Ubuntu – It's Almost There

This post is a work in progress..

Some quick comments about my recent look at Ubuntu, which I recently installed on my laptop to try to see if I could get wireless working in more locations.

The wireless issue is a story in itself. Turns out My oldschool Compaq 2544AH, according to the official site, has a Broadcom WiFi network adapter. Despite repeatedly installing the Broadcom software on their support site (which, at the time, I thought was excellent and was glad I’d bought a Compaq/HP – hey, excellent support resources makes it easier to maintain my hardware, right?), I couldn’t get WPA or some other WiFi functionality working.

Turns out that part way through the production run of the 2544AH, they changed to using the LAN-Express/Prism 2.5 chipset – and no official drivers were ever released. So anyway, total pain in the balls.

With the above saga in mind I thought getting it working on Ubuntu would be a problem. And, I wasn’t surprised. It’s easy to get working in limited mode, but the host-ap stuff that should work doesn’t, and it looks like I need to upgrade firmware, sacrifice a goat at full moon, and a few other things which I can’t be bothered doing.

So anyway, long story short, here’s my list of issues with Ubuntu so far after using it for a couple of weeks:

  • Needs more driver support. To be fair, my wifi card doesn’t work properly under Windows by default either and the open source community has provided a huge array of options for me – but I just want it to work.
  • I can’t Suspend my laptop – it just dies. Works fine in Windows.
  • The default fonts. They’re ugly. Seriously.
  • The default UI stuff in Gnome is just all too massive and looks, I feel, terrible.

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