Kubuntu + Vaio = Nice

So the tax return ended up coming in around my birthday. Since it had been a long while since I’d gotten an upgrade, I decided to treat myself to a new Sony Vaio VGN-NR298E. The first order of business once I got it, of couse, was to wipe it clean of Windows Vista. Not having ever settled on a Linux distro of preference before, I decided to give Kubuntu 7.10 a try.

After installing and booting up for the first time, I found that the wireless didn’t work right out of the box. I was able to find this forum thread, which included a link to the Intel PRO/Wireless 4965 AG/AGN network card drivers in the section marked “Wlan.” I installed ndiswrapper-common and ndiswrapper-utils-1.9, the latter of which appeared to include a version of the netw4x32 driver. However, when I issued the command ndiswrapper -l, it indicated that the driver was invalid. I removed it with ndiswrapper -r netw4x32, then downloaded the latest version from the aforementioned link and installed it as per the forum thread’s directions.

I also needed a solution to allow me to manage the music and files on my Creative Zen Vision: W. I’d had great experiences with their MuVo line, but I have to say that the experience with the Zen hasn’t been nearly as good. Creative has extremely subpar Windows-only software for interacting with the hardware, the design of which was obviously intended to keep third parties from developing their own software.

Oddly enough, I’d never heard of this before, but Gnomad2 was quite the excellent solution for my situation. It’s a simple program with an FTP client-like interface for transferring music and files to and from the Zen. If you enable the universe and multiverse repositories, you should be able to find it by searching Adept.

I also ran into the reputable difficulties with the keyboard function keys. The volume function keys will only let me toggle the volume up and down a single level relative to its current level. The brightness keys don’t work at all, which is annoying as I end up missing the feature that worked fine on my old Dell Inspiron 1150. I’ve tried a few suggested solutions for getting these to work, but no luck so far. Any feedback on this is welcome.

I couldn’t adjust myself to Konqueror as it felt like an unfamiliar, slow, and crippled version of Firefox. I ended up installing that along with the Flash Player add-on for it and my usual group of extensions. I also found the default installation lacking a program capable of playing some video formats, so I installed VLC (also available from Adept).

Overall, though, I think I’m liking Kubuntu. Hopefully Lorna Jane will be able to help me get further accustomed to it.

One Comment

  1. Scott says:

    I noticed you linked to my rather outdated post concerning the problem of installing Flash player on (K)(X)Ubuntu. I think this problem has been fixed for 7.10 as of sometime in February, and I’m fairly certain it has been fixed for 8.04, currently in Beta.

    The easiest way to install Flash under any of the Ubuntu variants is to install the “flashplayer-nonfree” package, available thorough apt-get or your choice of package manager. My post was written because that package had stopped working due to some changes made by Adobe. The problem has now been solved, AFAIK.