I have finally gotten my hands on two downloads: Ubuntu 7.10 Alternate Install and Ubuntu 7.10 Desktop. Three days ago, I was getting an error that I couldn't log in to Ubuntu due to being out of disk space. I logged into Windows, where I had Ext2 IFS installed, deleted some unimportant files out of the partition, rebooted, logged into my Feisty partition, burned my home folder to a DVD, then proceeded to do a fresh install of Feisty that took up my entire hard disk. That's right! No more dual booting for me!
Well, two days ago I decided I would try one last time to make an attempt to get the Gutsy CDs before I returned home from the Iraq to the United States. I found one of the few high-speed connections on the base, and began to download the ISOs for both the alternate and live CDs. Because I couldn't just plug in my computer to this connection, I had no choice but to use the Alternate CD to do my upgrade. Well, they finally downloaded after about seven hours and after many failed attempts at creating discs from the ISOs I gave up, copied them onto my iPod, and brought them back to my computer to try to burn them. This is usually a challenge, because my USB ports on my computer don't like to work most of the time. It's apparently a ThinkPad thing, not an Ubuntu thing, so I'm not mad at the OS. Luckily, it worked this time — albeit on the second try — I got both ISOs onto my desktop where I was able to burn a copy of each after purchasing some new blanks from the Iraqi shop/Internet Cafè.
I did an upgrade from the Alternate disc and it worked perfectly. I rebooted, logged in, and everything was there just as I had left it. Well, even though I did the upgrade, I went ahead and decided I would just do a fresh install, despite the upgrade being performed on a two-day old install. I popped out the Alternate disc, popped in the Live CD, and rebooted. Everything looked like it was going well — and it did — during the install. But when I rebooted to load into my second fresh install in three days, I was met with… nothing.
Now, I wasn't too worried, because I saw hard drive activity. Plus, I saw the Grub menu option show up before it went black. About forty-five seconds later, I was met with a site that allowed me to breathe a sigh of relief: the login screen. I went ahead and rebooted again to see if it was just a fluke, but it seemingly is not, so once I got off work, I brought my computer over to the Iraqi Internet Cafè, and filed a bug report with on Launchpad. A response has been left, and I have changed my Grub menu to reflect what a tutorial in the Forums has instructed. This didn't work, and so it's back to the drawing board.
At present, I am downloading some files I deem to be important, such as DVD playback capabilities and other things. I will make another post that will show what steps I performed to get my PC to what in my opinion is a working computer. With the exception of the load, I'm happy with everything so far. Noticeable changes I've found were that my modem driver was installed. Granted, I've not actually ever used my modem — even when this computer was new in 2004 — but it is nice to know that if I ever needed to use it, I could. Now if only wireless would be this easy! That's one thing that Linux as a whole is way behind on. Broadcom apparently has great support in 7.10. Since my wireless card is an Airgo-based, that doesn't apply to me.
The look overall is better. The icons in the menus are crisper and easier to read. Due to limitations on my graphics card however, I am unable to do anything with Compiz Fusion to really make my desktop fly. Maybe in the home PC I'll build in a couple of months though.
With the DVD player installed, I am happy with my system for now. Once I return to a faster, more reliable connection, I will add more programs. Overall, for me, seemingly due to hardware limitations, there wasn't much of a change (on the outside anyway) from 7.04 to 7.10. I give the distro a rating of 7.5/10. Wireless hardware support is still a long ways off, but that is not the fault of Linux I realize. It made installing all the required codecs easy and painless, something that wasn't so easy under 7.04. It's getting better, and it is in my opinion certainly better than Windows ever could be.