Last weekend I spend installing Linux on my laptop. Original idea was to try to Maemo SDK and try to create an application for Nokia 770. The SDK required Linux to be installed, so I freed up some space on the hard drive and burned a CD for Ubuntu installation.
Installation went surprisingly smoothly, after a few initial questions about hard drive partitioning, keyboard layout, computer name and user name and password a nice Gnome UI booted up with good resolution, sound and nice set of preinstalled applications.
I remember that using Linux as a user desktop just a few years back was a constant nigtmare of fine tuning endless configuration files just to make basic things work. Five years ago I had to spend a day just to make a new modem work with my Debian installation. Now I got my home internet working with no effort at all.
Ubuntu has Firefox browser and OpenOffice preinstalled, so most of the things I was doing with my home computer were covered. Basic configuration of the system of course took some time. Installing RealPlayer didn’t work via UI, but downloading the latest version for Linux from Real web site solved the problem. Setting up WLAN was also quite simple – I had to install drivers
manually, but entering WEP key and enabling the inteface was easily
done via UI. Configuring Russian keyboard layout in addition to a defalyt Finnish one was also possible from the UI.
However playing a DVD movie proved to be not so easy. Ubuntu support
forums have pretty good explanation of what needs to be done to enable
DVD decoding, but simple installation of libcss didn’t help to achieve
the desired result. Playback of the DVDs was jerky, so after some
googling I’ve discovered that DMA should be enabled for DVD drive, new drivers installed for my video card and new video player installed. Unfortunately I still didn’t manage to get the same level of convenience of DVD playback in Linux as in Windows.
I am really impressed by the progress that Linux made in a past few years as a desktop operating system. Open source community has a great potential in developing such projects and I am really excited by new ventures of Nokia in this area – such as e.g. 770 internet tablet.
First day was quite difficult – jet lag from flying eastwards is always the worst kind. Next day was much better – I survived the day long meeting and still had some time in the evening to shop.
Local malls and supermarkets are not much different from those you can find anywhere in the world. But local markets are really something. You can get virtually any fake products for really small amunt of money. The most important thing is to know how to bargain – original prices can easily be divided by 3, 5, 10, …
First impression of Beijing were quite mixed. After passing passport control I grabbed a cab to go to the hotel. From the airport to the city goes quite nice motorway. It looked like it was a foggy morning, but it turned out to be just pollution. On the motorway all signs were dubbed in English. Taxi driver asked 400yuans for a trip to hotel. Interestingly enough, the same trip back was just 100yuan.
When motorway entered a city traffic became chaotic. Just later, walking in the city I realised how chaotic it is. Traffic lights, lanes, priorities do exist in theory, but in practice it is not safe to cross a street, even on the green light.
Guards, police and army are everywhere. I’ve never seen so many people in the uniform on the streets of a city before.
You can often see groupls of people in similar clothes doing exercises in the parks or outside the factory buildings.
When the plane was approaching Beijing a spectacular view opened to my eyes – endless kilometers of brown mountains, in some places covered with snow. Then the city appeared. It looked almost the same as if you were aproaching Copenhagen, Amsterdam or Frankfurt, except that all houses were really tall and there were many more of them. Also quite many industrial sites and factories could be seen around the city.
After landing we had to go to the bus and it was quite chilly outside – just +1 C.
Warm Sunday evening in Helsinki. Usual routine, taking a taxi to the airport, e-checkin, security check, some shopping, passport control, money exchange. What’s different in this routine is that now there’s also blogging. Thanks to mobile Lifeblog 🙂
Yesterday Aamulehti published an article about movie industry in Tampere. They mentioned also "Leijonan sydän" ("Lion’s heart") movie made by Karisma Films. If you read Russian, you can see weblog of Alex Savin – co-founder and art-director of Karisma Films. Premier of their movie will be in Plevna theater in Tampere, on Wednesday 16th of November.
Even though it is just beginning of November most of the shop are
already in a Christmas mood. It was nice to stroll around the city,
have a cocktail and make ourselves a little treat in the evening.
Yesterday I learned that I have to go to Beijing. Travel agency did a great job getting visa in one day and purchasing tickets for a Sunday flight.
I’ve never been to China before, so it should be a very interesting trip. Getting my N90 and mobile Lifeblog ready…