Sunday, 29 April 2007

Moving to Ubuntu

I recently installed Ubuntu 6.10 on my laptop (dual boot with Windows XP). I already had my hard disk partitioned in two, C: for Windows, and D: for data. So, I copied D: onto a USB drive and then installed Ubuntu onto what was the D: partition.

Everything went well, and Ubuntu was up and running without any trouble. One most excellent resource I came across was Automatix which not only allowed me to easily install essential software, but it also introduced me to new software which I now consider essential.

However:

  1. while the wireless network card worked immediately after the install, it hasn't worked since the first time I used the hibernate feature.

  2. battery life 'seems' severely reduced


A month or two goes by and Ubuntu 7.04 is released, so I did and upgrade through the update manager. It only took 10mins for me to download the 1Gig of update (at over 1000kbps on my cable broadband connection), but it took about 50 minutes to install.

I was hoping this would fix the wireless connection and power consumption problems, but instead it broke the hibernate feature. So now I had no wireless and couldn't hibernate and a battery that only just lasted the train trip to and from work. I've just now fixed hibernation by following Robin Battey's comment on this blog (it's the 4th comment). However, after resuming my usb mouse doesn't work (this is plugged into a USB hub which in turn has several USB devices attached). I'll have to try this a few more times and see if it stays broken.

I've just now begun looking into the wireless issue. Looking in /var/log/dmesg I see:

[ 20.460000] NET: Registered protocol family 23
[ 20.700000] ipw2200: Radio Frequency Kill Switch is On:
[ 20.700000] Kill switch must be turned off for wireless
networking to work.
[ 20.700000] ipw2200: Detected geography ZZR (14 802.11bg
channels, 0 802.11a channels)


so at least I have a trail to follow now. More on this later, if I make any progress...

Update 1 : I haven't had much time for fault finding this, but I did notice Beagle updating its database - possible source of battery drain - lucky there is a 'Index data while on battery power' option which can be disabled. Maybe this will help. I'll probably just go for a clean reinstall and see what happens. Not something I'm looking forward to though...

Update 2 : Just thought I'd mention that I've also had problems with my USB mouse after resuming. I've got a USB hub with a few things plugged into it and maybe this is causing some grief. I'll have to stop using the hub and see if things improve.

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