In my quest for learning, I did my first step with Linux back into 2006 with the 6.06 LTS version. Since that time, I have learned quite a lot, but still consider myself a newbee.
From that perspective, Ubuntu has come long way. Every 6 months, since Ubuntu 6.10, I have tested each release. In general it was always a step forward for user friendlyness. Ubuntu 8.10 is no exception… and in my opinion it is the best Ubutu release ever. Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex is somewhat what I was expecting from 8.04.
The new artwork makes it feel different than previous release. While exploring the menus and configurations you will notice that it is not just a feeling. In the past, to configure a wireless network, you had to go to System / Administration / Networking. Then setting your WEP key (if using WEP) and activate the adapter. Often I had to perform “activate+deactivate” a couple of time to finally get a working connection.
Now the network manager can be found under System / Preferences / Network configuration, but I didn’t have to go there since a tooltip appeared at first logon stating “wireless networks available”. I just had to select the right SSID and configure the WEP key from there. On top of that, the connection was established within seconds after first try…
Peoples definition of “home computer” has changed quite a bit. Previously, home computer was synonym of desktop PC, now if notebooks sales have not exceeded desktop sales, I guess it is just a matter of time… I think, with this release, Ubuntu followed this wave of mobility.
*** UPDATE 2008/11/28 ***
General Hardware Specifications of Lenovo R61
|Hardware Components||Status under Linux||Additional notes|
|Intel Dual Core T7100 1.8Ghz||Ok|
|15.4 in 1280×800 LCD||Ok||Default resolution properly set.|
|Intel X3100||Ok||No proprietary drivers available.I installed compiz manager and activated some nice desktop effects like desktop cube. Works perfectly.|
|120GB Hard Drive||Ok|
|Integrated Network Card||Ok|
|Intel Pro Wireless 3945ABG||Ok||Beware to turn on the hardware switch BEFORE booting Ubuntu and if the card has been disabled within Windows, enable it before switching to Ubuntu.Note: The signal indicator on the display panel is is always off even if wireless is working/active. Regarding this, this blog post has more information about it.After installation, I tried to setup my home network, but the network manager was not displaying SSIDs available in my area. A reboot didn’t help. I tried configuring by providing my SSID manually but still didn’t work. I realized that I disabled the card from my dual-booted Windows installation. So I rebooted into Windows, enabled the card, the re-rebooted into Ubuntu and to my surprise network was working (is it luck??).
*** UPDATE 2008/10/27 ***
I am using this laptop with Ubuntu on and on since the release of 8.04, keeping it up to date and I hadn’t much issues with Wireless. It worked as expected when moving from one network to the other. In Windows, I keep enabling/disabling the Wi-Fi depending on my needs. No matter its state in Windows, when I boot Ubuntu it is enabled (as expected). So changing it’s state in Windows does not impact the Ubuntu installation as it first seemed to appear before…
|Internal 56k Modem||I don’t know||I never tried the modem|
|I’ve been able to read DVD/CDs, but I haven’t tried burning CDs or DVDs with it.|
|6 cells Lithium-Ion Battery||Ok|
|Integrated sound card||Ok|
|PC Speaker||Ok||Note: You can easily disable PC Speaker beeps using System/Preferences/Sound in “System beep” tab.|
Special Keyboard Keys
|Volume Up / Down||Ok|
|Power button||I don’t know|
|Navigation Back/Forward||Not working||The browser navigation buttons near the arrow keys.|
|Fn + Light On / Off||Ok||There is a little light in the display panel that can be turned on to see the keyboad when using at night.|
|Fn + Brigthness Up / Down||Ok|
|Fn + Zoom||Not working|
|Fn + CRT/LCD||I don’t know|
|Fn + Sleep||Ok|
|Fn + NumLock||Ok|
|Fn + Scroll Lock||I don’t know|
|Fn + SysRq||I don’t know|
|Fn + Wireless (on/off)||Partially||It worked to turn wireless off, but I never succeed to bring the signal back until I did a sleep/unsleep of the system.|
The installation steps are the same that I used when I installed Ubuntu 7.10 on my Inspiron 86005 comments