Current state of my GNU/Linux switch over

So its been about 2 months since I switched over to Ubuntu GNU/Linux on my Dell Laptop. Things have been a lot better over time and generally day to day I'm having no problems. Its only when I go to do something different is when I get the problems.

First problem, external display from the VGA port. During BarCampBrighton some of the projectors didn't like my laptop's native rez of 1280×800 and would fail to display anything at all. What made things frustrating was the fact I couldn't switch down to 1024×768 because my laptop driver seems to give me only one option.

I stilll have yet to find a decent RSS reader except the preview version of RSS OWL which actually works better that previous versions. I usually keep an eye on the heap memory and it tends to stay within the 40meg allocated memory. So for now its my choice for RSS reading

Blogging from a clinet under Ubuntu is working due to BloGTK but the general expeience is very basic and I closer to W.Blogger that Ecto. If there is a more rich feature blgging application/client do drop me a comment. I miss stuff like being able to update posts and read posts offline.

Battery life has imporved over the months. When I first switched over, it would run for about 4hours on batteries but now its up to 5hours (about the same as I would get out of Windows on the same machine). Hibernate support still fails but suspend now works correctly all the time. Networking still needs to be restarted when I switch on each time but it seems more consistent.

I've still not found something to totally replace outlook. Currently I'm using Plaxo online for most of my PIM type stuff. This is ok but sometimes when I'm offline its frustrating to look at Plaxo and hope I left the page on the calendar section.

I'm still looking to sync my phone with my laptop but I'm having very little sucess with this. I've seen mentions of Opensync but it doesn't work for myself. On the mobile phone front, I've tried to connect my nokia N80 to the laptop using this script but its not worked out so far. I've not even attempted this on my Windows Mobile phone.

Backup and Syncing is totally broken for me. I want to do simple things like backup my laptop to my storage server over samba but unison and rsync don't like samba! This is insane and I've tried many ways to trick it into thinking a samba share is actually a mounted drive but it doesn't work. There seems to be a solution here.I've yet to play with Baclua and Amanda (yes that guy from Amanda I will be contacting you very soon. I'm also looking for some way to generic.

Ok last few things, I've dumped Madma and Xmms in favour of Amarok which works so well now it supports Mpeg3! For ages I wondered why I got no sounds and only in later versions does it tell you your missing the codec in question, before that you were left to work it out alone. Lastly Bluetooth is working but I've not got the Wiimote talking correctly and I'm really missing GlovePIE. And finally to finish off for now. My logtech Camera still doesn't work and I can't find drivers for it anywhere.

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.