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Ubuntu 9.04: The official review

Jack Wallen has been working with Ubuntu 9.04 for a while and finds there are some issues with the latest release from Ubuntu. Take a read of Jack's pros and cons and see if you have any to add to the list.

On April 27 I wrote a blog entry titled, "Ubuntu 9.04: Wow." This was nothing more than a knee-jerk reactionary piece that extolled the values of what the newest release from Mark Shuttleworth and company had to offer. And there is quite a bit of good to take in from the latest-greatest Ubuntu. However, once you get beyond the shiny, glossy exterior you might find a few less-than stellar issues that can raise a flag or two.

Although I have yet to come across a deal breaker in this release, I have managed to find a few chinks in the armor of Ubuntu 9.04. In this review I am going to list the pros/cons (from my experiences) and let you add your own pros/cons list. From the collective whole we can decide if Ubuntu 9.04 has helped to push the Linux envelope farther than any other release to date.

The setup

Before I continue, I should say this review was not done on my old trusty "Litmus Laptop" (which I have finally rid myself of), but on a mid-line desktop machine with the following hardware:

  • CPU: Single core AMD Athlon 2800+
  • RAM: 1 Gig
  • Video: NVdia 8600 GT
Pros

* SPEED. The first, and probably most notable, aspect of Ubuntu 9.04 is how much faster it is than previous releases. That is not to say it is the fastest of any current release. Bootup time (from start to login) is 39 seconds on the test machine, which isn't bad. When you start running applications, you really notice the difference. Here is a list of statup times for certain applications:

  • OpenOffice Writer: 3.18 seconds
  • Firefox: 2.14 seconds
  • The Gimp: 6.04 seconds

Let's compare this with startup of these same applications on my primary desktop machine running a Debian-based operating system (Elive) with the following hardware:

  • CPU: AMD X2 6000+
  • RAM: 2 Gig
  • Video: NVidia 7025

Here's how this machine stacked up:

  • OpenOffice: 6.10 seconds
  • Firefox: 3.05 seconds
  • The Gimp: 8.10 seconds

As you can see, the faster machine had slower boot times.

* DRIVERS. One of the issues Ubuntu is attempting to resolve is that of the use of proprietary drivers. Up until this release, if you wanted to use certain video or wireless chipsets you were out of luck if you wanted to remain completely free (as in freedom). With the release of 9.04 a spark of hope is shining through for those who desire no longer to be fettered to proprietary software.

Along with the NVidia graphics chipset there is a wireless card with a broadcom chipset. This chipset has always been notorious for requiring, at least, the use of fwcutter and proprietary drivers. Worst case scenario with this chipset has been employing ndiswrapper which has always been spotty at best. With 9.04 the only requirement was enabling the proprietary driver for the device.

Video was a bit of a different story. With 9.04 the new Nouveau drivers, which are open sourced drivers for NVidia graphics cards, promise to break the ties users have to proprietary drivers. I will say this is the first time I have been able to use an NVidia card, without having to install proprietary drivers, on an Ubuntu system and get a workable resolution. With the Nouveau drivers I could manage 1600X1200 resolution. The screen looked crisp and bright. There was, however, a downside to this (we'll chat about this in a moment.)

* MENUS. Finally a distribution has made perfect sense of menu layout. When you open a menu up in GNOME it all follows a logic even Commander Spock would appreciate.

* STABILITY. Even using the experimental ext4 file system, I have found that Ubuntu 9.04 is incredibly stable. GNOME, and all of its constituent parts, feel as solid as they have ever felt. I am actually quite surprised with the ext4 file system. I was expecting erratic behavior and data loss. I have had none of that - even after an intentional hard power down.

CONS

Let's get to what most a probably really wanting to see: The negative side of 9.04. There really aren't that many, but for some, they could be deal breakers.

* DRIVERS. I know, I know - how can I have DRIVERS in both? Simple. Although the Nouveau drivers free NVidia users from proprietary software, and they do so admirably, in order to get real performance you have to actually use the proprietary drivers. If you want Compiz running usably, you will have to shy away from the free drivers. You want any composite? Better install the proprietary drivers.

* FLASH. Okay, I have to be careful here. First and foremost getting flash installed for Firefox is really quite simple. Go to a site that requires flash and, when prompted, click the Install Missing Plugins button. Here's the catch - when you do this for Flash you will be offered three choices: The official Adobe version, Gnash, and Swfdec. The latter two versions will install and, on occasion, will run flash animations. Note the ON OCCASION part. Unsuspecting users might install one of the latter two versions (hoping for more freedom on their desktop) only to find out flash doesn't work as expected. In order to uninstall those unsuspecting users will have to open up the Add/Remove Software utility, search for their installed flash plugin, uninstall it, and then install the official version. This should be the default behavior until the open source versions do a better job of supporting flash.

* INSTALLED APPLICATIONS. It seems to me that Linux in general has really started paring down the amount of applications in a default installation. I remember the day when you could perform a FULL installation which would amount to around 6 gigs of installed applications. Of course I don't advocate going back to that (installations took an enormous amount of time back them). But I would suggest adding a few applications that would make the default installation much more complete. With the simple addition of Gnucash and Scribus, the basic desktop would have far more to offer the average user. Sure, you can do a bare minimum of what Scribus offers from within OpenOffice, but think about how many people use Microsoft's low-end DTP offering and how many of those people would welcome the addition of features Scribus would give them. And the addition of a finance software is a no-brainer!

Conclusion

I could easily draw a conclusion here. I could say 9.04 is an outstanding release for Ubuntu that offers something very positive for every level of user. That is my experience. From the testing I have done, this release is one finest releases Ubuntu has given us yet. It does have some room for improvement, but it does excite me to think that if this is where Linux is heading, the competition better be aware.

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

73 comments
tpredebon
tpredebon

I think it is great, but i am having problems to run DVD movies on it. Also my Linksys Wireless N and sound card does not have same Performance as on windows. besides that it is very cool system. i am using Ubuntu 9.04 64bit.

saundersp
saundersp

why finance software????? are all linux users accountants? Problem with the ypdate of GNS3, if does not open saved projects!!!!! But so far i am happy with it.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

I don't like KDE 4 as it gives me all of the things I disliked in Gnome, the few things I don't like in KDE, all the things I don't like in Vista, and none of the things that made the earlier versions of KDE so damn good.

alzie
alzie

Yes, very good so far. I love it, but Compiz still blows! Needs a lot of work to be stable. Plainly, its Dangerous! I installed eeebuntu onto my eeepc 900, which is really 8.10. Also, ran the upgrade to 9.04 Started playing with compiz addons. The paint fire one is to blame. Black boxes then black screen. Couldnt see to do anything. Had to go by feel just to shut the pc down. Total brick! Could resolve it in terminal mode either. The corruption is deep. Had to go through the whole install process again. Hint for flash SSD users - DO NOT use any FS other than ext2 non journaling. Previously i had tried ext3 with journaling. The journal keeps getting written to the same sectors. An install or two is enough to exceed your 10K write limit. I ruin my SSD, had to be replaced. Not to much hurt @ 40$. This ought to be well warned in any SSD type install. Other wise, alls very well with it.

spidermn
spidermn

There are several issues with 9.04 and Intel video chipsets, which are used by many laptops and low-end desktops. You missed out on all the fun because your test system is using an NVidia card. Do a search of the Ubuntu forums and you'll see.

dh1310
dh1310

I enjoyed your article! But Ubuntu offspring OS's that has ArtistX,DreamLinux is 2 od the 3 I use and there now bad,it fact their Great! except the connection to my printers--the other I installed was Knoppix DVD-I know a lot of web sites state its for CD use only & don't install, well I did-it did take 3 days of trial/error to satisfy myself and stop using its default install menu-use Knoppix from the DVD and its using a different partition-sorry at this time forgot its title, but its not ext3/4-just wanted to speak my thoughts, I am very new to Linux and made iso and installed alot of Linux OS, but found these 3 to my liking. Thanks for listening/reading. DavidSr-dhigginbotham_sr@sbcglobal.net

monsag
monsag

I was relatively happy with 8.04 and 8.10. The former gave me problems with the wireless adapter in my laptop. Wicd stiched that glitch, and 8.10 fixed that. The latter experience gave me the confidence to give 9.04 a try. The good side from that experience is, the speed is noticeable. The other side of that is, the touch pad (Elantech) in my laptop stopped working. I have scoured the web how to fix this. May be the fix is already out there... For now, I use my wireless USB mouse. I cannot find the high ground to complain, considering that Ubuntu is free - a very decent representative why FOSS is a very much doable alternative for those who cannot afford proprietary software. And since upgrading or downgrading, even trying out a distro is a free choice, all I can wish for is for the hardworking folks behind Ubuntu to find a way to fix this glitch. The desktops under my watch were quite "happy" with 8.04. And now with 8.10, so far so good. Though these machines will have to wait for the next LTS :-)

gapitts
gapitts

Dial up support has been dropped. there are two sentences of info on how to add it back, which I have not figured out yet. Get xyz from a system with internet support and install it in 9.04

albert
albert

1st issue: Ever since 8.14, Ubuntu refuses to recognize my USB keyboard -- but only at the start-up menu just after GRUB, where you choose language, then various CD options. To have access to those options, I need to connect a PS/2 keyboard. Once a system is installed however, or the live-CD loads, my USB keyboard works fine. (It is a nine year-old Coppermine system with the old VIA chipset. But, older versions of Ubuntu had no problem with that mobo.) 9.04 has not corrected this and it doesn't seem likely future versions will either. 2nd (more important) issue: The default CD's GUI setup does not have an Advanced Setup option. One problem this could address, for instance: I use the same hardware to boot into XP. My BIOS does not support UTC -- at least there's no option to flag it as such. XP assumes that my system clock is set to local time. Ubuntu assumes that the system clock is set to UTC. After installing Ubuntu using the default CD's GUI setup, I have to manually edit a config file to tell Ubuntu that my system clock is not set to UTC. Otherwise, it resets my clock to UTC and screws up XP. Which is weird since Ubuntu displays the time correctly on the desktop on first boot-up! (Until I reboot, that is.) An Advanced Setup would/should include this option. The UTC/LOCAL option is included in the text-based Alternate CD setup however. It would also be nice to deselect certain packages I don't want to install in an Advanced Setup. It would shorten the install time plus negate the need to uninstall these packages later. I don't believe that there was an option to select or deselect packages in the Alternate CD either. The Alternate CD lets you set up the network manually, (as I don't use DHCP), the GUI setup does not. This excludes the ability to download and install optional packages during an Advanced Setup session -- if it had one. As noted before, I don't recall seeing the option to select/deselect packages in the Alternate CD. I'll have to run through it again to make sure. When the Open Source alternatives to Flash and h/w drivers match the capabilities of their proprietary counterparts, I'll use them. Until then, I have no problem using Adobe's Flash, or ATI's video driver. They are free (no cost) and legal to use. Other than that, 9.04 is okay.

JimInPA
JimInPA

I was very excited when I read all the reviews here but I gotta say I am very disappointed. I went back to 8.04. I think I will wait for the next TLS.

mark
mark

Generally, I solve most of these minor issues by performing a normal Ubuntu installation and then install the "Ubuntu Restricted Extras" package. It takes care of all the codecs and flash support.

johnj.964
johnj.964

I upgraded from 8.10 and could not resolve a video problem on my Dell 700m (Intel 855gm video). The desktop would only come up with a 1 inch black bar down each side of the display and i couldn't change it to use the full screen. If I booted from a live 9.04 CD, the screen would display a normal full image. Any one else experience this??

dold
dold

I fell into Ubuntu, after following the "Use Ubuntu Live CD to Backup Files from Your Dead Windows Computer" procedure. I support some of the commercial releases for my work, but I have tried various Linux distros since 1994. This is the first one that I would consider using as a personal desktop. After saving the personal data from a WinVista laptop that had disk errors, and realizing I needed to pay $20 for the media to reinstall WinVista, I wondered if I even wanted WinVista. I hadn't even finished posing that question to my wife when she pointed out that she hated WinVista. It was her laptop that I was rescuing. She is quite happy with Ubuntu, except for the odd behavior of "scrolling" the windows off the viewable desktop occasionally. I think that has something to do with the scrollbar at the edge of her Gateway touchpad, but I'm not sure. She can get them back by clicking in the bottom right. It has all the hardware support that I needed, found my networked printer better than Windows, shares the family desktop folder, and it has all of the programs that I needed. I don't want any more Word Processing than Open Office, and I have never used a financial program. I did add Flash, which I found painless when trying to launch Pandora, and I did select Adobe. I also went to the extra effort to load Sun Java, because that's the only one I trust. The LiveCD being the install CD was the final kicker to push me to a Ubuntu install. I probably would have gone with either Redhat or Fedora if I had to do an install separate from a LiveCD.

no_zd_user_name
no_zd_user_name

for Windows users to put away traditional arguments against using Linux. While Ubuntu 9.04 is my preferred Desktop there are many excellent alternatives. I still prefer openSUSE 11.1 for server deployment--rock solid. The point has come where I can safely recommend Linux to 'Joe Sixpack' and expect that they can get it installed and running on their own. Now we must focus on how to get Linux positioned in the Retail Store setting. Currently, the playing field isn't level; Apple and MS are 'Tying' their O/Ses to hardware. As scrutiny comes to reexamining that practice, I believe the FTC will see that this practice ('Tying') is anti-competitive, anti-Consumer Choice and anti-Trust. That will happen soon and then you'll see major change in how PCs are purveyed in Retail Stores. Decoupling the O/S at point of sale should be mandatory. Let the consumer choose which hardware they wish to purchase irrespective of which O/S they may (or may not) wish to buy. Buying a PC in a Retail walk-in store without an O/S is not currently possible. That has to change to protect Consumer Choice. Thanks! Dietrich T. Schmitz Twitter: @dtschmitz

DHCDBD
DHCDBD

System->Administration->software sources->add enter: http://packages.medibuntu.org/jaunty free non-free click add source close insert DVD and let Ubuntu find the codex you need along with the appropriate programs to play them with Mplayer or Totem.

---TK---
---TK---

at CLI run "sudo apt-get install vlc" Then there is a program you can search for (add and remove programs), its called Envy... watch out though there is also EnvyNG. The one you want is for sound cards, basically it will go out and find all the sound card drivers available for your system and show you what will work and what is recommended... and it will install it for you... might require a reboot... EnvyNG is for your graphics drivers, two strong and sweet programs! Good luck.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Being in a patent-irational country, you'll need to make your own personal decision regarding DVD support. You can look at LinDVD produced by the folks behind WinDVD. You can also look at the Ubuntu equivalent of the debian-multimedia.org repository. I'd expect wireless N to be solid but that does depend on what wifi NIC you have. Sound, I have to look into tuning further myself. I don't expect full 5.1 sound support but I do expect things like the Xwindows startup sound to play cleanly. Currently it distorts though the rest of the X sound theme runs clean. (it's a distro thing as my other distros don't have that same issue).

Fevrin
Fevrin

From my little experience with Fedora, the DVD's installer is more flexible than Ubuntu's in that you can choose which packages to install or not install. I'm not sure to what degree you have control over this, as I'm sure there's /some/ limit (i.e., you probably cannot opt out of installing certain base packages). But this installer is graphical, if that's your thing. I don't recall how closely this matches the CD-based installer, however.

stomfi
stomfi

Long way to go to what? 1. The Windows dumbed down clone of the 1974 XEROX standard WIMP Workstation, or 2. A platform for developing a 21st century user interface. I prefer the latter. I have a Linux enabled PS3 in my home network mix, especially for trying out the latest Cell chip conversational voice, laser pointer, and 3D interaction programs. Hopefully all the good work Ubuntu is doing can take us back to the future before my eyes get to dim and my hands to stiff to use this oh so last century interface.

jlwallen
jlwallen

i have had the same problem with various distros. turns out, however, it was my KVM. are you using one? if so, that's most likely your problem.

vahnx
vahnx

Make sure you do a clean install and format a fresh ext4 partition, not ext3. Yes, clean install. Windows 7 works fine on an upgrade, Ubuntu not quite. I noticed when I upgraded then converted to ext4 it booted slower vs a fresh install.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Mandriva 2009.1 LiveCD finds everything on my notebook but shows standard aspect ration instead of my LCD's widescreen. The installed Mandriva 2008.1 uses the full LCD space though so I'm guessing 2009.1 will also if installed.

albert
albert

What is happening to your wife is that she is inadvertently switching between workspaces. Scrolling the mouse wheel on an empty area of the desktop will cycle through your workspaces. The "scrollbar" on the touchpad is designed to mimic scrolling of the mouse wheel. On the lower right of the screen, next to the trash bin, there are usually between two and four (maybe more) boxes. Each of these boxes represent a workspace. You can jump to any of these workspaces by clicking on one of those boxes. Think of a workspace as an independent desktop that allows you to organize tasks. When windows are opened in any of these workspaces, these little boxes on the lower right will have a tiny thumbnail view of your open windows. Not a lot of detail. Just enough to tell you windows are opened in those workspaces.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Apple is an OEM like HP or Dell. They provide a general purpose computer including hardware and software. Since they source the hardware components and develop the software for the purpose of a single retail unit, they are not "tying" anything together. osX is essentially, an embedded OS used only for Apple's retail products. The also do not have the market dominance to legally be called a monopoly. As a result, they can provide the hardware/software combined unit without it being an anti-competitive way to stifle the market. This is different from Microsoft providing only the software component of the final retail product and using it's monopoly position to bundle IE with the intent of pushing Netscape and other browsers out of the market. Don't get me wrong; I'd love to put osX in my collection without the required Apple hardware behind it but, for all Apple's issues, bundling isn't yet one of them.

The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

Buying a PC in a Retail walk-in store without an O/S is not currently possible. No big deal, as you can just download and install the *nix OS of choice. They are not availabe in retail stores as they have no retail value, go figure!

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I even keep portableVLC on flashdrive so I have it handy. I have had it drop out of DVD on *nix systems though due to the distribution included codec cutting out after the preview length. The user may still find that libdvdcss or similar is required. At that point it becomes a legal grey area. If I have the license to watch DVD as provided through my graphics board's included codec, can that license extend to playing DVD format through other platforms. In essance, if I baught Windows hardware drivers including permission for the DVD decoder, why can't I use an alternative DVD decoder on other platforms? Vendor still gets the license fee and both my systems are not running at the same time. (I've been curious about that but I'm sure the legal jargon forbids it somehow). For sould, Alsa is the default for my last distro install. A quick alsaconf went out and grabbed the required driver for my soundcard, configured the kernel module loading and asked me to have a nice day. ;) I'm guessing Envy is similar.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

They where one of the first to focus on desktops and usability. The Mandriva install wizard still blows away anything I've tried. I even fake it through to the partition manager just to prep a drive before booting from whatever distro I'm actually installing. It tends towards better hardware support than Ubuntu and the draketools "control panel" utilities are hard to live without once you've seen them. Just adding on to the list. Suse or Mandriva would be worth looking at beside Fedora. Ubuntu isn't for everyone though it continues to develop in some very nice ways.

albert
albert

I don't have a KVM installed. Two on-board USB 1.0 ports plus an add-on hi-speed USB 2.0 card. Connecting USB KB to either fails to be detected at this stage. I'm thinking Canonical must have changed how they detect USB devices, legacy or not, at this stage. No worries. When I run out of PS/2 KBs or this relic finally dies, my money will go towards a netbook and Remix. That should be fun.

Dumphrey
Dumphrey

and can actually degrade performance on some machines (but it shouldn't). But your advice on not converting an existing data partition is sound. Much like converting fat32 to NTFS... it should just work, but it never seems "quite right". While a *nix beta may be "stable", its still beta and data loss is a real possibility.

JimInPA
JimInPA

If I have to wipe my drive every time I go to the next higher level I will never upgrade. It is entirely to labor intensive to manually move data off and back on. I realize that things happen and sometimes it is necessary to restore after a failed upgrade but to know you are going to have to transfer and customize with each new load. Sorry that is not acceptable.

Fevrin
Fevrin

Or bother your wife, in this case, you can simply right-click and remove it from the panel.

Nori Sarel
Nori Sarel

Bundling isn't one of them? Haha, right, they bundle a whole lot more than M$ does. I'm sure almost all Apple users use iTunes and as far as I know you can't uninstall it completely. Then there is Safari, iMail, iCal etc... Now I definitely don't fault them for having all these things, its great actually. But I also don't see anything wrong with M$ bundling IE. Its pretty easy to download one of the other browsers and set it as your default. Its not like they are forcing you to use IE, its just there if you want to use it.

The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

where can I get my OS free Apple (as a hardware vendor) Powerbook or non locked iPhone?

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

If you want a computer without OS the primary way to get that is buy the parts and assemble it yourself or have the shop assemble it from your parts list. Considering all the companies that buy a prebuild machine with an OS license just so they can replace the OS with the standard workstation image; bare-metal machines could have a huge retail market. Why didn't this happen early on when there was talk of selling machines without an OS? Microsoft; "computers sold without an OS are going to be used to pirate our OS", and the judge baught it hook, line, sinker. This was the argument used the first time MS was in court for gouging OEM retailers who dared sell a machine without a Microsoft OS on it. It's still a problem also as the only way Dell was able to keep it's "volume discount" while offering Ubuntu based machines is to charge the customer for a Windows license with each of those Ubuntu machines; yes, that's right, Dell's Ubuntu sales count as Windows licenses thanks to Microsoft's legal geniuses.

Jaqui
Jaqui

since it means you are buying something you do not want. if you are going to put a different os than what is one the system, why should you PAY FOR the one you do NOT want? until I can buy one no operating system included, the retailers do not get my money. I'll buy parts and assemble them in order to avoid the bundled operating system, and those parts are from the small business shops, where they do NOT deal in the "name brand" hardware.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I did a Lenny workstation install last week and squashed any issues in five minutes or less. Sound covered by the default alsa package and "alsaconf" to setup the kernel module. alsamixer and alsamixergui do the work after that. Wireless was handled cleanly by firmware-iwlwifi and fwcutter packages. fwcutter did the config steps including setup and driver download. I thought Mandriva had the cleanest setup but this has been downright painless. Now to see if it's just the honeymoon period with a new distro or not.

---TK---
---TK---

Windows? VLC is my main player for Linux, just cause I have never had an issue yet (knock on wood). But for M$ I recently changed over to KMplayer, really sweet program, "its like a mix of VLC and Win Amp" (quoting a friend). It streams video over the net really really well, I would say 10x's better than VLC! I tried to go through the legal crap at one point, and I got to the point where it was just a waist of time... I figure if I have the license to watch the DVD then thats all that really matters to me... Envy versions run in GUI.. I like to run between GUI and CLI... what ever is the easiest! but Im going to check out alsaconf when I get home from work... I have never had an issue with sound, but a solution before the problem is always nice! Thanks for the tip :)

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

runs the graphics system and if the video driver isn't working right it will require a lot more cpu work to get the screen right. As the system will then be doing work it normally shoves off to the graphics card processor.

JimInPA
JimInPA

X something or other but it was eating up 80 - 100 percent of my CPU. Xorg I think. I did some Googling and all I could come up with was the video driver was maybe the wrong version... maybe. Problem is the video driver was fine in 8.04. I tried to find an updated version of the driver but to no avail. It was just too much like work when I had a perfectly functional system before the "upgrade".

Fevrin
Fevrin

are preferable, as upgrades aren't perfect in removing cruft and other such artifacts from an old install, which can all lead to undesired side-effects. However, if you have your data on a partition separate from the root partition, then you'll technically never need to transfer your data anywhere for reinstalls, as you can choose to just reinstall on the root partition (and /not/ format your data partitions). It's always good to have a backup of your data regardless.

Dumphrey
Dumphrey

after the upgrade. Any particular points, or just a general "sluggishness"? I ask, because my experience on 3 machines so far is that the upgrade seems faster to load programs and open windows. Boot times seem about the same to me.

dold
dold

Yikes! Don't remove it from the panel without disabling it first! That was a little annoying. I removed it from the panel, but the behavior was still there. I found "Workplace Switcher" and put it back in the bottom panel, and adjusted the number of screens to 2x2, and then 1x1, and I'll leave it there for a while. All of the help screens just say to right-click on the icon, without mentioning what to do if the icon isn't there. The problem is really the touchpad. What I consider a mouse movement is accepted as a scroll, not just inside the scrollbar area at the side of the touchpad. I need to investigate the touchpad settings. The screen switching could be downright handy on my next laptop, and old one that no one loves in Windows. Mayeb it will be decent with Ubuntu. If I shine it up, people will think it's a Netbook, with it's tiny screen.

Fevrin
Fevrin

Should read "or if they bother your wife, as in this case". The dang form selectively removed my words! ;p

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Monopoly law. Apple does not hold 80% of the market so anitcompetitive practice like bundling is not considered to push competition out of the market unfairly. If they where greater than 80% of the market then monopoly laws would apply because they would be able to negate competition by bundling exactly the same way as IE pushed Netscape to the brink of bankruptsy in the absence of IE being a better product. But that assumes Apple is the same kind of business as Microsoft; which would be wrong. Apple sells the finished product; hardware/software and a pretty box. This makes them an OEM like Dell or HP. Microsoft is a component provider; they supply parts to OEM in the form of the software side. The OEM builds or sources the hardware components and sells the combined unit as the retail product. Apple can choose to keep the product very restrictive in a way that is more similar to mobile phones and specialized embedded devices. If they get popular and can't keep up with demand.. well.. that would be Apple's wet dream I suspect.. but it's there choice to limit the product. I believe iLife and Safari can also be uninstalled fully. They are not intentionally bound deep in the OS so that they become a required component. Uninstalls on osX are not great but they are still much better than "uninstall" meaning "removed the IE icon from your desktop". On the FOSS platform side, it's a different approach again; the distribution includes competing products. You get the distribution maintainer's favorite but other choices exist in the repository. Imagine the iTunes store allowing any developer's product to be sold provided it meets a quality standard rather than business strategy/social standards. Imagine Windows Update had install checkboxes for Firefox, Open Office, Adobe products and other software that competed directly with Microsoft's own products. Apple gets a pass because we are not talking about OEMs, unbundling does not break the OS and they do not have enough market share for bundling to negatively effect the rest of the industry. Now, if we where talking company policies or other revenue streams like the iTunes software store; well, they have refused to allow software into the store because it competes with an Apple product or does something that Apple does not approve of. I hear they are also having trouble getting money out to the developers who have sold through them.

Jaqui
Jaqui

yet the ? as ' is either typoitis or ms "smart quote" :D I'll bet on typoitis. ;)

marianne.popp
marianne.popp

Okay, so you can?t buy them at your local bestbuy... But you can get a dell online without an os, at least I was able too. A brand new XPS M1530 and I loaded Ubuntu 8.04 onto it. I also know tigerdirect, Ibestbuy, and even System 76. Since I never can find what I want from a brick and mortar storefront, I do much of my shopping online, with places I can add or subtract what I do or don?t want. Anyway, my two cents!

no_zd_user_name
no_zd_user_name

That is the point. Why?: A consumer in a Retail walk-in point of sale setting should have the 'choice' to get a PC with or without an operating system. Anti-competitive business practices. Thank you for playing! Later.

Jaqui
Jaqui

premiergent.co.uk custom builds, and they will sell with os of choice, including no os at all. British Company, will ship worldwide, with bank transfer completed at time of ordering..

jlwallen
jlwallen

except for laptops. i don't think i want to try to piece together that type of hardware. ;-)

The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

just not in a general walk-in retail PC shop.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I've only seen high end gaming rigs in the 4000$ price range that come with the quality of parts you can get when you pick each one indavidually. Anything lower than a specialize gaming rig has always been with whatever parts the vendor chose to put along side the brand name parts they are selling the machine with; Great GPU, crappy disk reader, crappy sound, grappy cabling, but the GPU is featured in the ad.