Ubuntu chronicles, pt.4

Well, this using Ubuntu fling has turned into a full-blown adventure.

First, it wasn't picking up that my laptop could handle 1400x1050. So, after following instructions on three different sites, I ended up downloading a hugely useful tool called 855resolution. But -- and it's a big but -- I had to *compile* it before I could run it. Welcome to Linux, I guess!

So I tried compiling it as per the instructions on the Installing Ubuntu on Acer Travelmate 4651LCi page but got a pageful of errors. After some head-scratching, I realized that the C compiler on my machine was not of the same version as my kernel. Umm, yeah -- I hate it when that happens. So, it was back to the Synaptic Package Manager (System -> Administration -> Synaptic...) and I downloaded the correct version and tried with that. Bingo! Umm, what was I doing again? Oh yes, the resolution. So I ran the utility and added it to some startup script and now I'm running at native resolution. Is Ubuntu ready for prime-time? NO WAY! :) Can you imagine a regular Joe, trying to switch from Windows, having to compile a utility and add it to his startup script before getting native resolution on his laptop. Ain't gonna happen, no way, no how! :)

Well, now I had the darn thing up and running, of course I had to customize the skin :) I found Gnome Look and, in a little while, with the help of the excellent theme manager (System -> Preferences -> Theme), I was able to get my Linux box to look like OS X too :) Oh, it's the little things in life that really make a difference!

Now that I had the important stuff out of the way, I could concentrate on the details: Like getting a development environment up and running.

First, I tried to install Eclipse using Synaptic and everything appeared to go OK. When I first tried to download some new plugins, however, I got an error. Apparently, there's an issue with Eclipse on Ubuntu Breezy Badger. Crap! Am I just the unluckiest Linux user or what? (I found this site after trying to download and install Eclipse myself, from the Eclipse web site -- no joy there either!)

I *did* get XAMPP working correctly so I have Apache, PHP, MySQL, etc. up and running.

One thing that really got me more productive was finding out how to change the keyboard shortcuts (System -> Preferences -> Keyboard Shortcuts) and assign my QuickLaunch shortcut in Windows (F10) to the "Show the panel run application dialogue" (which pretty much does what QuickStart does, really.) Assigning the Windows key to the "Start Menu" at the top also helped a lot.

The biggest annoyance I have at the moment is that no matter how I tweak the mouse sensitivity, the trackpad is not easy to control. Even at its slowest setting and with the highest sensitivity it's not as smooth or precise as it was under Windows. Maybe there's a third-party app out there that helps with this, I don't know.

Before anything, I really need to get Eclipse working, though, and the next step after that will be to install ASDT, Flex 1.5, PHPEclipse and RadRails.