Upgrade Time

It’s Saturday morning, the to-do list is long, but the family is still asleep so it wouldn’t be good to turn on equipment or lawnmowers.  It actually looks like it’s going to rain anyway.  So, what to do?  Upgrade properly!

I’m a marketers dream.  I’m the ultimate impulse buyer.  I knew that there was a major release of Ubuntu scheduled for the end of the month.  After all, it was April.  I’d been doing some reading about the new features but was waiting until the official release day.  Earlier in the week, I had sent an article about essentials for 10.04 to Twitter and @mguhlin had responded to me.  If you don’t know him, you really should follow him on Twitter and read his thoughts here.

He was sharing the same level of anticipation about the release that I was and, after a couple of back and forths, I figure – what the hey.  From the Ubuntu website, there was a release candidate and we were within a week of the official launch.  So, with the “blistering” internet access that I have here, I used the Update Manager to download the upgrade overnight.  The upgrade button was right there in the upgrades area. 

Ubuntu has been a saviour for my older equipment but a real staple for my netbook, a Dell Mini 10v.  So, next morning, I let the software install itself and reboot.  Gasp.  My first impression was “It’s purple”.  But, that’s just the eye candy.  What really is the acid test is how it performs.  So, I get to my desktop and the Netbook Remix menu is still there and I fire up a couple of applications.  This look great.  But, the very best part was that the trackpad was finally working perfectly.  For all of the things that I like about this machine, the trackpad never really worked 100% perfectly.  Now, it was working like a champ.  I used the machine for a couple of days in this mode and then the itch hit again.  The release candidate was 10.04 and there’s not telling whether all of the remix was there or not.

So, this time, I downloaded the Ubuntu Netbook Remix on a high speed connection and put it on one of my USB keys.  I remember there was a time when I’d have to clean up some room to do this task.  Lately, I’ve been given a number of keys from here and there – the latest from the Business teachers PD workshop from the University of Windsor.

I copy the image over the hard drive and head into the Administration Tools and USB-Creator to create a bootable USB Key.  Reboot – F12 to boot from the USB key – and we’re off to do the installation.  I’m excited – there’s nothing like a clean install of the OS to make a machine snappy and to play with all the new features.  By default, it boots to the Ambience theme which is spectacular.

Next, I decide to check for any updates since the release of the ISO.


No wireless.  Can’t even see a network.  Ah, memory kicks in.  The Broadcom wireless uses proprietary drivers.  Better get them and … no network.  Fortunately through sheer genius (and dumb luck) the wireless access point that I bought has local ethernet connectors.  I head it, connect the netbook and head to proprietary drives and Ubuntu knows exactly which ones that I need and downloads them.  A reboot later and the wireless network is visible and I’m good to go.  I’ve got to grab a few downloads (like Scribefire so that I can write this blog entry) and I’m a happy camper.

Until I’m caught and the todo list revisited, I’m going to spend time this morning checking everything out.  I’m really liking what I’m seeing so far!

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