Ubuntu 11.04, Natty Narwhal, has been released

The first version of Ubuntu for this year has been released. It is dubbed Natty Narwhal or for easier date reference 11.04. Check out the release naming scheme on the Wiki that includes the history of this naming convention. But in all seriousness the main new change is that they have changed to the Unity as the desktop environment instead of Gnome. This brings a refreshed look to this Linux distribution as well as providing added functionality. Check out OMG! Ubuntu’s guide to Natty Narwhal and Ubuntu’s own “What’s New” page.

Summary for UI changes as well as naming convention:

  • Unity: a new desktop environment which could be described as the desktop / user interface that the user sees when they log in. It is comprised of the Launcher, the Dash and the Panel
  • The Launcher: This seems more like OS X’s dock than WIndows task bar. You can launch applications from from it and open windows should shown in the launcher
  • The Dash: similar to the Window’s Start button (or now the Windows button), this will allow you to look through and launch any application installed
  • The Panel: situated at the top of the screen, this acts as a global menu bar just like OS X, but also integrates with other applications through the indicator area (similar to Windows’ notification area)

Go try it out and download it now. You don’t even have to install it, just burn it to a CD or install it to a USB drive and boot straight from it to see how your hardware handles it. For the computer enthusiast there is no reason not to give Ubuntu a try and delve into the world of Linux.


Ubuntu – I am what I am because of who we all are

With Ubuntu 10.04 Long Term Support (LTS) being released this month lets all learn the meaning of “Ubuntu”. It’s a great philosophy and just speaks to me and I hope it speaks to all of us to be better to one another and to make this world a better place.

A person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed.

One of the sayings in our country is Ubuntu – the essence of being human. Ubuntu speaks particularly about the fact that you can’t exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness. You can’t be human all by yourself, and when you have this quality – Ubuntu – you are known for your generosity.
We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole world. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Source: Wikipedia

What does Ubuntu mean?
Ubuntu is an African word meaning ‘Humanity to others’, or ‘I am what I am because of who we all are’. The Ubuntu distribution brings the spirit of Ubuntu to the software world.

Source: Ubuntu.com

Mobile Internet (DST) in Ubuntu with a Nokia E51

I heard about Ubuntu’s 3G support quite a while back, but yesterday was the first time I actually tried it out. This was done using a Nokia E51 connected via USB with a DST Easi card with Ubuntu 9.04. Please note of the importable troubleshooting note below

  1. Connect the phone and set connectivity mode to “PC Suite”
  2. A configuration wizard should pop up as shown below:

    New Mobile Broadband Connection - Welcome screen 

    If the wizard does not show, start it manually by following these steps:

    1. Go to the Ubuntu Menu: System > Preferences > Network Connections
    2. Go to the “Mobile Broadband” tab and click the “Add” button
      Network Connections - Add a new Mobile Broadband Connection
  3. Select the any setting as they will be manually edited later. For this example I chose Albania and Vodafone as the country and provider respectively as it has minimal configuration changes
    New Mobile Broadband Connection - Select Service Provider
  4. Give the connection a name: “dst.internet”
    New Mobile Broadband Connection - Name it / Summary
  5. Go to Network connections (System > Preferences > Network Connections) and edit the newly created connection
    Network Connections - Edit new connection
  6. Ensure the configuration is as follows:
    • Number: *99#
    • APN: dst.internet
    • Username and password can be left blank
    • If the Albania > Vodafone settings were used, only the APN needs to be changed

    Edit connection - Mobile Broadband Tab

    Edit connection - PPP Settings Tab

    Edit connection - PPP Settings Tab - Configure Methods...

    Edit connection - IPv4 Settings Tab

    Edit connection - IPv4 Settings Tab - Routes 

  7. Left click the network manager applet and connect to the newly created “dst.internet” connection

    Connect to dst.internet via Network Manager applet

  8. Enjoy your mobile broadband =)
    Connection Information 

Now I wonder if this works for the DST Go! and bmobile Zoom! modems….

Troubleshooting Note

If you have a problem connecting please note this bug that causes the connection to timeout if there is a shell running as root. So close all terminals open. It took me 2 hours to figure this out so I hope you won’t have to suffer the same.