A Weekend With Gutsy Gibbon

Okay, I didn’t really spend the entire weekend with Gutsy, I spent it with my wife, vacationing in Maine. I really only spent a few hours with Gutsy the morning before we left, and one late night when I couldn’t sleep because I had strong tea with dinner.
Anyway, after a somewhat frustrating Thursday, where I was not able to install Gutsy due to server timeouts, as of Friday morning, all of my installations and downloads were ready to complete.

  • The installer is pretty much the same as it has been. Harlem informed me that you can now encrypt a partition during the installation, but I did a very standard install and didn’t try this.
  • Desktop Effects (Compiz Fusion) enabled by default, and I noticed. They are done well, and aren’t jarring or intrusive. However, on the first web site I called up, Twitter.com, text entry fields had the cursor positioned on the wrong boxes. I was able to work around this, but I’m disappointed at my initial testing, where it appears desktop effects messed things up right out of the box. After enabling “Extra” settings I notice text wobbles when I type into Pidgin. I don’t think this is intentional.

Note: Desktop effects are NOT working on the HP Desktop with Intel graphics which I upgraded from Feisty.

  • Able to write files to my NTFS partition with no configuration whatsoever. Excellent. See below how I used this.
  • Still using the same, jarring, annoying, startup sound as Edgy/Feisty. Ugh. Step one: sudo scp peter@dapperserver:/usr/shared/sounds/startup.wav /usr/shared/sounds/
  • New Desktop background… actually, it kinda reminds me of the background that came with Dapper.
  • I was so hopeful for Evolution. It crashed before I could receive my email. While blocked, the app fades into the background. Interesting, no doubt, Compiz feature I’ve never used before, to replace the spinning circle or Windows hourglass. Evolution gives me the opportunity to play a WAV file I received as an attachment by clicking a “play” button. Great! Except nothing happens when I click it. Oh, of course, I need to install a codec to play WAV files. What, wait. I do? Why? Doesn’t Ubuntu use WAV files for its own theme music?
  • Tried to install Thunderbird. Add/Remove Applications says “the list of applications is not available.” Wow. It’s still looking for my CD. I thought it auto-failed over to network repos? Guess not. Easy enough to do in within Add/Remove Applications by checking a few boxes. After doing so, I was still not able to install anything because the list is still out of date/not available. So I refreshed it a third time. This time it stuck and Thunderbird is installing.
  • Okay, I have three choices for Desktop Effects. Off, middle of the road, and extreme. How do I configure the settings…? Ah. I need to install the Advanced Desktop Effects Settings (Compiz configuration settings manager), which is only available after enabling “All available applications,” because it’s in a community-maintaned repository. Conveniently, this places a “Custom” button within the “Visual Effects” tab of the Appearance Preferences box. That’s good.
  • My downloads (HTTP and BitTorrent), which looked like they would take days to complete, both finished overnight (including the 4+GB DVD image I downloaded by accident). I am assuming my dist-upgrade from my Feisty box will have finished as well.
  • Logmein.com works in Firefox. It never worked for me under Feisty due to some certificate error I was never able to resolve.
  • Wireless connectivity seems a bit better. On my last installation of Feisty on this laptop, I had to enter my WPA password every time I connected. Got tedious very quickly.
  • Hm. I take that back. I connected to my wireless network, and was shortly thereafter disconnected, even though I have full signal strength. Seems to be holding the connection this time.
    Update: Wireless is working wonderfully, both at home and at the office.
  • “There was an error starting the GNOME Settings Daemon. Some things, such as themes, sounds, or background settings may not work correctly.

The last error message was: Did not receive a reply. Possible causes include: the remote application did not send a reply, the message bus security policy blocked the reply, the reply timeout expired, or the network connection was broken. GNOME will still try to restart the Settings Daemon next time you log in.”

  • Then Tomboy Notes would not start. Decided to log out to restart GNOME. Noticed that the option to hibernate was missing. Both were corrected after logging off and back on again.
  • GNOME desktop switcher has broken twice after I adjusted Comiz settings. I was able to make it work again by reverting to the “Normal” settings and then back to “Custom.”
  • Tracker search – just uses standard GNU tools locate, find, and grep. Bravo!
  • Gnome 2.20 feature – “Leave a message.” Very neat.
  • Window snapping works with wobbly windows. Very neat. Eye candy without sacrificing functionality.
  • Playing in the GNOME configuration utility, I see that the default desktop background is called “warty-final-ubuntu.png.” Interesting.
  • Sunday morning: Compiz-Fusion just got really, really slow all of a sudden. It’s taking several seconds to open or close a window because of the effects, even though I haven’t modified any settings for some time. Disabling them cleared things up, but re-enabling them slowed things down again. Dropping them to Normal sped things up briefly, then slowed again shortly thereafter.
  • Hibernated and resumed without incident.
  • Later, hibernate reports to have failed, but it seemed to work for me… paranoia?
  • I symlinked my .mozilla and .mozilla-thunderbird profiles to my existing Windows profiles. Now I don’t need to sync them back and forth every time I change a bookmark, add an account, or install an add-on. Now that I have read and write ability to my Windows partition, I can do this!

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