Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Day One

My new Dell-Ubuntu laptop arrived yesterday afternoon (I called off work so I could be home to sign for it). I've been playing with it and am generally pleased. Here are a few things I've learned in the last 24 hours.

I hadn't realized that it had an SD card slot. I can just pull the card out of my camera and plug it in. It even prompts that it discovered a photo card and asks if I want to download everything.
I had expected that the DVD player wouldn't work right out of the box. I've installed Ogle and Gxine and will be experimenting with various formats, controls and such. Part of the plan is to have the laptop play videos for the Confluence video program. Several things I want to show I have only been able to find as AVI files.

The touchpad is nice enough but I want a mouse. I have a little travel mouse but it's too small. I want to get a more standard size unit.

The batery charging light doesn't come on when the battery is charging. Not a big deal. I just added the Power Manager icon in the system tray. The history feature is pretty neat.

I've had some strangeness with the wireless connection. Yesterday it connected to the access point upstairs without any problem. Today, it wouldn't. Instead, it wanted to connect to the one downstairs. In either case, I need to program it as a specific selection otherwise it's going to ask me for the WEP key every time I connect.

I also received a strange message when I was setting it up about a default keyring password. I gave it a password but now every time I connect at home I'm prompted to enter that password.
I'm not sure what's that's all about yet.

During lunch, I attempted to connect to Pittsburgh's free wi-fi. I could see the access point but what was supposed to happen, the signon page coming up, didn't. I select a nearby hotel access point and got their login page so it's not something inherently wrong with my wireless, Ubuntu or Firefox. But it would not surprise me if the hosts built their page with IE in mind and it just wasn't clicking with my machine. I'll have to look into that further, as well.

My PC still has that Windows button between the Fn and Alt keys. It doesn't do anything (of course). I have to look into how I can remove the logo.

I found that system76 has free Ubuntu stickers. All you have to do is send then a self-addressed stamped envelope. I sent them one so that I can get the sticker on my machine. Dell should put them on just like they pimp the "Designed for Windows" logos.

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