Feedback on an install of Intrepid
Scott.R.Lemke at gmail.com
Scott.R.Lemke at gmail.com
Sun Jan 11 21:14:49 UTC 2009
I just wanted to give feedback to developers/testers on my latest attempt
to install and use the Intrepid release.
First, some of my background. I am a developer, have been for 5 years. My
day to day work OS is RHEL 5.1. I've been using Linux on and off since 95.
I'm comfortable in Linux, I prefer to work there. My home PC has been
running Vista for about a year, but I moved that install to a HTPC, and
didn't want to purchase another license, so I thought I would give Ubuntu a
try on the desktop. I have also installed and run for some period of time
other versions of Ubuntu.
Intel Q6600 2.4Ghz quad core cpu
Gigabyte GA-E7AUM-DS2H Motherboard
8 GB RAM
NVidia 260GTX (Old one, not the updated one)
Dell 30 inch LCD monitor
Install Media Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex 64bit Desktop Edition.
Some of these cases are probably already fixable, but the discoverability
of those fixes is low. Some are also application problems, but present
themselves to integrators more, which is you guys.
Now on to the specifics:
Since I prefer KDE, I attempted to install Kubuntu first. First boot of the
disk I got the Language menu, hit English, then Install to Hard disk. A
progress bar comes up, screen goes blank, and the DVD drive and hard disk
still have activity. I wait 10 minutes and nothing, so I reboot. Next
reboot, I hit English, F4 Safe Graphics mode, then Install to Hard disk,
and installer comes up.
I wont go into the Kubuntu stuff here, but I ultimately got rid of that
install because of repeated crashes. I only put the first part in because
it also happens in the Ubuntu Install.
A repeat of the blank screen with Kubuntu happens with Ubuntu. After I get
safe graphics mode everything works. The Ubuntu installer is much more
refined and straight forward than the Kubuntu one, my suggestion is to
merge then into a single tool.
Install goes off without anymore problems, I reboot and I am in my Ubuntu
From here on out, I will go through use cases:
Case 1 - Initial Update:
I get the notice that software updates are available, so I start to
download them. I get the notice that I can use the Nvidia drivers as well
from the Hardware tool. I attempt to download those, but I can't because
adept is already working. I would suggest either suppressing the Hardware
dialog until after the update (or do a first to the line mutexish thing),
or combine the two together.
Case 2 - Removing Cruft:
I am obsessive compulsive about having software I don't use on my machine
still on it. Yes I know hard drive space is cheap, but my sanity isn't. So
I open up the Add/Remove Software tool and proceed to remove software.
First thing I remove is one of the games that are included. I then get a
dialog warning me that if I remove this game, I also remove a few other
entirely unrelated games because they are in the same package. This is a
fundamental flaw, in my eyes, in this tool. It is attempting to provide an
application view, but also reconcile package view, which do not always have
a 1 to 1 relationship. My suggestion is to put the package as the entry in
the tool, that expands to show the applications.
The second part of this is demonstrated by trying to remove Palm utilities.
I don't have a PDA or a Palm device, so I want to get rid of this. But I
can't, because it is a part of a package that is not removable by the
Add/Remove Software tool, but by Synaptic. This again goes to the flaw of
trying to reconcile Applications with Packages when there is no 1 to 1, but
is compounded by the fact that the package isn't composed entirely of
applications, but has libraries. My suggestion, remove the ability to
deselect any Application that can't be removed by the Add/Remove tool, or
better yet, just don't show it.
Case 3 - Opening Windows (any application or browser):
Being that I have a 30 inch screen, I like things to open in the center
first, then work its way out. The default for Ubuntu is the smart
placement, which opens in the upper left corner, and then does a best fit
from there. The center scheme seemed to always open things in the middle,
regardless if there was another window there. I'd like smart placement,
with preference to the center.
Case 4 - Reopening a Window:
If I move a window, and then close it, I'd like it to remember where it was
when it was closed, so when I reopen it, it goes right back there first,
then tries the smart placement. Current is just smart placement.
Case 5 - Playing music stored on an external file server:
This one is the last case I will go over, and the one that broke me and
caused me to reinstall to my now Windows 7 beta. I have a home media server
with all my music/movies and what not on it served out via Samba. I wanted
to be able to mount my Music share, load those files into a playlist and
start playing without having to copy all the files to the local disk.
Ubuntu saw my server and mounted my share for me easily through Gnomes file
browser. I now showed Music mounted, and had an Icon on the deskop that I
could open and browse through.
I started out with Exaile. I open up the menu to add media to my playlist,
and no Music share is visible. I can clearly see it, I can browse it, I can
even copy a file over. I open a terminal do a df, and no mount point. I
remember this is probably all hidden behind GnomeVFS. So I figure that
Exaile didn't use it, or use it correctly. So I move on to the next media
player. I install Beep Media Player, load it up, hit add to playlist, and
sweet! It can see Music, I highlight Music and hit open thinking it would
open and parse that directory and all the subdirectories there, and it
doesn't, it opens the directory. So I highlight Music again and hit add,
nothing. I go ok, I highlight all the subdirectories and hit Add. Crap, I
now have every subdirectory listed in the left hand shortcut pane of the
file browser and no files in my playlist. So I attempt to clean up my mess,
I try to shift click highlight all the subdirectories in the left hand
shortcut panel, and I can't. I am expected to click remove on each and
every single one of those directories. I give up, download Windows 7 Beta,
along with Fedora and Suse, and leave Ubuntu.
And that is my experience. I may go back to Ubuntu with another release, or
I may even reinstall it and try and fix some of these problems. But for the
most part, I found it quite frustrating to use. And it for the most part is
not the Ubuntu developers fault, it is just a lack of attention to detail
and proper testing from most of the upstream applications.
Thank you for listening,
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