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Ubuntu Studio Revisted – Installed On A Laptop

About a year ago I had an aborted attempt at installing Ubunto on my desktop.

It was time wasted really and I wish I hadn’t tried, I complained at the time that there were too many things to fix or that could not be fixed.

Well I gave up.

And now I’m back.

The reason?

A tired old laptop that I’m loathe to give up on.

It’s painful is it not? You pay a wacking great dollop of cash on something with bells and whistles only for it to get tired within a few years.

This happened to my fathers Packard Bell Easynote C3300.

Now it’s worth nowt and XP just seems to run like it’s covered in custard.

So what do I do with it I thought.

Ubuntu came to mind.

For Ubuntu and I have unfinished business.

I always felt that I’d missed out on Ubuntu Studio and after attempting to fix the Packard Bell one last time I decided to give it another try.

A few months ago my Dad bought a spanking new laptop after he got annoyed with the slothful Packard Bell, I decided to save the wretched thing. I bought some extra ram and upgraded it to over 700mb(can’t remember to be certain had an odd configuration). And reinstalled XP from scratch. It was still slow and the wireless internet was painful, then one day XP died. Just kaput, no reason, no rhyme.

So I decided it was time again.

Please before you jump ahead STOP! Installing Ubuntu although not totally out of reach is not for someone who has a limited knowledge of computers. You’ve got to be prepared for things going foobar. You need to have the time and inclination to waste that time. It can be infuriating and it can be quite difficult to understand some of the work thrus.

Take a day or two before you go ahead and if you can only install on a second PC or Laptop, not you main one.

Back everything up first!!!

[—-Installing Ubuntu—]

Chose version Unbuntu Studio 8.10

Installation was easy, just popped in the disc and restarted the laptop.

Followed the instructions on screen and took my time reading as I went.

Note: After a few mistakes I realised the quickest way to install the wireless drivers is to add your wireless card before you attempt install, also if you can connect your laptop via lan to your internet router. This will auto install your drivers for some reason.
[—-Wireless Card—]

Before attempting the graphics card fixed let’s get the wireless card setup.

I have a Linksys Wireless G PCMCIA card and it works with Ubuntu.

To get it installed you need the NDISWrapper. If you are connected to the internet start up the updates feature and scroll through the system updates section to see if you can find the update needed. Once found put a tick next to it and click ok.

To be fair this was the easiest part, take a breath before starting though.

If you can install whilst attached to the internet, the driver will download as an updated driver and then wehen completed restart system.

You’ll need to edit Network Settings to connect and this is also a painful, for some reason I have to reconnect everytime I start up the system. *I’ll of course be looking into this at some point.

[—-Graphics Card—]

My laptop has a sis 740 graphics card, this unfortunately presents a problem as Ubuntu does not see it’s screen resolution properly.

After reading info @ Packard Bell C3300 Easynote Info, I determined that the laptop can support a resolution of 1024×768.

But this option was not available.

So I hunted the interweb and after a lot of false starts I found a solution.

This is where it gets tricky and you need to be careful.

Please don’t do this, I am an idiot – if you are confident you won’t pull your hair out if it all goes wrong then go ahead. I know it works but for this particular laptop only. And even then I’m not guaranteeing anything…

From this forum, link I found the following info,

Section “Device”
Driver “sis
Identifier “Configured Video Device”
EndSection

Section “Monitor”
HorizSync 28-72
VertRefresh 43-60
Identifier “Configured Monitor”
EndSection

Section “Screen”
SubSection “Display”
Depth 24
Modes “1280×768” “1024×768” “800×600” “640×480”
EndSubSection
Identifier “Default Screen”
Monitor “Configured Monitor”
Device “Configured Video Device”
EndSection

To edit and add these lines you need to start up a terminal and type,

sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf

You’ll need to enter your password here.

Now scroll through and add the above lines exactly as written here.

Read it through and make sure you’ve spelt everything correctly, now save and restart system.

It should now start with 1024 x 768 as your resolution.

If it fails and you’ve got a broken system then something went wrong.

Restart you’re system and press ‘Esc’ key when grub starts up, this will take you to the rescue menu.

You can rebuild the xserver from there.

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