Using Ubuntu

Another key feature of Ubuntu Linux is that it is a Debian based system and therefore uses APT for software updates. This gives us the ability to download extra software and also keep our system up-to-date. Ubuntu includes a GUI package called Synaptic for using APT.
Screenshot-Synaptic
But before using Synaptic, you should edit your APT sources config file, this is where you configure the apt repositories that you will be accesing from the Internet. Issue the following command from a terminal window:
phwil@scully:~$ sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list
Now replace the existing text with the following:

deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu hoary main restricted
deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu hoary main restricted
deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu hoary-updates main restricted
deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu hoary-updates main restricted
deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu hoary universe
deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu hoary universe
deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu hoary-security main restricted
deb-src http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu hoary-security main restricted
deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu hoary-security universe
deb-src http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu hoary-security universe
deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu hoary multiverse
deb-src http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu hoary multiverse
deb ftp://ftp.nerim.net/debian-marillat stable main
deb ftp://ftp.nerim.net/debian-marillat unstable main
deb ftp://ftp.nerim.net/debian-marillat testing main

This will give you access to all the software you need.
I would also advise reading the following page about installing additional software that you may want such as DVD, media codecs, java and lots of other useful stuff: http://www.ubuntuguide.org/


Ubuntu install

Ubuntu is very easy to install, even for an inexperienced Linux user. You first have to download the ISO and burn to a disk. The good think is that it is only one disk. It uses a text-based install but it just works. The only tricky part is the disk partitioning but I did a complete new install on this laptop and will not be dual-booting so I just chose the defaults.
ubuntuinstall
Then just follow the directions and you will have a great Linux distro installed. You should see the following login screen after the last reboot.
ubuntulogin
One of the first things I should address before you get started learning Ubuntu is how it handles root logins. Basically it does not allow root access but uses Sudo instead. So when you run an application and it prompts you for a password, just use your username password. This is how OSX manages root access and is much safer than actually logging in as root. To most Linux users this can be confusing because we are used to root.

After logging in, the first thing you will want to do is ensure networking is up and running. For my example, I am setting up connectivity to my home wireless LAN.

  • on the Desktop Top menu bar go under System-Administration-Networking.
    ubuntu-Network settings
  • Now I select Wireless Connection and click Propertiesubuntu-Interface properties
  • Put in the Network Name, also know as your SSID and then put in your WEP key of your local wireless LAN. Now you are ready.
Now open up a terminal window and type the following command, ifconfig.
phwil@scully:~$ ifconfig
ath0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:0B:CD:5A:02:F8
inet addr:192.168.1.6 Bcast:192.168.1.255 Mask:255.255.255.0
inet6 addr: fe80::20b:cdff:fe5a:2f8/64 Scope:Link
UP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST MTU:1500 Metric:1
RX packets:12747 errors:2772 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:2772
TX packets:8493 errors:1 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:199
RX bytes:16072193 (15.3 MiB) TX bytes:1285636 (1.2 MiB)
Interrupt:5 Memory:eeb40000-eeb50000

This will show if you have obtained an IP address from the network and you should be good to go for connecting to the Internet.


Ubuntu Linux

I have been using Linux since 1998 starting with Radhat 5.2
Along the way I have enjoyed learning and overcoming the challanges with being a Linux early adopter. Especially since I usually load linux on laptops and that used to be quite a chore. Now it is becoming much easier and Linux has definately come a long way.
I recently loaded Ubuntu Linux on my HP/Compaq nc4000 laptop and it works great.
ubuntudesktop
I will try to share with you some of my experience and hopefully be of help to anyone trying to run Linux on the nc4000 or any laptop for that matter. I really like this laptop and is probably the best ultra-portable laptop that I have used over the years. And I have had a lot of laptops from Toshiba, Compaq and HP. I also have the extended battery that allows for about 4-6 hours of continuous use. I have upgraded the RAM to 1 gig and it has a Pentium M 1.4 processor that is adequate for my needs. I mainly use this laptop for web browsing, IRC, Chat, email and watching movies. I have a car adapter that allows me to use it while in the car and this is really convenient. I plan to add a USB Bluetooth adaptor and then I can connect to the Internet via my cell GPRS connection.
Here are the specs for the nc4000:

  • Pentium-M 1.4GHz processor

  • 1GB PC3200 DDR RAM, 32MB used by ATI Radeon IGP 340M video

  • 30GB Hard Drive

  • USB DVD/CD-RW drive

  • Integrated 802.11b/g Atheros AR5212 Wireless LAN, Broadcom Gigabit ethernet, and ALi modem


Here are some pictures:
nc4k side
nc4k
nc4k top
nc4k back

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