Skip to main content

Ubuntu Dapper Drake running on a Gateway M685

I got a new notebook today at work. It's a Gateway M685. The M685 is the next generation of my current notebook, the M680. The M685 comes with the following:
  • T2500 Core Duo at 2GHz
  • 1GB RAM
  • 100GB Fujitsu MHV2100BH SATA HD
  • nVidia GeForce Go 7800 video card
  • 17", 1680 x 1050 video
  • Intel PRO/1000 PL Ethernet adapter
  • Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG WiFi adapter
The performance of the M685 is smooth as silk and noticeably faster, even though processor of the M685 is slightly slower than the M680 (2GHz vs. 2.13GHz).

The first thing I did when I got my hands on the system was install Symantec's PartitionMagic 8 and re-partition the hard drive. Half of the drive will host Windows XP, while the other half will host Linux. After that I installed ZoneAlarm, then hooked the system up to the network behind a firewall and installed 38 Windows XP patches. Finally, I installed Firefox and made it the default browser.

I then attempted to install SuSE 10 Linux, the same distribution I have running on my current notebook. It failed in the first attempt because it failed to find any hard drive partitions. After having been bloodied once already by installing Linux on my older Gateway, I stopped the SuSE installation and rebooted the M685 with Ubuntu Alpha 6. I was amazed by what happened next.

Ubuntu nailed the video system first boot. It ran the display at 1680 x 1050 resolution. Hardware 2D was perfect. Text rendering was superb. No display problems what-so-ever. It still didn't find the hard drive, the wireless chipset (I didn't expect it to), or audio, but everything else such as my USB wireless mouse and various thumbdrives were detected and handled accordingly. Oh. The reason I believe Linux can't see any hard drive partitions is that it's not booting with the serial ATA driver. I need to find out how to boot Linux from a SATA drive and try loading SuSE tomorrow evening.

For now, I'm throwing in an Ubuntu screen shot from its run on the Gateway M685.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

cat-in-a-box channels greta garbo

So I'm sitting at my computer, when I start to notice a racket in back. I ignore it for a while until I hear a load "thump!", as if something had been dropped on the floor, followed by a lot of loud rattling. I turn around and see Lucy in the box just having a grand old time, rolling around and rattling that box a good one. I grab the GX1 and snap a few shots before she notices me and the camera, then leaps out and back into her chair (which used to be my chair before she decided it was her chair).

Just like caring for Katie my black Lab taught me about dogs, caring for Lucy is teaching me about cats. She finds me fascinating, as I do her. And she expresses great affection and love toward me without coaxing. I try to return the affection and love, but she is a cat, and she takes a bat at me on occasion, although I think that's just her being playful. She always has her claws in when she does that.

She sits next to me during the evening in her chair while I sit in mi…

vm networking problem fixed

Over the weekend I upgraded to Windows 8.1, then discovered that networking for the virtual machines wouldn't work. Then I tried something incredibly simple and fixed the problem.

Checking the system I noticed that three VMware Windows services weren't running; VMnetDHCP, VMUSBArbService, and VMwareNatService. VMware Player allows you to install, remove, or fix an existing installation. I chose to try fixing the installation, and that fixed the problem. The services were re-installed/restarted, and the virtual machines had networking again.

Once network connectivity was established there was exactly one updated file for Ubuntu 13.10, a data file. This underscores how solid and finished the release was this time. Every other version of every other Linux installation I've ever dealt with has always been succeeded by boatloads of updates after the initial installation. But not this time.

Everything is working properly on my notebook. All's right with the world.

sony's pivotal mirrorless move

I'm a died-in-the-wool technologist, even when it comes to photography. I have always been fascinated with the technology that goes into manufacturing any camera, from the lenses (optics) through the mechanical construction, the electronics involved, and especially the chemistry of the film and the sophistication of the digital sensor. It's amazing that the camera can do all it's asked of it, regardless of manufacturer.

Of all the types of cameras that I've really taken an interest in, contemporary mirrorless (again, regardless of manufacturer) are the most interesting because of the challenging problems the scientists and engineers have had to solve in order to build a compact but highly functional camera. In particular I've followed the sensor advances over the years and watched image quality climb (especially with μ4:3rds) to exceed film and rival one another such that there's very little difference any more as you move from the smaller sensors such as 4:3r…