After quite some time of suffering with my desktop flirting with failure, the sales on Black Friday finally opened up an opportunity for me to upgrade to an i-series Intel CPU on my budget. My desktop now consists of a new motherboard, running an i3 CPU, 8 gigabytes of RAM, and a new power supply capable of driving all that new hardware.

Of course this upgrade does have its downsides. In order to speed things along, so that I can get back to my preparations for my next semester at UAH, I installed a Linux system with which I wouldn’t constantly have to fight - Ubuntu. Despite my distaste for this particular distro ever since their decision to switch the window controls to the left hand side by default, they simply work well on the desktop - given that Ubuntu manages to blend stability with software current enough not to drive someone accustomed to newer features insane.

Despite the ease that Ubuntu provides, there will undoubtedly be material for me to cover provided by it, mainly in the areas of customizations.

On top of that, now having enough RAM and hardware with virtualization support, I’ve begun experimenting with Virtual Box, and upon having more time will look at some of the other methods for implementing virtualization.


Ubuntu - Nick

Right there with you. I'd love to build a Gentoo/Arch system every time, but the system just takes too long to admin. When the tool gets in the way of the work its time to evaluate. Right now the Ubuntu things are easy fixes with gconfeditor for the window controls, but the move to Unity in 11.04 will signal a quick transition to Debian Unstable for me 100% of the time. Congrats on the new hardware! Whats your view of the i3's performance?

Ubuntu'n'more - eugene

Actually, it looks like you can revert to the classic desktop by switching off the desktop effects. I had already done this because otherwise I was unable to set the option that allows me to select and raise a window by hovering over it. However, if they push it to being the only option, I probably will switch away from Ubuntu. What I'd really love to do someday is to work my way through a Linux from Scratch setup, but for the time being am focused on smaller projects and college. I'm actually looking at switching my server off Ubuntu, and onto something like CentOS, or eventually a BSD (for the security benefits). My main problem with Ubuntu, on all my systems right now, is the instability that gets introduced to the package system with the addition of PPAs. Once one has a problem, nothing seems to update right (though I've had some luck with using aptitude rather than apt-get). I'm afraid I've a limited view with which to compare the i3, but I can say its a heck of a lot better than the old AMD X2 Dual-Core system I had before. However, some of that is also due to the fact the motherboard is greatly improved, and I have doubled the amount of RAM I had previously. One thing that is great is the hardware virtualization support. I really need to upgrade my server and get the same. I've actually been considering going the route of getting proper server hardware (my current server being made mostly of scrounged parts from various desktops), but right now have to hold my money back for college textbooks and fees.