Ubuntu 10.10 – A really nice release

I just installed XUbuntu 10.10 on my kids laptop, and I’m very impressed. The laptop is an old Dell Inspiron 2650, with only 256Mb of memory and a 20 gig hard drive that used to belong to my wife. I had an older version of X Ubuntu on there for a while but it did not work very well: the graphics driver never worked and made the screen do crazy things, the start menu would sometimes disappear or be a sequence of strange characters, the shutdown menu didn’t work, the volume control never worked, etc.

It took me a little while to get XUbuntu installed until I realized I had to use an advanced boot option: “ACPI=off”. After that the alternate install CD worked wonderfully and was very quick.

The new look is very nice, and the NVidia graphics driver actually works! I did not have to mess around with it at all; I simply went to the “Additional Drivers” menu item and clicked “Activate” – XUbuntu did the rest. The many 3-D screensavers are now much faster and smoother, and I can actually install some 3-D games for the kids. Speaking of which, the new Ubuntu software center not only looks good but is very easy-to-use as well.

When I took the above screenshot this very nice dialog box popped up and asked me what I wanted to with the image:

The number of free games that are available is incredible, and I installed things like “Holotz Castle”, “GCompris”, “Hex-a-hop”, “Frozen-Bubble” and “KBreakOut” – all of which I had on there before but the kids love them. I installed “Mahjongg” for myself and “Gweled” for my wife. The sound control works, and I have actually rebooted several times using the menu (rather than the power-plug…). Here’s a shot of Hex-a-hop and Holotz’s Castle:

All in all I am very impressed with the latest release, and it actually runs pretty quickly on this old laptop. Thanks Ubuntu!

(Now, the real test will be if the laptop is still working after a few months of exposure to my children!! 🙂 )

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