I’m now the proud user of a hp2133 with Win7 RC dual booting with Ubuntu 9.04 (jaunty jackalope).

Win7 RC installed like a dream.  The install was fast, most of the HW was discovered on first boot, and the rest of what was necessary showed up in Windows Update.  Unlike Vista, connecting to a wireless network happens before first boot, and Win7 worked well with the Broadcomm wireless controller on the hp2133.

Antivirus has problems with Win7 RC.  I have Avast running on another Win7 PC, but wanted to try Norton 360 on this.  The copy installed off the CD had problems – some drivers were disabled by Windows (reported in a warning on boot up) – but this did not seem to prevent Norton 360 from running a virus scan, or updating it’s signatures from an exe file downloaded from the Symantec website.  Norton 360 places a gadget in the sidebar – and this never showed that Norton was fine.  Win7 hung on me while playing with resizing and creating new partitions – and afraid that an unfortunate interaction between Norton 360 and Win 7 had something to do with this, I downloaded the trial Norton 360 that works with Win 7 from: http://www.norton.com/win7

….and this worked like a charm.  It’s fast, and seems to have no performance hit at all.  This is especially remarkable when you consider that the 2133’s VIA processor is not exactly known for being punchy.

MS Office 2007 had some trouble installing the first time, and on reinstall, it went through (after a long delay at around 75% through the install).  There are posts on the web that suggest that deactivating the customer experience utility (requires a registry poke around) will solve the problem – but I did not have to go that far.  I’ve installed a few other things already (utilities that make my computing life easier and more secure), and none of these had issues beyond an occasional warning that installing in Win7 might generated problems – but all is well so far.

Verdict – Win7 is a wonderful OS.  It’s fast to boot up – even with AV and a good number of apps installed.  Shutdown is also fast – though Wnn7 has to complain about Norton 360 before it finally does close itself off.  No way is Vista ever getting back on my hp2133!  For windows, it’s going to be Win7.  The themes offer some beautiful wall paper, which is a plus (especially in comparison with the drab brown that Ubuntu defaults to – no matter – Night Owl is coming back as my Ubuntu wallpaper once I get hold of my intrepid backup).

After installing Win7 and it’s apps, it was time to install Ubuntu 9.04.  As in the case of Win7, installation was a breeze.  There was a video issue in 8.1 that requred a parameter manually entered for installation to work.  No such problem with 9.04.  It simply just worked.

On logging in for the first time, I found that I didn’t need to be connected to internet via wired port to gain access to the broadcomm wireless driver (perhaps this was also the case in 8.1, but I did not notice it).  The Proprietary driver icon and notification came up automatically, and clicking on that brought up dialog box to install the broadcomm wireless driver.  A restart was needed before wireless could work.

The first application I installed was Google Toolbar in Mozilla, and that went without a hitch.  Such a nice change compared to the situation in Hardy.

Next step was to do the system updates (System/Administration/Update Manager) – again, a simple job, and it was extremely convenient with my now working wireless connection.  Some of the updates are for Firefox, which required a restart afterward.

Just to be safe, I restarted Ubuntu before installing the restricted extras with this command:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

I could have done this with add/remove programs GUI application, but since having problems (especially with the MS True Type fonts) ages ago, I’ve since preferred running this from a command line in a terminal session.

The restricted extras  install provides codecs, flash, java runtime, firefox plug-ins, mp3 compatible encoding, playback of DVDs …..  strongly recommend, and it’s always good practice to restart after the restricted extras installation completes.

After a restart, I did my preferred test of how well the restricted extras install went – I navigated to YouTube, and played a video.  Next, to test the Java plug in, I tried out an Internet banking  session, which did not work.  So I installed the Icedtea Java Plugin which offers the benefit of being maintained by Canonical.  Use the Add/Remove Applications program in the Applications Menu to install this.  Once IcedTea was installed, Internet banking works perfectly.

Next to be installed was VLC for video and music.  In Add/Remove Programs, you need to select in the “Show” box, “All available applications” first.  Then type VLC into the Search box.

Did tests on media handling, using an m4v video, a PDF eBook and a MP3 song.  All checked out nicely.

Next for install was Skype.  Skype has a download page for Linux, and options for 8 different distributions.  The Ubuntu version is a .deb file.
As with the earlier version of Ubuntu, you have to put the right audio settings in Skype, and enable mic settings in the audio properties of ubuntu.  The same instructions as before apply, and are documented in an earlier post here…..

Last to go was Instant Messaging.  Pigdin handled my Google Talk and MSN Messenger IM accounts just fine.

Open Office is already version 3 – so no need to an upgrade as was the case with 8.1.

Verdict – Canonical has done a great job with Jaunty.  Install was easier than with Intrepid, and I did not have to mess with Via drivers.  Having OO3 out of the box was a great convenience.  The same huge range of free software is available as for Intrepid and Hardy, and I can be extremely productive (and feel very safe when doing internet banking) on Ubuntu, all for free.  Just a last mention of a great linux app for viewing CBR or CBZ files (you’ll know what these are if you’re a c…. enthusiast) – Comix.

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