Posts Tagged 'Hardware'

About screen resolutions, email, scanning and themes

A few days in, my mother still isn’t convinced of the superiority of Ubuntu.

In my previous post I explained that I could not enable Compiz because Nvidia’s restricted driver only allowed screen resolutions up to 1024×768.
However, it appears that my mother complained about the resolution being too high! My brother, even though he suffers Linuxphobia, easily found how to change it so my mother is now running at a ridiculously low resolution 😉
In any case, this allowed me to enable Compiz. I did so without telling her – and so far, she doesn’t seem to have noticed. I’m sure it’ll at that little extra touch to the experience though.
Meanwhile, ikkefc3 left a very helpful comment, so it now it possible to use a higher resolution, were my mother to want that.

Then my mother also had a question about receiving new emails in Evolution – new emails wouldn’t land in her inbox automatically like it did in Outlook Express. I told her I’d come to help her in a sec, but when I arrived she had already found out by herself she just needed to push she Verzenden/Ontvangen- (Send/Receive-) button. Very cool.
I suggested that there surely would be an option in Evolution’s settings so it would also check automatically, but she said it was fine this way too.

As I mentioned in my first post I was afraid that the Epson DX8450 scanner/printer-combination might not fully work. Since there wasn’t any printer ink left I haven’t been able to test that, but scanning indeed did not work.
However, using a forum post on the Ubuntu Forums by user wflu I managed to install the drivers recommended by Epson and scanning now works. Quite likely, printing will also work without a problem.

So what’s next? Well, I’m planning to look for a better GTK theme together with my mother, because I agree with her that the default one is just too bulky. Together with Compiz, most, if not everything, configured and everything working right now, I’d say that Ubuntu might have become quite appealing. Let’s hope my mother agrees 🙂


The partition table

With a bit of help from Sjors I devised the following partition table for my mother’s computer.

First of all, there’s the main hard drive that Windows is currently installed on. Resizing the NTFS partition using Ubuntu’s installer, I’ll make another, ext3, partition for /boot of 500MB, which might be bigger than needed, but it’s not like she can’t miss that space…

Then there’s the external 160GB hard drive which will be fully used for Ubuntu. I’ll create an ext3 partition of 30GB to store /, a swap-partition of 10 GB (yes, that is more than enough, too) and I’ll fill up the rest with an ext3 partition for /home.

The reasoning behind the /boot partition on the first hard drive is that it can now safely boot even when the external hard drive is disconnected, and if something would go wrong with the other Linux partitions, it would still be able to boot Windows.

Then there’s the /home partition. This might save me a lot of headaches – when there’s a problem I can do a fresh installation of Ubuntu without erasing all documents and settings my mother created. Of course, were this situation ever to occur it would be really shameful for Ubuntu, but on the other hand, it’s a plus that this is possible. And of course, another situation where it would be useful is when I want to install a newer version, though it might cause problems with outdated configuration files.

Of course, if anyone has any further suggestions for the partition table they are more than welcome. Let’s hope everything works out as expected tomorrow…

There’s good news and bad news

I was reading through the Ubuntu wiki in order to be fully prepared to install a dual-boot system, when I read the following:

Most systems which are delivered with Windows already installed also come with some sort of recovery or re-installation disk. There is a recent tendency for companies to try to save money and not ship such a disk. Instead, they provide you a hidden partition on which there is a recovery tool and an image of the pre-installed system.

So I enquired with my mother whether she had such a CD, and she pointed me at a box containing everything related to her computer. And shockingly, indeed there was no CD anywhere to be found! I can’t actually believe HP did not provide her with this CD – after all, she paid for Windows when she bought the computer, and therefore is fully entitled to the installation/recovery CD.

However, looking for the CD, I did find something else: a 160 GB external hard drive!

That really is good news, as it will make the installation of Ubuntu a lot easier. Instead of having to free a partition on her current hard drive (which I was already defragmenting) I can now just completely wipe the external one.

The only thing I might experience troubles with is the Master Boot Record – my mother does not have a floppy drive and I’m not exactly sure what consequence it might have to wipe Windows’ MBR.

I’ve planned tomorrow to be the big day – the day on which I’ll do the actual installation. Stay tuned!