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    Wife’s Laptop Finally Gets Ubuntu

    By Derek | June 24, 2007

    Ubuntu LinuxI finally took the time to move my wife’s laptop over to Ubuntu Linux 7.04 Feisty. It’s a Gateway MX3215.

    I had a friend over working on it with me, and he showed me fwcutter, a tool that makes it easy to install proprietary network cards using NDISWrapper. Basically, what NDISWrapper allows you to do is to use actual Windows drivers in an emulation mode in Linux.
    Previously I had read directions on using fwcutter, here: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=185174 and had put off migrating my wife’s laptop, since I didn’t want to leave her with a laptop that had no wireless, until I figured out how to make it work.

    Here’s what we did:

    I was completely blown away.

    We had to spend a little time configuring audio and the correct video driver, but all in all it wasn’t bad.

    Here’s the link on the audio: Trev’s Travels. Ignore the part about the video, it didn’t work on the MX3215, but the audio part did.

    Here’s the link on the correct instructions to get video working: OpenChrome.

    Now I just need to get DVD video working correctly. The audio works fine, but the picture doesn’t show.

    Anyways, I hope all of this helps someone out there who’s trying to configure their MX3215. My wife probably won’t start using it until tomorrow or so, we’ll see how it all goes.

    (Visited 32 times, 1 visits today)

    Topics: Family, Linux, Me, Technology | 2 Comments »

    2 Responses to “Wife’s Laptop Finally Gets Ubuntu”

    1. Trevor Says:
      June 25th, 2007 at 8:58

      Hi, glad my fix could be of help to you! To get video working with Openchrome, follow these directions for your chosen media player. For totem, it’s this:
      o Open a terminal and type “gstreamer-properties”. Press Enter.
      o Click the Video tab.
      o Under Default Video Plugin select “X Window System (No Xv)”.
      o Click Test to verify that video playback is working (you should be able to see the standard TV testing colour stripes).
      o Click Close

    2. Derek Says:
      August 26th, 2007 at 1:02

      Unfortunately, we had several problems with the laptop due to it’s proprietary hardware.

      The wireless network card never did work just right. Sometimes it would connect, sometimes not. You’d have to reboot if it didn’t. Ick. I blame this squarely on Broadcom, but that makes this laptop unusable in Linux for my wife. Don’t buy anything from Broadcom, they refuse to support Linux.
      Now, to be fair, we only paid $450 for this laptop when it was new, and we didn’t check to see if the hardware was Linux compatible.

      Power management totally sucked, too. No matter how you set the settings, either the laptops’ dead every time you open it, or you have to wait for it to come out of hibernation, which takes just a bit longer than booting it from scratch… so you basically end up shutting down the laptop every time you are done with it, instead of just being able to pop it open, use it and then close it.


      Apple’s laptops really have me spoiled. Their power management is easily the best of any brand of laptop I’ve ever used.

      I need to find a way to get my wife a MacBook, or get myself a new MacBook Pro, so I can give her mine. :-p

      So… we put her Windows XP image back on it tonight, after just a month of struggling with it.


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