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Ubuntu Desktop Linux and Acer TravelMate 7513WSMi

My youngest sister has retired her big-ass (17″) Acer TravelMate (model 7513WSMi 7510) with a more modern offering from Sony. That was last year. Now, she thought it’d be a good idea to donate it to our oldest sister. But since the thing has always “run” like a pig with Windows Vista, her girl-geek instincts thought it better if I’d equip the old monster with Ubuntu Linux instead.

AMD 64bit

I’m also considering upgrading my own laptop to 64 bit. (They’ve told me that, really, the 32 bit age is over.) So, the first thing I’m trying to find out (now that I’m getting on the 64 bit train) is if this thing supports 64 bit. I can’t really think of a quick way to find out, so I’m just going to create a 64bit installation CD and see how that works.

Or, I could have just popped open the hood to see the “AMD Turion64x2 Mobile Technology” sticker. 😯

Installation

After changing the boot order, the installation CD (burned from my T61 using “wodim -data ubuntu-10.10-desktop-amd64.iso”) seems to be booting despite the worrying sounds that seem to indicate that the laptop is trying to rip apart and eat the disc.

I’m surprised how good the current installation program looks and that it asks me if I want to “download updates while installing” and “install third-party software”. Nice.

Great idea to ask all the annoying questions (timezone, etc.) during installation instead of after! I’m amused with how much I’m behind the time if I see all the promotional screens for new and improved software which is meant to keep me inspired during the installation process. “OpenOffice.org is fully compatible with Microsoft Office[…]” Am I really that much behind with the times? Nah, I can’t imagine. I must still have some very, very nasty Excel sheet lying around somewhere, gathering dust. If I feed that monster of a thing to OpenOffice, then I’m pretty sure… Yeah, that’s going to be fun. 😈

Post-installation configuration

I had expected to spend at least an hour or two hunting around forums to find solutions for obscure driver-related issues and other nuisances. But no issues popped up. It just worked. Ubuntu is very compatible with the Acer TravelMate 7513WSMi! 😀

So, I spent some of the time saved on setting a user pic and a few other niceties, but I refrained from doing anything fancy, because I’ve figured out a new sister support strategy that I might blog about later. (It involves a four-hour work-week…)

[For my own reference, I started on the first draft of this post on Januari 14.]


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