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Maverick Alpha 2

I know this post is a bit late. My mother-in-law died last week. Maverick Alpha 2 was, of course, released on schedule last Thursday (July 1). The link is here for downloading the Alpha 2 iso.

I was not able to get the Alpha 2 iso to install on my computer. In order to run Maverick, I had to click on Alt+F2, then type in update-manager -d. Now, of course, I update normally.

One thing I find worthy of notice about Maverick is that the developers have given us Alt Ctrl Del back again. A window comes up politely, asking if you want to reboot or shut down. This is a massive improvement over the last few versions of Ubuntu, where a person had to look up instructions on how to re-enable Alt Ctrl Del. It is now enabled by default.

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Lucid Lynx News

There is so much news for Lucid Lynx this week that I hardly know where to start.

I have mentioned bisigi-themes before, since the themes are a magnificent collection of wallpaper, themes and icons.  Bisigi-themes have now been moved to the regular Lucid Lynx repository, as opposed to testing.  If you have an eye for beautiful artwork, you should try:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:bisigi/ppa

sudo aptitude install bisigi-themes

Ailurus also has a new release – Ailurus 10.04.2.  One very welcome addition to this version is that Ailurus now has a Quick Start entry under Applications > System Tools.  For instance, here is the Install Software section:

The new quick start sections make it easy to find out how much you can do with Ailurus, and how powerful it is.

Lucid Lynx Alpha 2 Has Been Released

Ubuntu Lucid Lynx Alpha 2 was released on January 14. I am late in reporting this because I wanted to install it and give it an independent review. I ran into a problem: Instead of installing Lucid normally, my install disk caused a kernel panic.

I found out very quickly that Launchpad, Ubuntu’s bug reporting and testing site, does not support reporting a bug if you do not know the exact package that has broken and the bug occurs while you are installing. Thankfully, update-manager -d, which is the normal way to upgrade from an existing Ubuntu installation, isn’t working either. This meant I could use the command ubuntu-bug updte-manager to get the proper file information collected and sent to Launchpad. Once I got that done, I also mentioned the other bug.

The old system, where you could report a bug without having to go to all of these information-collecting steps, was better IMHO. That way, you could just go to the Ubuntu Bugs section of bugs.launchpad.net and file a bug manually. I know that this did not always give the developers every piece of information they wanted, but the problem as it now stands is that whole classes of bugs are difficult if not impossible to report at all.

Back to Lucid Lynx Alpha 2: As the website says, get it while it’s hot! ISOs and torrents are available at:

http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/releases/lucid/alpha-2/ (Ubuntu Desktop and Server)
http://uec-images.ubuntu.com/releases/lucid/alpha-2/ (Ubuntu Server for UEC and EC2)
http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/ports/releases/lucid/alpha-2/ (Ubuntu ARM)
http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/kubuntu/releases/lucid/alpha-2/ (Kubuntu Desktop and Netbook Remix)
http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/xubuntu/releases/lucid/alpha-2/ (Xubuntu)
http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/edubuntu/releases/lucid/alpha-2/ (Edubuntu)
http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/mythbuntu/releases/lucid/alpha-2/ (Mythbuntu)

May your testing be enjoyable! Lucid Lynx is going to be an LTS (long-term support) release. This means everything will have to work on it. I had a feeling that Karmic included so much new stuff that it wasn’t possible for the developers and testers to take care of everything. I am looking forward to the Lucid Lynx final release.

Another Way to Do Address Labels

Last year close to Christmas, I wrote a post about how to do address labels from scratch, with no form to help out. This year, I have found out that there is an extension that makes life much easier.

The first thing you will need to do, if you haven’t already, is to run the command:

sudo apt-get install openoffice.org

in order to get all of the pieces needed by openoffice.org base, the database software. Family Address Book is actually a database already set up, with instructions for use and a handy program for inputting new records. Here is the menu you get when you first click on the downloaded file:

I heartily recommend reading the instructions before you continue. The program is powerful, giving you three different ways to run your labels as well as other options for adding and looking at records. (My only negative comment is that I could not figure out how to delete or change a record without going into the Information Table. However, once you’re there, it isn’t so hard to figure out.)

Here is the form to add a new person or family. As you can see, the database stores birthdays, anniversaries and telephone numbers as well as addresses. This makes it more powerful than a simple address label program would be.

One other thing I recommend – that I didn’t do last year – is to save your database on an external medium. I have an external hard drive where my family address book odb file is now safely sitting. That way, I won’t accidentally delete it when I reinstall Ubuntu. (Reinstalls happen when you are testing an alpha. Lucid Lynx is in alpha already.)Technorati Tags: , ,

Lucid Lynx Alpha 1 Has Been Released

Lucid Lynx Alpha 1 is the first alpha release of Ubuntu 10.04. As always, it comes with the warning not to install it on production machines. The final version will be released on April 29, 2010.

To upgrade from Ubuntu 9.10 on a desktop system, press Alt + F2 and type in “update-manager -d” without the quotes. The Update Manager will tell you: New distribution release ‘10.04’ is available. From there, click upgrade and follow the instructions.

Lucid Lynx Alpha 1 includes the latest Gnome desktop environment, Linux kernel 2.6.32-7.10, and KDE SC 4.4 beta 1.

ISOs and torrents of Lucid Lynx Alpha 1 for the Ubuntu desktop are available here.Technorati Tags: , ,

Karmic Koala Has Been Launched

Karmic Koala – Ubuntu 9.10 – was formally released on October 29, on schedule. If you have been waiting until the final release, it is here!

Be forewarned – it is still too soon after the release date for the servers to behave normally. I found, for instance, that downloading the ISO file, burning it to disk, and installing from scratch was easier than attempting to do a simple update-manager. I switched to a local mirror after receiving major “unable to reach network” messages while using the US main mirror. Even with that, the servers seem to be unreachable. Launch week is a madhouse!

One thing that I found that is new with Karmic is the command add-apt-repository. For instance, if you want to include the beautiful Bisigi artwork that I wrote about some time ago, you would just need to issue these commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:bisigi
sudo apt-get install zgegblog-themes

and you have wallpaper and themes galore to choose from. This works on properly formatted PPA repositories. (Unfortunately, when I tried it on the Ubuntu Tweak repository, it did not work. I hope this is something TualatriX can fix.)

The add-apt-repository command even adds the repository key so Ubuntu knows the files are authenticated. This takes away ninety percent of the pain of adding a PPA repository – you just need to know its name.

Two Ways to Save Your Bookmarks in Firefox

As an alpha (and now beta) tester, I have had more than one occasion where I needed to reinstall Ubuntu. Today, I’d like to point out two Firefox extensions that make a reinstall far less catastrophic than it could be:

Xmarks keeps your Firefox bookmarks (and optionally passwords) backed up and synchronized. You can use it on more than one computer. For instance, I have gone on my husband’s (Windows) computer in the past to hose the latest set of viruses. I set Firefox up with my bookmarks in case I needed to use any of them. (Somewhere, I have a link to www.download.com. I don’t believe in paying for overpriced anti-virus software even on Windows.)

The Google toolbar also has a bookmark area, which is saved on one of Google’s servers and can be accessed from more than one computer. (I use this bookmark list for bookmarks that I use often, since it seems to me to be more easily accessible than the Firefox bookmarks.)

In the past, when I lost my bookmarks, it would take me ages to reconstruct the list – and I would sometimes lose a favorite bookmark to the great bit bucket in the sky. With Xmarks and the Google toolbar, I no longer have such worries. I recommend both highly.


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