Monthly Archives: April 2008

A first look at Ubuntu 8.04 – Hardy Heron

Yesterday evening, I installed the spanking new Hardy Heron on my laptop. This post is not going to be a complete review, but I will just cover the major points. For more information, please refer to my twitter timeline. I just don’t have enough time on my hands for a complete review.

  • No installation problems. Installs under 30 minutes for a clean install.
  • The laptop is more snappy now. I run a Dell Inspiron 6400 with Intel Core 2 Duo at 1.73 MHz and 1 GB RAM with 1 GB swap space. The system boots up faster, responds well and shuts down much faster compared to Gutsy.
  • Firefox 3 Beta is stable, no bugs or crashes until now
  • I installed the server apps today. I run Apache, MySQL and PHP – this took me some time to backup and restore the databases and blogs. Nothing to do with those apps though
  • The repositories seem to be heavily loaded now. So I advice to select the Best Server from the Synaptic package manager.
  • Wireless works. Ethernet works(it should, ain’t it?), Compiz works, works, codecs downloaded for the various media types. Pretty much all the standard stuff work.
  • Installing additional applications might take some time. For example, AWN is included in the repo but not many applets are available. So I had to add another source and install from it. I had the latest Flash version downloaded, so that was a snap to install. I prefer Amarok to Rhythmbox, so I installed it.
  • On the bad side, my laptop froze twice in two days. Yes it froze! Just like windows. Mouse did not respond neither did the keyboard. Ctrl+Backspace did not work either. So it was not X problem.
  • Most of the old GNOME GTK Icon themes don’t seem to work. Not sure what the problem is. My favorite Mac OSX Icon theme displays the default GNOME folder icon. This is the case with most other themes too. Has something changed in the way themes have to be created for GNOME 2.22? No idea.
  • Suspend works perfectly. Hibernate works, but considering the time taken to wake up, one can shut down and restart.
  • Brightness management seems to have gone bad. I am able to use the Fn key and get only two levels of brightness which forces me to add the Brightness management applet on the panel. I used to get ten levels in Gutsy.
  • Movie player does not play more than 8 sec of VOB files from DVD. VLC has no issues though. The file is just 1024 MB and had no issues on Gutsy.
  • Bluetooth worked after installing the Bluetooth File Sharing from Add/Remove programs. If this is required, why cant it be installed by default? I was able to send and received files to my Nokia phone but was not able to browse the phone on the computer. I was able to do this on Gutsy after installing gnome-vfs-obexftp but no luck here.
  • Apart from these minor irritations, the release is pretty good. I would not say solid because and OS freezing a computer cannot be called solid.

The real test for this release will be on the coming weekend when I will install it on my 7 year old P III computer running at 1.1 GHz and having 256 MB RAM with no graphics capability whatsoever. Gutsy is running pretty slow. I want to see how the Heron fares. No, dont suggest me to try Xubuntu. We are talking about Ubuntu here 😉

My conclusion is everyone can use this distribution, but some hand holding might be required for newbies. I should say that this is one of the releases that I had to spend more time on setting up the computer. This is also partly due to the fact that I have a lot of stuff to backup and restore.


Mandriva Linux One 2008 Spring – Screen shots

Mandriva Linux Spring 2008 was released a few days back and today I got a chance to have a look at it. The distro can be downloaded at the Mandriva site. If I should say in one word about this release, its gorgeous. The artwork is great and so is the performance.

On my system, running an Intel Core 2 Duo at 1.73 MHz with 1 GB RAM and an Intel 945 GMA, it ran smoothly even from the Live CD. I was able to launch multiple apps and still there was no problem. Mandriva seems keen in reviving its glory and this release is well on target.

The main highlights of this release are 2.4 and PulseAudio. KDE is version 3.5.9. All the other standard KDE utilities are available and the Mandriva Control Center makes life easy.

This is not a full review, but just a visual tour. Go here and enjoy the screen shots.

WordPress 2.5 Image Upload Solution

The newly released WordPress 2.5 has media uploading issues. The suggested solution is to add a few lines of code in the .htaccess file.

One more important thing especially for Linux users is to upgrade to the latest version of Flash which is available for download from Adobe. The latest version I installed on Ubuntu was 9.0 r124.

This can be checked out by opening a new tab in Firefox and typing about:plugins. Check under Shockwave Flash and the version number should be there.

This is not only applicable for custom WP installation but also for blogs hosted at

BTW, the lines of code that should go into the .htaccess files are this.

<IfModule mod_security.c>
<Files async-upload.php>
SecFilterEngine Off
SecFilterScanPOST Off

If you do not have a .htaccess file, create one and place it at the root of your website. If you already have one, add this code at the end of the file.

Happy Uploading 🙂

More twitter!

As I started using Twitter regularly, I was looking at tools to use the micro-blogging service. I use my IM to update Twitter but there are times when I don’t want to login on IM. For such days, I installed Twhirl, a twitter client for Windows and Mac. Twhirl is based on the Adobe AIR platform. Adobe AIR is available here. Twhirl is pretty cool and it has the most complete feature set to use Twitter.

Next, I added a Twitter badge to my blog here. WordPress does not allow scripts in widgets. So I just have to be content with an image linking to my Twitter page. Badges can be added on Myspace, Blogger, Typepad and web sites.

As a final note, I post stuff that mostly does not matter to most people out there, but once in a while, I do post something useful.