8.10 required a total of 203 updates (around 220 Mb worth) after installing from the ISO, and so a boadband internet connection remains essential with Linux I think. Once you have caught up with the updates, there are only a few per week.

Now, I’ll see if I can keep this installation for the whole of 2009! As the Winter Solstice has now passed, the days will lengthen again and the sun is coming back. Happy New Year.

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