Lenovo T400s: Ubuntu Machine Part 4

I have been using Ubuntu as my daily driver now for about 4-5 days, and i had not really had to touch on productivity applications and other utilities of this nature. When you install Ubuntu it comes pre-packaged with a nice free office suite called LibreOffice. I have only really touched on the word processing application and was plesentaly surprised. Although it does look rather basic in comparison to other office packages such as the most common Microsoft office.

It does how ever have all the features needed for a nice writing exsperiance, i have not written any large documents on it yet but feel it will be nice and accessible when it come time to write some larger reports. I have also been able to download drop box to my Ubuntu system, this was nice because i can back up all of my word documents and images to my dropbox starlight from the file directory on the system. This is great because it means I can use these documents on a number off different devices quickly and easily, but it also means that if I decided to uninstall Ubuntu to do a fresh install it won’t effect any of ,y documents.

I have been using my Ubuntu machine to write most of these blog posts as well and was surprised and deleted to find a WordPress as in the Ubuntu Software Center. This is basically just a port of the website, but it is nice to have your browser and blog software somewhat separate. I found this useful during research stages as to not keep clicking on word press. It works well as I said it’s just the word press website but it has a nice logo and fits well in the launcher bar. 

I am still finding my feet with Ubuntu and have not yet hit any limitations as to what I can and can’t do within it. And as I keep exsplorimg I will keep finding solutions to the issue I have.

Home Routers Use Mobile Data Connections

I recently read an article that suggested 5G (5th Generation) mobile data could potentially be mainstream in the next 5 years. That led to me thinking for some rural areas, or possibly just areas with limited infrastructures the possibility of height speed Internet without the fiber connection.

I aware that there are currently providers that offer satellite Internet, and that can offer very hight speeds and consistency but it also has limitation, the first one being the price. Satellite internet is much more expensive than normal broad band making it an unrealistic goal for a lot of people. and the second limitation would be that due to the nature of the satellite there needs to be a reception disk placed on your property that can receive the incoming signal. For built up areas this again would not be a viable option.

So then the thought that by using mobile data, the same as a personal hotspot from your phone or a mobile dongle could open up the playing field for people to get hight speed Internet. I have seen that there are some routers that currently offer this ability but they again are enterprise grade or not really general consumer ready. One issue that would have to be considered if this was to be implemented would be the strain on the network, and although most places in the UK now have 4G it has been a few years to get coverage to most areas.

Data plans would be another issue, I recently read that T-Mobile are going to start offering a new totally unlimited data plan to play month subscribers, okay,  so these mobile contacts are fairly pricey but when you take of the cost of the phone and the text and calls unlimited data SIM could work out around the same speed as using an ISP. With all the money currently being sunk into the telecommunications infrastructure at the moment as well it could have a lot of potential to be implemented on a 4G network.

I would like to see a system like this to start being spoke about or implement by either the big mobile data providers or ISP, although I feel the ISP might see it as a costly investment it could open up the potential market to people who are otherwise still using a dial-up connection.

So as my prediction states in the next 5 years we will start to see technologies such as this being implement, or at least being beta test or developed. I appreciate that 5G is currently working in a controlled lab at the moment but with the development already at that stage 5 years is a long time!


Lenovo T400s: Ubuntu Machine Part 3

Another worry before delving into Linux is the lack of support for game, this turned out to be a common misconception. I will expand on that further in the next section, the first place for anyone wishing to play computer games these days is to download Steam. You can do this by either going onto the steam website, or the slightly more time-consuming way by going into the terminal and adding it that way. I opted for the quicker and more straight forward way as I didn’t see the requirement to use the terminal when steam offers a direct download.

After i installed steam and logged into my account i was concerned about the availability of games that i will have access too. And out of the 250ish game that i have connected to my steam account around 110 where available to play on my Ubuntu machine. For the record these where majority indie games such as Game Dev Tycoon and Software inc. Both of these games require low hardware specification, but i was very surprised to see ARMA 3 was available. I feel this could be largely due to steam trying to push Steam OS (Steams Linux Based OS) but there where still a vast amount of games to play. This was a genuine surprise to me as i was very much under the impression that Linux didn’t have game or supported them very well. I have not yet checked the compatibility of other game distributors such as GOG and Origin.

Another option is to use the Ubuntu software center i have only briefly looked through the games there and downloaded one to see what it was like. although it is a limited selection of games when you’re not paying for them it isn’t to much of a worry if you only download it to kill a little bit of time. playing games on Ubuntu wasnt without its challenges though, one of the games i attempted to install just would not load, and the download speed was terrible. I have a 10mb connection but was averaging 100kb-300kn max. This was frustrating because my windows Laptop on the same network was downloading games at about 8mb. After reading into this it is a common fault and there where a number of methods to fix this. I simply rebooted the device and it seemed to sort its self out that time. But if the problem persists then i will pursue the solutions i have found on-line.

Lenovo T400s: Ubuntu Machine Part 1

I recently acquired a Lenovo ThinkPad T400s from a pile of junk laptops I was harvesting for parts.  Most of the items in the pile where either damaged beyond being of any use or just to old and not worth the time or effort in taking parts from them. But within this pile of junk i found a T400s, having no prior knowledge of ThinkPads disassembly was in order to asses what I was dealing with.

If you have ever tried to view the components or replace parts on a ThinkPad you will understand what I mean about it being a  pleasure as all of the parts are incredibly easy to access. For someone who takes just about any device I purchases to pieces, to see the possible upgrade paths this is a dream. The machine its self was nothing special, it has a rather old intel CPU and 2GB of ram. The previous owner had how ever added a 120GB SSD so that was a nice surprise. And after finding a spare 4GB ram stick I was set to embark on my first real usage of Linux Ubuntu.

The reason I selected Ubuntu as my distro of choice is due largely to it being the most commonly mentioned one and seems to be the most accessible for a novice such as myself. The installation process is a breeze, this is because it is very easy to create a USB bootable and away you go. Another plus of ubuntu was the fact you can run it off the bootable device to see if you like it and then you can install from there. This in my opinion was nice as there are so many flavours of Linux out there it might take a couple of goes to find the one that fits you.

There are very few point during the installation that interaction is required, bar selecting the time zone, setting up the wi-fi and then creating the user account. These all take a few moments and the installation is very quick after that. I ran the updates during the installation that added a little time to my installation but nothing ridicules. One this was completed I was given the login screen and was about to begin using Linux as a daily driver.