Sunday, March 26, 2006

Breezy Badger!

A few weeks ago I received five free copies of Ubuntu. I gave away four of the copies, keeping the last one to use on my own computer. I have not had to reformat once since I bought my computer two years ago. I primarily used my 130 GiB Windows partition, and occasionally switched over to Mandriva (20 GiB partition). I never encountered any problems, viruses, or spyware on my Windows partition. However, I decided it was time for a change. I now have a 130 GiB Ubuntu partition, and 20 GiBs for Windows.

Initially Ubuntu automatically detected the majority of my hardware, although I did have to put in some effort to get certain features working. Some of the important changes I had to make included:

-SMP (symmetric multi-processing) support
-NVIDIA drivers
-JRE (Java Runtime Environment)
-Printer drivers
-Mounting Windows partition
-MP3 decoding

I also had some problems with Flash audio being out of sync. In my opinion all of these are essential features which should have been automatically set up by the OS. Hopefully as Linux continues to evolve the initial setup time required will decrease. However, now that I have finished fixing all of the problems, I have a fully functional computer that I am very proud of ^_^. I have made a short screencast of my desktop which can be found here.

Here is a customized version of Google Maps that I made earlier today.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Google Vs. Microsoft

I just got back from Microsoft’s Develop Mental Tour [photo]. It was a two hour presentation about developing 3D games. Even though it was interesting, not much was accomplished since the process of developing a 3D application can not really be summarized in a two hour time period. I was well rewarded for attending however, since Microsoft felt that this was a good opportunity to give out some free stuff. We got pizza, pop, chips, a massive textbook about programming with C#, and some lottery tickets for a chance to win an HDTV or an MP3 player. There was also a random draw at the end for some free shirts and an Xbox 360 (which I didn’t win).

Last week I attended a Google presentation, which also gave out some free items. It seems like Microsoft and Google are competing to get the valuable attention of us UBC Computer Science students. Google supplied pizza, pop, pens, sticky notes, a strange flashing logo, and some other stuff. Some other items which are currently being mailed to me at no cost are 5 copies of Ubuntu (a Linux distribution), Visual Studio® 2005 Express Edition, and a Microsoft USB flash drive (probably loaded with a variety of advertisements). If you are interested in receiving a free copy of Ubuntu, try visiting