Lenovo Thinkpad R61 and Ubuntu Hardy …

I recently bought a brand new Lenovo Thinkpad R61 which was preloaded with Suse Linux Enterprise 10. Although I came from having used Ubuntu Linux for 2 years straight I found it pretty easy to go through the initial Suse Linux setup as one does upon first boot of a new machine.

However once all that was over with I was taken aback once Suse (SLED) loaded into my user. Here are some observations:

– I thought the default layout of Suse to be an attempt at replicating the MS Windows environment, which I thought to be pretty ridiculous since those choosing to go with Linux obviously care little or nothing about their former life with that OS from B. Gates.

– I right away went to see if I could enable Desktop Effects (Compiz) and navigated to the Control Center and then on to Desktop Effects. I tried to enable Desktop Effects and nothing … even after a re-login. But when I loaded the Ubuntu 8.04 LiveCD and attempted to enable Extra under Visual Effects, it worked perfectly without having to install anything additional.

– One of the first things I realized was how simple life had been with Add/Remove Applications and Synaptic Package Manager in Ubuntu Linux. Now with totally different terminology and various places to go, I was finding myself sorely confused with how I could install more software in Suse Linux. When I did find where the place to install additional applications was I was surprised by how few things there were to choose from compared to Ubuntu’s Synaptic.

– A real odd thing was that in Applications installed by default with the system there was a Nvidia settings configuration application and I don’t have an Nvidia chipset!? I have Intel through and through …
I also was expecting to see something from ThinkVantage … but alas there was nothing.

– Upon going to the Home folder there were only 2 useful folders, Desktop and Documents. There were two other folders, “bin” and “public_html” but I have no idea what they would be useful for!?
In Ubuntu Linux you get a folcer for Documents, Music, Video, Pictures and Desktop by default.

– One thing that I thought was pretty cool was a Quick Start Tour link on the Desktop. Double-Clicking this link will launch Firefox and a complete range of video tutorials on how to use Suse Linux on the Thinkpad. I thought this was very good and something that Ubuntu should do as well. However I thought that the tutorials stopped a step too soon by not including information on how to add and remove software in Suse.

– Suse Linux did have the Fingerprint Reader hardware installed and ready to be used out of the box, and for that they get a thumbs up!

All in all Suse Linux on the Thinkpad R61 will eventually get the job done for you … but I would chuck out Suse any day to replace it with Ubuntu Linux.


Apt-cacher … Ubuntu … Bandwidth saver!

Here in the home we have 3 laptops running Ubuntu Linux and limited internet bandwidth. So with all three machines grabbing their own updates from online sources I was beginning to wonder how I could make it that one computer updates and the others update from that one already updated computer.

Apt-cacher was my salvation!

Basically here is how it works…

You have two computers both running Ubuntu Hardy (or the same release of any Linux distro) and you want Computer#1 to update directly from the internet and Computer#2 to update as much as possible from the updates already downloaded by Computer#1.

So you configure Computer#2 to work through Computer#1 and look through the packages available there and take as much as it needs from Computer#1. Anything it needs that cannot be found on Computer#1 can be downloaded from the internet by Computer#2.

Here is the how-to I followed to get this working in Ubuntu Hardy. LINK HERE

What’s new from Thinkpad…

There are some pretty exciting new things coming out from the Thinkpad line from Lenovo. Here are some of the highlights.

Thinkpad X200
the basic configuration is as follows:

– Based on Centrino 2 + VPro technology platform
– 45-nanometer Core 2 Duo CPU, the highest clock up to 2.4 GHz
– DDR2 (667MHz) or DDR3 (1067MHz) Memory
– 12-inch WXGA LCD screen
– 64GB SSD or the maximum capacity of 7200 to 200 GB hard drive or transferred to a maximum capacity of 5,400 to 320 GB hard drive
– T-series size keyboard
– Optional 1.3-megapixel camera built-in
– USB X 3, Express Card X 1,3 in 1 card reader
– Magnesium alloy roof & chassis
– 9-cell battery, with the largest life time up to 9.6 hours
– To support the latest communication features, such as WiMax, GPS
– Starting from 1.32 kg weight (X61 1.42 kg)

ALL NEW Thinkpad SL Series

Highlights of ThinkPad SL Series:

* SL300 / SL400 / SL500 models
* 13.3-inch / 14.1-inch / 15.4-inch WXGA panels (SL500 has WSXGA+ option)
* Core 2 Duo processors
* Integrated Intel GMA 4500MHD or discrete NVIDIA GeForce 9300 graphics
* ExpressCard / FireWire / 3+ USB ports
* Optional Blu-ray drive
* WWAN / WiMAX / WiFi / Bluetooth / GPS

Lenovo has confirmed the existence of its upcoming ThinkPad SL-series, recently leaked in an errant presentation. The notebooks, targeted at Lenovo’s bread & butter small and medium business market, will be priced from $699 to $1,199, and, in a first for the ThinkPad and perhaps for the market, include online backup services as standard.

Highlights of ThinkPad T Series:

* T400 / T500 models
* 14-inch / 15-inch panels
* Intel Centrino 2 with vPro up to 2.8GHz
* Optional 64GB SSD / 320GB HDD
* 512MB ATI Mobility FireGL V5700 graphics
* WWAN / WiMAX / WiFi / Bluetooth

Highlights of ThinkPad R Series:

* 14.1-inch R400 / 15.4-inch R500 models
* Montevina Penryn Core 2 Duo processors
* Up to 320GB HDD
* Up to 4GB DDR3 RAM
* Integrated Intel GMA 4500MHD or discrete ATI Mobility Radeon 3470 graphics
* 3 USB / FireWire / ExpressCard / VGA

So there is a lot to look forward to …. 🙂