I’ve just bought a dell laptop – was fed up of having to work in my room all the time, especially during the hot summers of Mauritius. Now I can move around and it’s much more fun.
Fisrt of all I’d like to say that laptops are generally very expensive in Mauritius – they are often twice as expensive as they would have been in Europe or The States. There are many reasons put forward for that; mainly shipping cost and taxes at the customs but personally i think that retailers are making huge profits on our heads. However, I managed to find a company; Isis Fusion at New Grove (thanks to my mate Anwar) that sells laptops at reasonable prices, in fact the best prices I’ve found in Mauritius!!!
Anyway back to Linux and the Inspiron E1505.
There is a good site guiding you through installation of Dapper Drake on Laptops: it’s http://swm1.com/inspiron_e1505.html. Following that is sure to keep you out of trouble for most of the time. However I did encounter a few problems installing Linux:
1. I created a free unallocated space on my hard disk but kubuntu would not install on that. It said something like unusable space!!! Tried to work it out but in vain. So seeked the help of a guru of Linux – Avinash and he told me that I’m not supposed to have more than 4 primary partitions on my hard disk and I had … 6!!! (A lot of them were some partitons created by DELL for backup and restore and other stuff)
So the solution was to convert some partitions to logical partitions and then only would the installation proceed – Thank God or rather thanks avinash 😉
Installation went smoothly from then on. Next came to fine-tuning linux for day-to-day use. A series of issues cropped up:
1. Amarok not playing MP3s – just listing through them
My favourite media player of all times was not playing MP3s. How dare it to that to me!!! 😦 ;(. It’s a common problem – according to the Internet – and the solution is to download libxine-extracodes. Yet, this is where lies the problem; where do I get that? It is not listed in Adept though I’ve enabled all repositories (including multiverse where it is supposed to be). I downloaded a list of repositories from the internet (one that was supposed to solve my problems but still nothing). Again Avinash came to my rescue; he changed a few parameters in the repository listing and it was done
The repository listing to get all packages is :
deb http://mu.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ dapper main restricted universe multiverse
deb-src http://mu.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ dapper main restricted universe multiverse
2. The default resolution 1280 x 800 was not detected by default
Just to to: System Settings -> Display -> Hardware and change it.
3. Duo core not detected
The default kernel installed during installation does not detect the two cores of the DELL inspiron. The kernel has to be changed to an SMP one whcih means installing a new kernel.That seems scary!!! In fact, just go Adept and choose linux-686-smp and select request Install. After downloading the kernel, it will install it on its own – no problem at all for u :).