Saturday, March 17, 2012

Ubuntu 11.10 on my Dell Inspirion M101Z (dual core)

From the time I had this  laptop  Dell Inspiron M101z (AMD Athlon II Neo K325 Processor 1.3GHz, 2GB RAM)  (http://asia.cnet.com/product/dell-inspiron-m101z-amd-athlon-ii-neo-k325-processor-1-3ghz-4gb-ram-45287123.htm), I had used the excellent wubi installer to dual boot Ubuntu  10.10 to my system. This was okay, however the Windows 7 starter OS I have in this is also pretty light and fast and most often I was using it. I guess with Windows Ubuntu half lost the battle.

Since Ubuntu has lot of releases, one day I tried upgrading Ubuntu in place. I guess upgrade is one area where Ubuntu is not that strong as earlier also upgrade has not been smooth.However this time, it managed to corrupt the Windows booting also. Since mine is a kind of high power Netbook, there is no CD tray. My hear skipped a beat when I saw this. However Windows 7 asked if it should go ahead and repair. Usually this sort of dialog from windows results in nothing much worthwhile, but this time in Windows 7 it actually repaired itself.  Amazing!

However Ubuntu was completely gone. After a few weeks I got courage again, fired up wubi and it installed 10.10 this time perfectly. I had thought that it would install the latest version 11.10. So I uninstalled wubi from my windows ,downloaded and installed a new wubi and fired it again. This time it installed 11.10 with the Unity 3D shell. Great I thought. Wubi is indeed pretty awesome.

However I immediately noticed the boot time for Ubuntu now was more than for Windows 7!. Also all the new effects of Unity and Unity 2D was making the system very very slow! and also erratic with complete freeze up. Ubuntu seems to have lost it now compared to Windows 7 Starter.

However the way the Ubuntu render my laptop screen looks to me better than for Windows 7, especially the white in windows 7 drivers looks pretty washed out. I can hardly see the thin borders of edit boxes and other such lines, example separators of mails in Windows Live Mail. But still this is just a minor annoyance than with Ubuntu.

However as others have suggested, I installed GNOME Shell and used the classic version, and with it the desktop performance is snazzy, though boot up times are pretty long.

Ubuntu 11.10 64 bit is relegated to the second love for now, Windows 7 Starter 32 bit providing all what I need.

I had come to love Ubuntu  (older version) for being light and fast on my old Pentium 3 PC which I had for quite some time. Windows XP would struggle in it and would not detect the  USB board that I plugged in, but Ubuntu was light and detected it. And also the web-cams etc that I attached.

However I have now discarded that old PC, and Ubuntu also seemed to have discarded its philosophy of being light enough in supporting low to medium  powered machines,but capable of providing users with a modern operating system. Sad, one tear drop  for Ubuntu,

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