Quantal Quetzal – the all new Ubuntu 12.10

It’s been 5 days since Ubuntu 12.10 (aka Quental Quetzal) was released and I downloaded the ISO on 19th, but got the time to install only today. Finished the install just 30 minutes back from the time I started writing this. By the way, the following ain’t gonna be a review, just some stuff I did after installing and the problems I had. If you want a review let me google that for you.

Ubuntu no longer fits in a CD. It’s got bigger (that’s what she said). The ISO is 800 MB now, so if you’re not installing online, you need to create a DVD or a USB.

I had previously fucked up the whole 12.04 install by messing up with xorg.conf, compiz and even wine, so formatted /home as well. A fresh install, literally. It went without a hitch.

Was expecting everything to work smoothly after the install, but some did not. Nvidia drivers do not come by default (which is normal) but they did not appear under Additional Drivers as well. I tried sudo apt-get install nvidia-current and restarted, but the screens were messed up. Unity launcher was hidden and the screen resolution was fixed. A bit of googling showed that this was a known bug in the kernel. The following workaround solved the problem:

sudo apt-get install linux-headers-3.5.0-17-generic
sudo apt-get remove nvidia*
sudo apt-get install nvidia-current

The dual monitor setup got detected and the display was set to TwinView automatically, so had no need to do them manually as I’ve mentioned previously in the other blog. Anyway when you move the mouse from one monitor to another, there’s this deceleration which is a headache. This could be disabled by going to Displays and turning off Sticky Edges.

I keep the Unity launcher on both desktops coz it’s more convenient that way

Installed ubuntu-restricted-extras next. Nothing special there.

Then I downloaded the Google Chrome deb and tried to install, but this gave ‘The package is of bad quality’ error. As it turns out, this is also a known bug and continuing with ‘Ignore and install’ is the way to go.

The next step was to completely remove Ubuntu One. Coz that’s how we roll. The command is:

sudo apt-get purge ubuntuone*

In Quental, there’s this new Online Accounts section, in which you can log into most services like Twitter, Google and Facebook. After logging in I noticed that the Messaging icon was missing from the top panel. This could be turned on by going to Broadcast Preferences and checking Start service at login.

Some of the things I’m gonna do next are installing the blinking messaging menu icon and installing some cool stuff like Everpad, fogger, pinta, clementine, rubygems, ttytter and apvlv. And ccsm of course (just noticed it’s missing). Then enable wobbly windows. And then edit /etc/fstab to my liking perhaps. I may post some tips on new features, workarounds, etc in Accidents Happen.

Since it’s been less than hour, it’s too soon to tell how good Quental is compared with Precise (12.04). Anyway I’m disappointed by the nvidia issue. Fuck you nvidia!

On Galaxy Note II

The Note started as a controversy, but in the end, it was a resounding success. Contrary to many initial reactions, people actually liked the big screen. More than 10 million were sold. I’ve been using the Note for over 8 months and was constantly asking myself, is it even possible to come up with a better phone? Turns out, it is. Welcome the Samsung Galaxy Note II.

Yes, it is!

Thanks to It’s About Gadgets by Etisalat, I got the chance to use the new monster for a week. And, ugh, I forgot to take any photos or screenshots, so all the photos in the posts will be stolen ones from the interwebs.

The initial reaction when I got the Note 2? This guy is fast! Of course, it goes without saying that Note 2 is one of the fastest phones currently on the market (specs here, comparison with Note here). With a quad-core 1.6GHz Exynos processor and 2GB RAM, it’s got more power than my previous laptop. The transitions are pretty slick. Could play Max Payne without any lag whatsoever. Note that (no pun intended) I tried everything in the stock TouchWiz launcher and without many third-party apps running in the background, so yeah, you get my point.

Samsung Galaxy Note II

Jelly Bean comes pre-installed in Note 2 with better camera, actionable notifications and all. (Even though the Note comes with Gingerbread, it’s upgradeable to Jelly Bean.) There’s this pop-up video player thingy and other fancy apps.

All the nonsense aside, let’s talk about the size. The Note’s screen was 5.3″, whereas it’s 5.5″ in Note 2. However, it’s less wide than the Note. Which means it feels better in the hand. Several of my friends who hated the original Note’s dimensions said they like the new design. Then how come the bigger screen? Yes, Note 2 is longer than the Note. It’s like some idiot took the Note and pulled it from either side. This has made the resolution to go down to 720×1280 (as opposed to 800×1280 in the Note). And less pixel density. I personally prefer what it was like in the original Note.

Note 2 (on the left) vs the Note

S-Pen functionality is much better with the Note 2. There’s some kind of sensor in the S-Pen slot, so when you take it out or put it back in, the phone knows. Taking the stylus out automatically takes you to a screen with many S-Pen-capable apps. Also a notification icon appears in the top bar saying that the pen is not on the slot, reducing the chances of losing it (as happened with my Note. Had to buy a replacement and it wasn’t cheap). It detects when you hover the pen above the screen as well. For example, if you hover the pen over the pictures in the Gallery (or events in the calendar), they will quickly zoom in and zoom out once you move the pen away. And stuff.

Hovering the pen over Video Player’s progress bar

Regardless of how much I hate the new screen and the dimensions, I prefer the Note 2 to Note. I would buy if I could. Apparently you’d be able to grab one from Etisalat itself in a few days. And there’s this small video interview I had with them about Note 2 which will be available in their Youtube channel in a few days.

UPDATE: Here’s my interview with Amitha on the Note II.

How I wish we didn’t have to wish

Don’t you just hate wishing people on their birthdays? Especially when it’s not in real life? In real life, you can just ‘adoh happy birthday mchan, when’s the party?‘ and all. It’s simpler in Facebook: just a ‘happy birthday mchan!‘. But not so on Twitter.

I try to ignore birthdays as much as I can. Nobody will tell you it’s his birthday, so, you see, he doesn’t really know if I know if it’s his birthday, even though I know it’s his birthday and I know that he knows that there’s a good chance I’ve heard of his birthday but he really can’t prove it, so it’s just a matter of simple logic.

I wish this was always the case, but then, sometimes you really have to wish (pun intended). Like today, when I go to twitter everybody’s wishing MoAwesomeSauce for his birthday and you go to facebook and you see photos of his office treat or whatever, and when you go to twitter again you find him thanking for all the wishes he got, and then when you think it’s all over here come more ppl wishing him and then again more thanks follow.

*#?$. This is the point when you say ‘oh what the hell’ and try to compose a happy birthday message. What do you say? Happy birthday mchan? After you look at all the wishes he’s getting, such a simple one would make him think I’m like wishing for the sake of wishing, so no. Many happy returns of the day? Same story. And too common. Happy birthday mchan, when’s the party? I look at the wishes he’s got and none of them mentions about a treat so perhaps he’s the kind of guy who doesn’t give out treats? So… no.

His name is MoAwesomeSauce, so I could add some ‘awesome’ into the wish and make him feel good? So I write this and press Enter:

[tweet https://twitter.com/thameera/status/254463321007341568]

WTF! Isn’t that the lamest birthday wish ever? ‘Awesome’ is mentioned twice and there’s a smiley at the end! And the second sentence doesn’t even make any sense! Awkward at its best. And the worst part of it all? He thanks me with just a ‘thanks mate’! All the hardwork to that wish-with-two-awesomes-in-it dismissed with a simple ‘thanks mate’?

Has the world always been this way? Just three months to the apocalypse and we’re still sharing lame awkward birthday wishes? Will everything be alright after Sarath Fonseka forms his new party? Will Sarath Fonseka ever form a new party? Is he even out of prison yet?

So many questions. There’s nothing one can do but simply wish MoAwesomeSauce a very happy birthday and not think about it anymore.