In the last week or so, there were a flurry of articles on tech news sites pointing out that Dell’s Ubuntu page now claims that Ubuntu’s more secure than Windows. I’m not exactly one to get involved in blog discussions dissecting every word and what it really means and read all kinds of things into it. Michael Dell uses coded messages to tell Bill Gates he sucks!
Well last week, I actually went to purchase one of those laptops (for my mom) and noticed that Dell had some nice deals on many of their notebooks. But you know what wasn’t on sale? Any of the Ubuntu laptops. All and all, a Windows laptop was about $200 cheaper than a comparable Ubuntu one. Yep, Dell is about as serious about selling Linux laptops as McDonald’s is about selling salads. Meaning, they really have them to keep a small but influential subset of customers from whining. Anyway, I did what any rational person would do. I bought the Windows laptop and immediately installed Ubuntu over it.
But wait…there’s a problem
Upon installing Lucid, everything looked great…except there was no wireless connection. When I right clicked on the network manger, the ‘enable wireless’ option was grayed out. I headed over to the Ubuntu forums where I spent a good amount of time reading through what seemed like a million threads on working with the Broadcom BCM3412 wireless card to work. It’s always a good sign when your hardware is being referred to as “infamous” right?
So I spent a few hours installing and reinstalling drivers. I think I rebooted more times in one day than I usually do in a month. But then I found a a much simpler explanation. It’s the wireless toggle key, stupid. On this Inspiron, that’s Fn key plus F2. I took the advice to enable the proposed and backport repositories, hit my magic keys and before I could even reboot, the wireless was connected! Success!
Of course, now I’m wondering if I could have saved myself all the time if I had bought the one with Ubuntu preinstalled…