Monthly Archive for July, 2008

A Journey with Ubuntu : Installation and first impression.

[Previous article of the Journey : The trigger and the goal]

I eventually decided myself to install Ubuntu, but the key point is: I want to keep my laptop with XP because I have installed the softwares that support my needs. I don’t want to play with partition resizing and all the likes to install Ubuntu, nor to start from zero with only an Ubuntu installation.

Wubi is then a great tool from me.

Downloaded from, I started the installation of Ubuntu 8.04 via Wubi directly from XP. Dead easy: 1 screen to define where to install Ubuntu, the size of the Ubuntu partition, a username and a password. Click on Install. The download of Ubuntu installation files starts. You can go away and relax. When downloaded, Ubuntu installs by itself without any user intervention. I did not recorded how long it took for the installation itself but I recall it wasn’t long at all.

Ubuntu Desktop Screen

Ubuntu Boot Screen

My laptop now prompts with a boot menu: XP or Ubuntu, defaulting after 15 sec to XP. First boot on Ubuntu. Right after the boot menu, a nice boot screen appears: graphical, sober. This welcomes the user for more.

It leads with sound to a login screen asking for my username, then to a second screen asking my password. Being very used to Windows this is bizarre not having the username and the password on the same screen. But it provides the same usability as it would be if on the same screeen. Different road goes Rome.

Ubuntu Desktop

Ubuntu Desktop

Rapidly I arrive to the desktop of Ubuntu with a tadaa-like sound. Nice default theme, warm and welcoming colors.Curiosity guides me. There are 2 panels. I find bizarre having the menu on the top; yet again my Windows habbits are in conflict with what I see. But hey I’m here to break through barriers!

I go over what is installed by default… OpenOffice, Firefox, Pidgin, Movie Player, Brasero to burn CD/DVDs, a bunch of Accessories, some small games and a couple of others apps. some default graphical tools. I’m not trying to be exhaustive, This is not my aim, but these were what catched my eyes.

I then configured the wireless on my laptop. It could have been smoother but eventually I got connected to the Internet.

All of this is subjective of course but still important. First impression is very important. Just like with meeting someone. first sight and handshake are key and drive a lot later.

First handshake with Ubuntu is a success. I want more.

[Next article of the Journey: A Journey With Ubuntu : Hardware challenge]

A journey with Ubuntu : the trigger and the goal

Ubuntu Logo

I decided to start using Ubuntu on my machine. Why ? Good question. Curiosity I guess. I had the idea to test it with my previous machine already but didn’t make it. I recently bought a new laptop and I decided that it would be a false good reason to start the journey with Ubuntu.

Ubuntu came to my ears through a colleague. He showed me a couple of screens on his machine, etc. I shared my interest about exploring Ubuntu some when in the future. He eventually told me about Wubi, a simple way to install Ubuntu from XP. I guess the possibility to experience Ubuntu without breaking my daily usage needs on XP was the trigger to enter to the Journey.

Thanks Georges for enabling the start of my Journey with Ubuntu.

I need a goal for exploring (adopting?) Ubuntu.

Let’s define what I do with my Computer at home so far using XP and various softwares :

  • Webmail, Instant Messaging and surfing on the internet, blogging.
  • Creation of document (word like, excel like) although Google Docs responds to some needs.
  • Viewing, basic editing and printing pictures imported from my digital camera: I use Picasa.
  • Phone call and video call with friends and family : I use Skype.
  • Viewing and simple editing of videos sequences imported from my digital videocam: I use the default tools that come with my videocam and VLC.
  • few listening of music or watching of DVD films : I use Windows Media Player.
  • Burning CDs or DVDs with my data (pictures and videos).
  • Transferring CDs to my MP3 portable player.
  • Helping friends and family with Desktop Remote Control tool ( I use Teamviewer).
  • Backup solution for my data: I use Mozy

    The goal for my Journey with Ubuntu will be to create an operational environment on my laptop that can support all those needs. Despite having an IT background, I’m not willing to enter into complex solving at home. It will have to be basic and straightforward.

    I plan to post various posts on this blog that will highlight my journey with Ubuntu.

    Stay tuned.

    If you have ideas or tips for helping my Journey, I welcome your input.

    [Next article of the Journey: Installation and first impression.]

    The Bling Bling Laptop Story : Glossy Screen vs Matt Screen

    BrightView, BrilliantView, ColorShine, CrystalBrite, CrystalView, DiamondView, TruBrite, Truelife, VibrantView, X-Black… If you read this from a laptop, you are very likely to have one of those.

    All these names refer to glossy screen of various laptops. Be proud, you have a screen with great color capabilities that is very attractive and provide you a sort of colorful experience. Great to show off, but poor on usability. Indeed you are likely to be pissed off because of its mirror effect.

    3 years ago, they were already some glossy screen on laptops but clearly they were not yet mainstream for home laptop.

    Today, the home laptop market has gone to glossy screen only. I had to go on the professional laptop market to find laptops with “non-glossy” screen.

    I’m sad that this Glossy thing invaded the entire market of the home laptop. I just don’t get it. How can people be happy using a screen that reflects the entire surrounding environment? This makes working with and reading text uncomfortable for the eyes.

    This could be seen as an “old school” choice. Maybe. But I’m not ready to give up usability of a computer in the name of the fashion “Glossy on everything”.

    Should you create your profile on multiple Social Network ?

    New Social Network platform appears almost every week. Many of the new players are exploring niches or offer alternatives to the major players like FaceBook, MySpace, LinkedIn. Not to mention ClaimID or Naimz that are around for claiming your online identity. published several interesting articles (in French) around online reputation and managing online identity.

    The question covered in this article is Simple: Shall I setup a profile on multiple Social Network platforms?

    Here is a scenario: You have your friends and professional from real life: IRL contacts (In Real Life). At some point you will create a profile by yourself to invite your friends or being invited from your friends. Here you go you know have a profile on 1 social network on FaceBook. Later you will have an opportunity to connect to a colleague. But he will invite you on LinkedIn. What shall you do? Refuse because the invite came from a different social network platform? Likely not. And here you go you have 2 profiles. Soon or later you will have an invite from MySpace then from Naimz then from Viadeo, then for … ok you’ve got the picture.

    Having multiple profiles is not wrong. However you need to realise that a certain level of consistency should exist between the profiles.

    The social network platforms bring you a value by maintaining a certain level of contact with your connections. This means investing a bit of time for maintaining the info from your profileS, and obviously some time spent on communication with your connections.

    Here is where the bottleneck is: maintaining your profiles and the communication with your connections.

    The more profile you have the more time you will need to maintain your profile. The more social network platform you use for communications the more time it will cost you.

    How can you get around this?

    My view is that you shall concentrate on maintaining your profile with details on 1 or 2 platforms. You might have more profile on other platforms but you shall only provide the bear minimum information into them and create a reference back to the profiles you are maintaining with details. This allows creating visibility in various platforms while maintaining a minimum of information.

    Tell me what your view is on this?