(TL note: nareshov's diary)

On Karmic Beta

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On Friday last week I happened to upgrade certain packages on my erstwhile Jaunty installation on my laptop. For some strange reason my touchpad ceased to work. I couldn’t move the mouse pointer. I couldn’t even get onto good ole’ Google because I couldn’t click on NetworkManager and select the radio button next to my CDMA USB modem entry!

The next day I issued a ‘do-release-upgrade’ and headed out to watch Tarantino’s “Inglorious Basterds” with Debayan and Vignesh. After I returned there was still an hour to go and so I continued to bootstrap my Debian-armel on the SD card for the Beagle board. And when it was all over, I had Karmic!

So, the touchpad worked now. Somewhat. I couldn’t tap on the touchpad to click on things like the menubar entries and so on. Turns out that Systems > Preferences > Mouse > Touchpad has a button which says “Enable mouse clicks with touchpad” disabled by default. I, on the other hand, could make my way through up to this point with the keyboard alone and enabled it. Phew.

The improvements from Jaunty are, as expected, quite a lot. And visibly so.

Take the shiny new 2.6.31 kernel, for example. It boots fast. And supports kernel mode setting for the revamped X. The improvements are so obvious that you can’t afford to not say “wow”. I haven’t done the “full-screen flash video” test yet, but I do like the snappiness when I switch between virtual consoles and X. Once again, I can live with the minimal compiz that’s turned on by default on an Ubuntu installation. Oh, and I did have another oh-that’s-new moment with the volume control. It doesn’t look like the old one but it does look like an incomplete version of the Windows 7-style volume manager. I couldn’t find a way to mute my laptop speakers and let all sound be audible only via my earphones. Thankfully, alsamixer works.

UPDATE: It turns out that selecting “Analog Headphones” under Sound Preferences > Output does the trick.

So far so good. Upgrading moar. Oh, and don’t forget ‘do-release-upgrade -d’ in a screen session. Also, E17 looks kickass.

Written by Naresh

October 8, 2009 at 7:56 pm

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