Sunday 30 March 2008

Ubuntu uh-oh

Uh oh, it's happened again. Upgrade fever strikes. You see, my laptop is an AMD64, and it struck me that I was running a 32 bit OS. I've flirted with 64 bit before with XP 64, and the benefit just didn't justify the hassle of getting things working. That said, it also struck me that if I was ever going to install the 64 bit version, it would be an awful lot easier to do it now, whilst I was still in fairly virgin territory, than a year down the line when reinstalling everything would be a PITA.

So, deep breath, quick read of the Ubuntu forums to make sure I wasn't diving in to a complete mess, and off we go with downloading the ISO - it's times like this that an employer's huge bandwidth and a 1Gb USB stick come in useful.

Nothing to report from the install step (apart from the DUH moment of taking 20 minutes to figure out why GParted is complaining that I haven't selected any root partitions), and soon we're off and running. My old friend, the wireless, is back to haunt me, but I'm a veteran now, and it's less than 30 minutes before it's working using the Restricted Driver Manager.

The most remarkable thing about the 64 bit version is that it's pretty unremarkable. Apart from the well documented lack of Flash for 64bit Firefox - which is easily remedied - everything works as you might expect. There's no great shakes as far as performance goes, at least not in day-to-day use, but I get a warm fuzzy feeling knowing that those extra 32 bits in my CPU, which until now have been sitting idle, waiting for the day when they'd be called into action, are now busy helping out.

I promise that I'm at the end of upgrades and installations now. Not least because the other half is getting a bit bored of finding everything has changed yet again.

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