Gene Expression

Manjoo on Ubuntu

Linux Is Making Me Insane: Grappling with Ubuntu, the free, open-source operating system. I have Ubuntu on my PC through a dual-boot. I also purchased a USB wireless card which was guaranteed to be compatible with Ubuntu plug-and-play. It does work…80% of the time. The problem is that it “drops” the connection every half hour or so and I might have to end up rebooting the system to get it to work again. No thanks. There are some programs which only run on Linux systems that I keep Ubuntu around for (VMware is way too slow), but for browsing the internet it is just not useful for me. If someone like me, or Thomas Mailund, is lukewarm to the most user-friendly of the Linux distributions, I’d say not ready for primetime as your grandma’s OS….


  1. #1 Efraim Karsh
    October 25, 2008

    Well, as grandmmothers go, my mother (85), who is also my kids grandmother, is using Ubuntu hardy right now.
    I Installed it on her box more than six months ago, and she just said “thanks, now windows runs much better”.

    I don’t have to clean every rootkit on earth every month any more and she’s browsing (and writing and all the rest) better, more secure and faster, thank to opera (and open office and all the rest).

    So, yes, maybe ubuntu isn’t that good for you. But I can assure you that I have at least one utterly delighted grandmother to show off.

  2. #2 milieu
    October 25, 2008

    Am not a big fan of using OS for the sake of using it.
    (I am a PC) 🙂

    This link from a talk by a VC which perhaps may be a reason why the OS might never pick off in terms of mass-appeal from Windows and Apple.

    but maybe after seeing the previous comment, perhaps windows has something to be scared about.

  3. #3 Joseph
    October 25, 2008

    Have you filed a bug on your USB wireless? They can’t fix it if they don’t know it’s broken! Does it work in Windows 100%, i.e. is it the hardware that’s perhaps broken?

    In other news, ubuntu is focusing on usability ( as is GNOME (some off the postings at Though I’m not sure how much progress can be made on the Slate guy’s posts. His two problems were 1) Installing most software is different in Ubuntu and 2) Not all programs he installed showed up in the Applications menu. The second is either a bug or an application which is intended to be run from the command-line. The former should be reported to Ubuntu so that they can fix it, and the latter is a problem in his understanding.

    The meta-bug (i.e. a tutorial to help users) is a good idea, though, and the only thing

    Sadly, for those two points, there was an *awful* lot of scare text about how bad Linux is. I have to say that his actual evidence (maybe 25-50 percent of the article) didn’t live up to the scary text surrounding it (let alone the title!) Perhaps it’s because it’s a (formerly?) Microsoft-owned magazine. Strange thing, tho. At least it ended on an up-note, I suppose.

    If you have any linux questions I can help you with, please ask away. You have my email address.

  4. #4 zelrik
    October 25, 2008

    Did you ever think that it was your hardware’s fault?

  5. #5 TGGP
    October 25, 2008

    What programs do you keep Ubuntu around for?

    I think I’ve mentioned before that I gave up on it and now only boot in XP. Ubuntu is still installed, I just haven’t gotten rid of it though I don’t use it.

  6. #6 greg laden
    October 25, 2008

    What? You have a piece of hardward that does not work (even though it was “guaranteed”) and so you give up on the OS? If having a bum hardware experience (even if it is caused by the OS) was the reason to give up on a system, then surely, you should not be usig Windows either.

    Your just having a bad day. Take a few deep breaths. There are a lot of reasons to use Linux (whatever distribution you like) and few to be Bill Gate’s bitch.

  7. #7 dave
    October 25, 2008

    the thing killing me on linux lately is the wireless… it works… then dosent… then does… hopefully 8.10 is much better. on the other hand… i love me some command line

  8. #8 pptux
    October 25, 2008

    If we have problems with self-assembly of USB drives, but I do not have the self-assembly of CDs or DVDs, and in addition we are able to manually mount the USB device in question, then we must create or modify our policy from the file ” preferences.fdi “located in or create the folder /etc/hal/idf/policy and paste the following line in the file:
    ‘< 'merge key =" volume.ignore "type ="bool"'>‘ finally being as false See you soon:


    We saved the file and run HAL daemon:

    # /etc/rc.d/hal restart

    That’s all. I hope it works.


  9. #9 c23
    October 26, 2008

    Ubuntu either works with your hardware or it doesn’t. If it does, it’s ready for grandma. If it doesn’t, it isn’t. This means that grandma needs Ubuntu preinstalled on her computer, either by her geeky grandson or by the vendor. Grandma doesn’t install operating systems or buy peripheral devices anyway.

    In that respect, it’s actually more ready for grandma than somebody like you, who can install an OS or hardware but doesn’t know things like how to restart your driver without rebooting, let alone fix a bug.

  10. #10 James
    October 27, 2008

    I don’t know about your ol’ granny but it sounds like it’s not ready for you either.

    My advice is to either precisely install, configure, and run OpenBSD (always carefully examining your log files) or just get a Mac.

  11. #11 Mike
    October 27, 2008


    Running same os and had same problem running a netgear wireless usb adapt. Solved problem by switching to a linksys wireless usb adapt.
    Good luck.

  12. #12 Dan
    October 28, 2008

    I have exactly the same problem with 8.04 and my laptop. WiFi works for some minutes until the connection is dropped. It works perfectly well with XP, all the rest being equal. Using the windows driver made no difference.
    I am convinced that it is a problem with the network manager, so my hopes are in 8.10

  13. #13 wesele
    October 29, 2008

    In that respect, it’s actually more ready for grandma than somebody like you, who can install an OS or hardware but doesn’t know things like how to restart your driver without rebooting, let alone fix a bug.

  14. #14 razib
    October 30, 2008

    lol. some of these comments are so fucking juvenile. the problem with linux isn’t the OS, it’s the teenage personality of the community. and no, restarting the driver or rebooting doesn’t always fix the problem.

    too TGGP, there’s some scientific programs which i am playing around with that were coded in nix environments. no GUI apps, just command line stuff.

    p.s. for those curious, the wireless card works fine in vista, though i already have an internal for that OS.

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