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Ubuntu 12.04 on an Acer Aspire SA85 Desktop

Published Oct 18 2012 via RSS

It's been a while since there's been a post and it's been a while since there had been anything about Ubuntu. So here is a small review of Ubuntu on an Acer Aspire SA85 Desktop PC
A little run down on the system first.

This is a PC I use at work and not a system I gave much shit about prior to installing Ubuntu. However the lack of system admin rights finally got to me (in a bad way). Lack of helpful computer administrators around to resolve mundane problems such as C drive filling up, virus infestations everywhere and useless leftover programs and files from previous users, its an endless list of nightmares for any computer geek. So I finally reached that point of no return and did a clean installation of Windows 7 and Ubuntu 12.04, meanwhile earning a reputation as a computer hack wizard by office mates, something that I could really do without.

Precise Pangolin
So the PC I suddenly hate so much became something quite important, since this box is giving me a linux experience after a long...long...looooong wait. And for the purpose of writing this post I had to find out a bit more about the PC. Something more than available from the 'Details' dialogue under system settings which I suppose Canonical team could improve upon.
Useful but not everything required

In came the very useful command found from this thread in ubuntuforums.

sudo dmidecode
While the forum had a few more suggestions with the initial inquirer settling for another suggestion, I liked the output from dmidecode which gave me everything without requiring to install third party ppa's and software. It gave me a lot more than required but what I really wanted was a model number
Helpful and complicated
Some information I found from the dmidecode output

System Information

  • Manufacturer: Acer
  • Product Name: Aspire SA85
  • Version: R01-D0

Processor Information
  • Type: Central Processor
  • Family: Pentium 4
  • Manufacturer: Intel
  • Version: Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU
  • External Clock: 200 MHz
  • Max Speed: 4000 MHz
  • Current Speed: 3000 MHz
Physical Memory Array
  • Location: System Board Or Motherboard
  • Use: System Memory
  • Maximum Capacity: 2 GB
  • Number Of Devices: 2
Memory Device
  • Total Width: 64 bits
  • Data Width: 64 bits
  • Size: 1024 MB
  • Form Factor: DIMM
  • Total Width: 64 bits
  • Data Width: 64 bits
  • Size: 1024 MB
  • Form Factor: DIMM

... in other words, a PC that's barely hanging on to keep up with new technologies. A few things that I did not get from the  command and found else where:-
  • Graphics: VESA 6300 (on board)
So... the ubuntu experience story for this dual windows and linux box.

From the kickoff I dearly wished I had better graphics installed as it was Unity 2D running and not Unity, the bigger and better(?) beast of Ubuntu. I really wanted to have a go at Unity which I hear is a whole lot improved and from Ubuntu 12.10 onward will be able to run even on this system (thanks to OpenGL)

So... Unity 2D it is. And... there is nothing much to go on from here. It looks very much the same as the last time I used it, with the same shortcoming it had before. The apps on the right hand bar cannot be moved about, something I find very annoying.
Not kewl, people!
The only 'workaround' I know is by deleting all the shortcuts and adding them back in the order u want... which is not much of a work around IMHO.

Apart from not having the visual candy that I hoped would be there, like some transparency and shadows here and there, everything else worked out quite well. It was nice to see some of the new features such as HUD in action, though I have yet to really get a hang of it, but I can appreciate the innovation and can see how it would be handy since I was huge fan of Gnome Do. Stability wise, performance wise, I'm honestly very impressed but then again this is not the real Unity, so I'll hold off from giving any kind of rating just yet

Courtesy of stormofmort

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 by adidasi on: Oct 19 2012
Score 50%


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