Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Laptop woes and a switch to KDE

The fan on my Ubuntu laptop is making all sorts of noise (loud) and I fear it's not long for this earth (the fan). Since I don't really use this laptop as a portable device (just a wireless one) I think I might be able to come up with some kind of kludge or hack to keep it going. One problem I began to run into is that Gnome and it's apps are eating up my CPU (but not ram). Basically the latest updates caused the entire system to run amok. The response was terrible! Add this to the fan problems and all sorts of 'fun' ensues (the fan needs to work harder, the apps run slower, the CPU kicks up and the heat goes up and then the CPU slows down but the heat isn't dissipating, rinse, lather, repeat ... ). Previously I had tried to use KDE with Edgy but switched to gnome because I was familiar with it. With Gnome running like a pig (and all those processes, what are all those processes for?) I decided to switch to KDE. Well that didn't go well. Seems the KDE is only kind of installed on this Hardy setup. I attempted to use adept_manager to reinstall but that didn't help. I then use synaptic and that helped but I ran into mime problems (needed to remove files from /var/tmp and /tmp). Then Firefox would start up in offline mode (needed to change toolkit.networkmanager.disable to true in about:config and restart). This is because my WiFi is not being managed by the Network manager, which I can't seem to find. Argh, I hate relearning a new environment but this time it was really necessary. Gnome is gotten to be too bloated and no longer runs properly on a 1.5GHz (2.4GHz when run at full speed) laptop. I may really start digging in and trying to find a lighter X setup. Right now KDE is working okay. Now if I can just get Desktop pager to allow me to use keystrokes (Alt-1 etc. doesn't work).


At 11/03/2008 4:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps use the Kubuntu cd from to install KDE, works like a charm for me.

At 11/23/2008 12:30 PM, Blogger Richard said...

I have found the combination of Fedora 8 and KDE 3.5 to be stable and usable.

At 11/23/2008 1:10 PM, Blogger Neil Cherry said...

I'll combine two responses into one post for the sake of brevity.

I haven't had a chance to type Kubuntu I may try that later in December when classes are done. I did something to correct the problem as the laptop is now more stable.

To Richard:

I won't be using Fedora any more. For my servers it was always too difficult to upgrade to the latest release. I'll be using CentOS for my server. For my laptop I've found Ubuntu to be much easier to upgrade and update though this last set of updates did cause me problems. I'm still on Hardy (8.04.1) and I have noticed that something (Firefox or my wireless network) causes the machine to slow down to a crawl and sometimes lockup.

It probably doesn't help that the laptop's CPU fan is dieing. It's making a lot of noise. I'll have to find some kind of replacement for it.

At 11/27/2008 12:50 AM, Anonymous Sam Clark said...

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