[clug] Re: Software Feedom Day

David Adams u2552331 at anu.edu.au
Sun Sep 16 23:59:53 GMT 2007

Hey mate,

I actually intended to attend this function- but I had play rehearsal 
for Bruce Hall that day. I was interested to read your comments about 
failed Linux adopters- I guess you can throw me in that basket to be 
honest. I mean, I love Firefox/Thunderbird/OpenOffice and I use Ipcop 
for various firewalls I've installed for friends/family, so when I 
bought a new laptop this year which came prebundled with Vista (DO NOT 
WANT) I decided to try out Ubuntu.

My initial experience was extremely good and I kept the operating system 
for almost eight months- everything worked either out of the box (except 
3D acceleration for an Intel 950) or after running some brief, easy to 
find Howtos. Wine ran Starcraft flawlessly so I was pretty happy.

But the bottom line is, that lack of 3D acceleration ended up being the 
end of Ubuntu (I swiched back last week). I wanted to show my girlfriend 
World of Warcraft while I was on holiday in Darwin; Wine installed it 
flawlessly (much to my surprise!) but... it crashed out. At this point I 
didn't realise that Direct Rendering wasn't actually working- some 
research discovered this was the problem. However, there was no support 
for Direct Rendering in my current version of Ubuntu- I had to update to 
the as-yet unreleased Gutsy Gibbon release, something I wasn't really 
comfortable doing. But, well, I did it anyway.

So, Direct Rendering was working now. However, WoW still ran dreadfully 
slow on the introduction screen. If I ran it in OpenGL mode (as many 
users recommend) it had huge artifacts such as characters bodyparts not 
being where they were supposed to... my undead priest looked like a 
jumble of random parts somehow standing up and ran bloody slow... it 
bombed out while connecting to the game. If I ran it in DirectX mode it 
ran better, until it crashed after about three or four seconds after 
logging on.

All the googling in the world couldn't find many people who had this 
problem except for a few posts on various forums which said that the 
open source drivers for the Intel 950 were "shithouse". I can agree with 
that assessment... :/

So, I went back to Windows. I had no problems with accessing software 
not installed by default, I had no problems with partitioning or the 
like (I didn't dual boot) so my main issue was with hardware. That said, 
almost everything worked- Linux has made great strides ahead since I 
tried Mandrake a few years ago. Overall my experience with Ubuntu was 
very good and I plan to return after all my hardware is fully supported.

As for the "How to make Linux work" tutorial, I would suggest going with 
Ubuntu as it has the best hardware support I've seen, has flashy stuff 
like Compiz, is stable, reliable and all around yummy. Of course, those 
were the words of someone who just switched back to Windows, so your 
millage may vary. :)



Ian Bardsley wrote:
> G'Day fellow freedom fighters
> I enjoyed my visit to the Software Freedom Day table on Saturday and 
> echo the accolades of others to the guys who organised and participated.
> I thought I would just share an observation or two.
> I spoke at length to 8 people during my time on the stand.  All of 
> these had tried Linux in various flavours and all had failed to pursue 
> open source software because of:
> a.  Problems with hardware not working
> b.  Difficulty with understanding Partitioning, File Structure and 
> File Navigation.
> c.  Accessing software that isn't installed by default when the chosen 
> distro is installed.
> It's interesting that my early ventures into Linux were hampered by 
> the same issues.  The only difference between me and these people is 
> that Linux became a challenge and I took the time to ferret out 
> solutions where others gave up or put the issues in the "Too Hard 
> Basket".  An example of this, in Ubuntu, File Manager (Nautilus) is 
> not place in the menus by default so at first glance there appears to 
> be no way of looking at the files on the computer in the GUI.  That in 
> it's self is enough to make a new user give up.  It must be remembered 
> that every PC user is looking for "My Computer" or "Windows Explorer" 
> to get them where they want to be.
> Perhaps a worthwhile project for the active Linux community in the ACT 
> region over the next 12 months would be to develop a "How to make 
> Linux work on your computer" tutorial written in simple language for 
> the average home user and based on a single distro.
> A debate on this would be interesting.
> Have a great week
> Ian Bardsley

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