Ubuntu reviewed

My home desktop is giving problems, probably because of some heat issues. So I cannot continue what I was working on over weekend. That gives me time to write about my review of new release of Ubuntu that I installed on my office machine.

Over a year I have been contemplating a shift from Fedora to Ubuntu. At the time of Feisty I took a step in that direction, but then I decided to stick with familiar Fedora little longer. Now I am more comfortable with apt and dpkg, thanks to Maemo. So I was eagerly waiting for Hardy release of Ubuntu.

As you can read everywhere else, Ubuntu 8.04 is impressive. I agree. I will rather write about two specific issues that were relevant to my environment.

For few years I have been managing the storage of my desktops using LVM. It’s very handy for me. Unfortunately Ubuntu’s Live CD installation method doesn’t support logical volumes - something that Redhat/Fedora supported so easily. Probably, ubuntu’s target audience would prefer minimum click installs to advanced tweaking of the system. The alternate CD discovers logical volumes, but it’s very tricky. I don’t remember exactly, but last time I tried it, the installer froze on me until I figured - by jumping to adjascent terminals - that scanning of each volume was taking too long. But this time, I found an easier way of using LVM while still using Live CD. As per the instructions, I installed lvm2 and inserted dm-mod into the Live CD kernel. But the article guides you on how to create logical volumes from raw discs and then install Ubuntu on them. In my case I already had volumes. The instructions given in above link are not sufficient if you want to reuse the volumes that you created with your old linux installation. However it is very simple, if you do it right.

  • Make sure you use “sudo” while doing pvscan, vgscan, lvscan. If you don’t, these commands will exit silently, giving you the impression that they haven’t detected your LVM setup.
  • If you create new volumes as mentioned in above instructions, you will be able to see them as device nodes under /dev/mapper or /dev//, you can use them as targets of your favorite mkfs. utilities. However your already existing volumes won’t show up that easily. If you want to see them, use “vgchange -ay”. This will activate all your volume groups.Apart from this, rest of the installation is a stroll in the park.

Now a days, it’s common to have dual monitor setups in workplaces. I have one too (I mean two :). I needed to use some nvidia specific utils to get dual monitors working. If you search for terms like “dual monitors ubuntu nvidia twinview” you will get lots of posts. I found and followed all those too. But all of them told me to do Ctrl+Alt+BackSpace to reload X, to test the changes in my x.org file. That just made the display more and more horrible for me. The resolution dropped to 800x640, nvidia’s twinview utility was no where in sight. … until I rebooted the box. Maybe it was little dumb of me to not have rebooted after I installed nvidia’s driver. I don’t know which of the changes found in all those posts worked for me, but I think the important thing is to reboot the machine after you install nvidia’s drivers.

Monday didn’t seem so boring because a brand new system was waiting for me at work today. I set things up to suite my needs - nis, automounter, users, firefox sync, mail setup …. Firefox 3 beta 5 is pleasant. Fast as advertised. But I still couldn’t find compatible google extenstions that I am so used to (browser sync, notebook, toolbar). There are compatible versions available for Firefox 3, but for some reason they didn’t want to get installed on my beta 5 build.

But a major change I did was with my mail client, which wasn’t planned. I don’t remember if I had used Evolution any time in the past - not seriously for sure. But today I decided to give it a try, as it’s the default mail client that comes with ubuntu. And within few minutes, I was a convert. I have stopped using Thunderbird. The biggest turnoff with thunderbird is its lack of calendar utility. Lightning is far behind alpha quality. That had forced me into using Korganizer on my Fedora 7 desktop. But this time I decided to give a shot to Gnome’s PIM tools integrated into Evolution. Evolution has almost all the good things that thunderbird has (most importantly fast search), but in addition it has a functioning calendar program. I haven’t tried to sync it with MS Exchange, but I doubt if any non M$ client will reliably work with MS Exchange calendars. I am happy with setting up my events and reminders manually, as long as basic functionality is there. Furthermore it was easy to import my mail folders from Thunderbird to Evolution, thankfully both use a standard “mbox” format to store the mails. Filter rules aren’t compatible however, I will have to manually write them.

Fedora 9 is coming out in May. If you try it, let me know. I will skip Fedora this time though.




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Violet end of spectrum

Vipassana Meditation

Why gamers like pixelated games


Collecting Vs Hoarding Netflix

Game Design tip for Programmers - Less Automation

Review Ghost In The Shell - The blinds scene

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Project Dialog


Don't Panic

The Entanglement Pattern

The flying cars analogy

Road Trip of Atlantic Canada

Having done attitude


Before fixing performance issues

No Exams, Yes Video games

Podcasts Français


Quotable Quotes



Uruguay's President

New rules for Formula 1

Software Engineering Code of Ethics and Professional Practice

Something's missing


Coffeescript: To switch or not to switch

Water from air

The single most reason that keeps me using Vim

Time travel fiction

When your git branch diverges from your remote

Something like Olivia - John Mayer

Online courses - New technology, Old rules

Kelsey Grammer is spectacular

Why Patriotism doesn't make sense

Why sea steading is important to pursue?


Rolling back latest git commit

Google Lunar X Prize

iTunes Download stopped (err =9006)

Good essay on user centric software design

Why we need to explore Seasteading?


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The Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov

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How to print stack trace anywhere in Javascript

It's not fair to compare Android with Internet Explorer

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Why can't I criticize Government if I don't vote? I sure can.

Elon Musk quote

Don't label yourself

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JavaScript is the next C

Ever growing todo list is a good sign for creative projects

Lesser women in tech... So what?

HTML5 offline cache - use swapCache carefully

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Functional programming in Javascipt using Underscore.js

Youtube ETA - Chrome extension

Why secure airports when it's planes that fly?

Mac book red light audio jack problem on Linux

How to save HTML5 canvas image to Google App Engine

Why don't they publish eBooks for free but with embedded ads?

Silicon Valley and Hi-tech

Reality distortion field around

Indirect experiments

Music sharing

ReaderScope 2.0.6 - Find Comments

ReaderScope 2.0

predictably irrational

ReaderScope upcoming changes


Why "Open" is not the first concern of user?

Mutt, Gmail, gdata, notify-send: A Perfect Email solution

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ReaderScope 1.9 - OAuth

New app "Find Comments"


ReaderScope 1.8.{2,3} - new authentication and global share

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ReaderScope 1.8.1 - rethinking features

ReaderScope 1.8 - Random

Android fragmentation : How big a deal is it?

on Dropbox


ReaderScope v1.7 - Widget, new Icons and .... Ads

on Git: tips for SVN users and Git in Dropbox cloud

How to do an online IDE for Android app development

Anti Asserts

Bono's top ten list

Make Android speak your Twits with "TwitSpeak"


Reality of colors

Talking Twitter client

ReaderScope 1.5 - quicker, better, prettier

Preview android.R.drawable.* images

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ReaderScope 1.4 (with a Theme Pack)

On Chrome OS

Black on White

Android AsyncTask template

The AND-OR problem of laptop and mobile phone

ReaderScope v1.3.3 - offline podcasts

ReaderScope v1.3.2 - Social Channels

ReaderScope v1.3 - Beyond Google Reader

Frets on Fire for Maemo - Update

ReaderScope 1.2.7 - Podcasts, Expanded View

Sprint HTC Hero problems with ReaderScope

ReaderScope 1.2.3 - Search

ReaderScope 1.2.1 - Auto Login

ReaderScope v1.2

ReaderScope 1.1.3 - SDCard storage

Crash report for Android App

Wifi and Battery

ReaderScope 1.1.2

ReaderScope 1.1.1 quick-n-easy features

ReaderScope 1.1 - Social Beacons

ReaderScope 1.0.2 - making deep cache simple

ReaderScope 1.0.1

ReaderScope 1.0

Detecting HTC magic on Fedora

ReaderScope beta4 - offline fun

ReaderScope beta3 - Tweet the news

ReaderScope Beta2

ReaderScope beta1 is out

Intercepting Up/Down keys from bash script

Makeshift XML beautifier in python

HTC Magic (Indian version) - expectations and facts

using android AsyncTask

Android development with Vim + Eclim

Cutewit (preview)

Einstein's Dreams

Preprocessing the GUI

Evas + Inkface in v0.2.5

easy source

FoF - PyOpenGL = miniFoF (possibly for n810)

FoF update

Twitter client with inkface-pygame v0.2.2

Frets on Fire on Maemo 5 (Fremantle)

Static IP configuration on Fedora 10

Inkface+pygame v0.2.0

Smooth scrolling with Inkface+pygame

Inkface v0.2 update and automated GUI testing

Testing Android (Koolu Beta 3) on Openmoko Freerunner

Clutter animation paths with Inkscape+Inkface (v0.1.3)

Turning a page

Planning Inkface v0.2

Debian repository on Google App Engine

Inkface + Clutter

Inkface v0.1.2, Twitter-inkface client


Inkface update

Debugging python reference counts

Paul Graham nails it again!

Fedora 10 on MacBook 2,1

A great essay

Thanksgiving at Crater Lake

Digital SLR buyer's guide

more fun with notify-send

(k)ubuntu 8.10 - not ready for my home yet

Migrating to Google App Engine

Android opened - first looks inside

Has it started?

Inkface v0.1

Musical discovery of the week

Die Berlin-Affäre

aus Berlin

Inkface - SVG based GUI design

Script fun

Visualizing source code

OpenMoko photo tour

New connection with the past

George Carlin - favorite clip


80-20 rule

Python fun

OSiM'08 Berlin, Germany

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"Wine" tasting

Today's slashdot and open source

Cost of Open Source

Lions for Lambs

Ubuntu reviewed

Flickr uploads from n810

Cringely and Paul Graham

Accelerometer brainstorming

Clutter Webkit

OSiM USA 2008 - Day 2

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Google code

Gr8 commercial

OSiM USA 2008, see you there

OpenMoko, Android and a great hacking post

two great videos

Blog from nokia tablets


cool n770 hack


Colbie Caillat

Firefox 3 is brilliant!!!

XML RPC server inside apache mod_python

best effort technologies

coding Monalisa

formula of a horror movie

next desktop jump

The "Screen"

Nice review article on virtualization technologies

Once again... a quote from 'Troy'

Story of a random number

quotes from George Carlin

"from time import sleep"

Sea surfing under the Golden Gate

Trip videos


across two hours

What I read...

How do I backup to Amazon S3 storage service

Stranger than fiction

Gas prices... seems like big scam

Another nice quote

Hilarious nerd comment

Programming & Painting

Why do we like fiction?


If Harry Potter were a computer hacker ...

Gentoo, XGL, HGG

Henry Ford

VI - A capable IDE

New blog

Safari Bookshelf


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GCC 2.95 rpms

repeat (ps | grep) = filtered top

Halo fixed on ATI Mobility Radeon 9000

DirectX Installation Problem

Warning: const is a keyword in ANSI C

Not much on L4 front

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Make problem solved


Handy way to create stack trace