back to article Canonical rents out Ubuntu mavens

Canonical has announced a new type of support for enterprises running Ubuntu that need some extra hands-on help: the Premium Service Engineer (or PSE). A PSE Ubuntu expert would working as a single point of contact for Canonical's larger customers, becoming "virtual team members" with the company's IT staff. Canonical says …


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  1. Greg J Preece
    Thumb Up

    Karmic's quite nice

    Running it on my laptop and it's much nicer to use than that fast-but-buggy POS Jaunty. Just upgrading to Karmic alpha 3 resolved my sound issues, and the new KDE is n-i-c-e, and actually has a network manager that WORKS.

    The only problem I have at the minute is that Skype - whether from the repository or the new beta off the Skype site - crashes GNOME constantly. But, fortunately, I have KDE to save me until that gets fixed. Now if I can just figure out how to turn off tapping on the mouse...

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Intel love?

    Will Karmic work on Intel chipsets, or will we be stuck with the abortion that was Jaunty's support?

    Interesting about the Gnome upgrade, I wonder if that conatins proper support for multiple crseen units. Like, y'know, being able to graphically configure which screen gets the taskbars etc, not always screen 0. (I know about randr; it's a pile of crap with major features missing.)

    I enjoy dicking around with Linux and there are things it does very well (security being one); but there are just so many *basic* things it does not do, or does not do in an easy/obvious way it's depressing. Until the elitist tuxtards stop polishing their pocket protectors and get down to basic feature sets that the average end-user needs, then it will remain stuck as the (stagnating?) niche OS it is today.

    This lack of basic features is why I still run Windows XPsp3 Media Center at home. There is simply nothing in the Linux world that comes close to it's feature set. I am perfectly aware of Myth etc, but see my comment about screen configuration above. Can't do that, can't use is as a media centre. End of discussion.

  3. Rob Beard

    1 week between RC and final release

    Don't get me wrong, I am a big fan of Ubuntu and recommend it to new Linux users and also use it on the majority of my machines.

    But, I can't help think that a week between the RC being released and the full release coming out is a bit short. Maybe it's just me but I have found that there tend to be a couple of annoying bugs that seem to slip through and I can't help but think that maybe if a bit more time was spent on squashing the bugs it would be much better for new users.

    In our LUG we're often trying to arrange install days of the latest version of Ubuntu although we tend to find now it's worth leaving it a month or so until we're up to speed on the latest release and at least know what to expect. Last thing we want is to try and convert someone to the latest release of Ubuntu from Windows and find that it either doesn't support some hardware or it's got some annoying bug (it's rare, in most cases it works flawlessly) but it can and does happen.

    Still I'm looking forward to the new release with all it's new goodies and updated packages.


  4. Andy Barber
    Jobs Horns


    Why does Ubentu need to upgrade every six months? I installed V 6.0 which was fine. V7.0 refused to remove V6.0, so I gave up & went back to Windoze. My son is a Mac* fanboi & only boots up in Ubentu when at home though.

    * Struth, I could have bought four PC's for the cost of one Mac but he needs a Mac for his Uni work!

  5. Chewy

    RE: Upgrade

    The six month releases are supposed to fit in with the Debian (on which Ubuntu is based) release cycle. There are the options of sticking with the LTS versions of Desktop and Server which are the most stable which are released every 2 years and supported for 3 years (5 for server).

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Andy Barber

    Because some people want updated software every six months.

    That is definitely not for everyone (or for every situation), which is why there are long term support releases that come out roughly once every two years (so far, 6.06 in June 2006 and 8.04 in April 2008). If you'd prefer something with a longer life cycle, then perhaps look at using those?

    As for doing upgrades from one distro release to the next, you can do that directly from the update manager.

  7. Grease Monkey

    @Andy Barber

    Except there never was a v6.0 or a v7.0 which is probably why you had so much trouble running them.

  8. Uwe Dippel

    You failed it, Andy

    Good try, but this time the paycheck from RedMond will bouce ... be forewarned!

  9. Albert
    Thumb Up

    Waiting for the LTS

    I run Ubuntu 8.04 on my home PC and it works great.

    I've fairly much decided to stick with the LTS releases unless there is a very specific reason to move.

    I play with the Live versions of the other releases to see if they work and if it would be really better than the LTS and so far I've had no reason to upgrade.

    I like the 6 month cycle as it gives me a chance to keep up with the changes but for a computer I actually do work on I'm sticking with the LTS releases and like @Rob Beard I wait a month or 2 after release before doing the upgrade.

  10. Cameron Colley

    RE: Intel love?

    It's not the Linux community's fault that you can't be bothered to get two monitors working. I've had a dual monitor setup for some time now and can choose between one giant desktop, two separate ones (with separate task bars), or a graphical desktop and a console/ICEWM desktop -- far more choice and flexibility than Windows will allow.

  11. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

    50K annual contract?

    Hmmm. Ubuntu is based out of South Africa.

    Local rand is what 10:1 exchange rate for us dollar.

    (Assume that it is just to make the pricing easier.)

    50K = 500K rand.

    1 tech supports multiple customers.

    Suppose he can support 5 customers...

    revenue 250K or 2.5Mil Rand.

    Cost of employee? 500-800K rand.

    Not bad.

  12. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

    'Ere Canonical, What's next?

    Lackadaisical Llama?

    Melancholy Mule?

    Nihilistic Nematode?

    Obstreperous Ostrich?

    Proselytizing Panda?

    Questioning Quail?

    Rancid Rabbit?

    Sedentary Slug?

    Traumatized Tortoise?

    Uninterested Unicorn?

    Vociferous Vulture?

    Worried Wildebeest?

    Xenophobic Xerus?

    Yesterday's Yak?

    ZOMG Zebra?

    Zomg we've run out of alphabet. How about :

    !1!!one!!!elven Exclamation-Mark?

    Remember, you saw it here first!!!

  13. Anonymous Coward

    @Cameron Colley

    Spoken like a true fanboi. Attacking the messenger and providing no help whatsoever; typical of the Linux world.

    I can get multiple monitors working, thanks very much, what is not possible is proper control over configuration. It's not me that can't do it - it's actually impossible to do*.

    Gnome will *ALWAYS* default to screen 0. X will *ALWAYS* declare screens in certain order. This means that one screen will *ALWAYS* be default, there is no way to configure that (other than dragging everything about at the start of every session) and it is bloody annoying when it's the wrong one (e.g. external VDU connected to a laptop - gnome will always default to that rather than the laptop screen; irritating).

    And I must disagree with your assement on multi-head support. Windows has Linux licked there. On Windows I can hot-swap monitirs without out need to reboot/restart a session, I don't need to piss around with some crazy virtual desktop crap and be stuck with one screen that must always pan, I can quickly and easily configure screen (resolution, position etc) via an intuitive GUI AND, I can tell Windows which one is default/primary! The Linux options pale by comparison, virtual desktop/clone and that's yer lot basically; it can't even do separate backgrounds for the screens FFS!

    Like I said, there is a lot to like about Linux but it really falls down hard on some really basic features. Managing screens being one.

    *How do I know this? Because I have spent, err, wasted a lot of time finding out, that's why., etc.

  14. Greg J Preece

    @AC 08:41

    The Intel drivers were fixed in Jaunty a little while back. Two of our work laptops running Jaunty on Intel chipsets suddenly flared back into life. I think my current laptop uses an Intel chipset, and that's on Karmic with no worries. You should be fine.

  15. Greg J Preece

    Multiple Monitors

    I've found that multiple monitors depends very much on what chipset I'm using. On an ATI board it was a pain in the ass, buggy as hell, kept changing my settings. Hated it. Had an nVidia board about the same power lying around. Swapped it in and it worked perfectly with multiple monitors, though each one has its own mouse cursor for some reason...

    I do agree with other posters that there are some basic things that just aren't available as easy GUI-based config options, but I *do* see developments in these with every release. Sticking with monitors, compare the dialog for configuring these in Karmic with the one in Hardy.

    It still pisses me off that KDE doesn't have an option to turn off tapping though. I mean, for the love of God! Surely there should be an option built for that long before the options to change colours, themes, etc.

  16. Martin Owens

    @AC Re Screens

    You might like the new versions of Xorg with kernel mode setting drivers. Of course if you have nvidia cards then your out of luck, but xrandr and the gui that slaps around it should be able to do everything your talking about without much of a problem.

    Seriously, if you need to complain, either point us at the launchpad bug report your filed or the answers support ticket where you specifically listed your settings and hardware. Sometimes the reason it doesn't work is for outside complications like nvidia being rotten scallywags.

  17. Ashley Stevens

    @Multiple Monitors - ATI

    I've found (with an ATI card) that if you stick to the FOSS ATI drivers, multi-head works perfectly. OTOH if you install the ATI drivers you're screwed for multi-head support.

    So surprisingly, the free drivers are better if you use more than 1 monitor. I don't notice any performance drop with the free drivers either, although I don't play games or any of those heavy 3D type apps.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    @ Greg J Preece

    "Now if I can just figure out how to turn off tapping on the mouse..."

    Touchpad works nicely for me there ...

  19. Greg J Preece

    @The Other Greg

    Bah, you know what I meant! :-p

    Hate touchpad tapping. It's up there with Jade Goody on the Scale of Evil.

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