First Impressions of Kubuntu 9.04

May 5, 2009 / By Brad Hudson

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I said I would follow up. Who knew I actually would?

I love my new PC. It’s been a few years since I did a build for myself, so I took my time lovingly feeling every piece for the tactile joy of it, and completely ignoring any printed material that came with the parts. Well, I did read the bit about the front panel connectors, that one is kind of a must when it’s not printed on the board.

For the record it consists of an ASUS M3A78-EM with an AMD Athlon 64X2 7750 Black Box. I was on a budget so I could not go for the quad core as yet, so I made sure I got a mobo that would stand some upgrades when the price-point drops. Check out the ports on the mobo, it has everything. Check out the cache on the CPU (1MB L2, 2MB L3). I am sticking with the on-board video for now; I prefer NVidia to ATI, but for the moment it will do. It fit the price.

All of that has nothing to do with Kubuntu. Since I got the parts together late, I did not have as much time to play as I would have liked, but I do know that it boots very quickly. I will time it this weekend, but it was around 15 seconds from GRUB to KDM. I did some installs of apps that were not shipped with the default desktop, such as Firefox, mplayer, fglrx, and a few other choice bits I like (which I will mention by name in a follow-up). I was fairly impressed so far.

Now for the bad news. From the get-go KDE 4.2 let me down. When 4.0 arrived with Kubuntu 8.10, I tried it for a day or two, and was very unimpressed. This time I thought it must have had some improvements, it’s now two minor revisions beyond the dreaded .0 version. While it is slightly more stable, within minutes I had had my first crash on the panel. I had several more, not hardware-related. Now these could be the fault of the applet developers and not KDE itself, but it certainly soured my first look. I will probably nuke this install and reinstall with the KDE3 remix over the weekend.

One I got fglrx running, I just had to install Nexuiz. I did buy faster hardware and lots more RAM, how else was I to see it in action? I gotta say it ran smoothly. So what if I can’t hit anything or bunny-hop my way out of danger.

Till next time, keep your clock multiplier high and your temperature low.

One Response to “First Impressions of Kubuntu 9.04”

  • Noons says:

    I’ve always been impressed with the quality of Asus motherboards and notebooks. They’ve been at the base of all my systems since the 90s. My private notebook is still a PIII Asus that simply won’t stop being useful!

    Thanks for the heads-up, I’m starting to investigate a pure 64-bit system and this is a good candidate.

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