New life for old laptop

My Gateway M305CRV laptop was just about unusable. Windows XP took forever to close if I did anything more than just boot up and then shutdown.  I had reinstalled XP probably 4 times over the laptop’s lifetime, trying to clean things up.  I was just about to do the reinstall again and decided to take a look at Ubuntu Linux again.  Someone (sorry, don’t remember which Notes geek it was) had talked about a Dell Mini Netbook running Ubuntu.  I figured if it could run on that, I might be able to run on this laptop since the specs were about the same: 1GB RAM, mobile CPU, etc.

I had received Ubuntu 6.X, I think, on CD a few years ago.  I was going to convert my Domino server to Linux and was taking a look at the Ubuntu flavor.  The CDs are still sitting in my office, but since Ubuntu had just released 9.10 Karmic Koala, I decided to start from scratch.

After backing up the few vacation pictures and documents from the laptop, I was ready to give Linux a shot.  Thankfully, I use Lotus Notes, so all my applications were already backed up on the server, and were also replicated on my desktop machine.  I burned the Ubuntu 9.10 32-bit ISO image on a CD and popped it my laptop.  Fired it up and saw I could ‘Test it out’ by running from the CD.  I had fun poking around, but when I tried to connect wirelessly, I found that my wireless card wouldn’t work.  Since it was working fine with Windows, I deduced that the drivers weren’t loading correctly, or weren’t the right ones.  I thought maybe that the driver couldn’t be loaded since I was running from the CD.  I decided that the next night I would take the leap, wipe the drive clean and install Ubuntu.

Ubuntu installed without a hitch.  I was impressed.  I played around again some, and then tried to connect wirelessly.  Nope, no go.  And I had seen the driver loaded.  OK, what now?  AH, I remembered that I had bought a Zonet Wireless card as a replacement when I had problems several years earlier.  A couple minutes of looking in my office and I found the card.  Popped it in, the driver loaded automatically, and CONNECTED!  Now we’re talking!

So it’s been a couple of weeks.  I’ve installed Tweetdeck for managing my Twitter feed, and a couple of other apps.  Today I took a deep breath and attempted to load the Lotus Notes 8.5.1 client.  Lotus doesn’t have the Designer yet for Linux, but I’m hoping that it will be available soon.  The bonus with loading LN8.5.1 is the addition of the Lotus Symphony suite of office products.

I had investigated the installation of 8.5.1 on Ubuntu and saw that Ubuntu 9.10 had broken some things.  I was contemplating reinstalling Ubuntu 8.04 (the last long term support version) but figured I’d just try and follow the directions on installing LN8.5.1 from several sites such as this one by J. Klocke.

It didn’t go as smoothly as I had wanted, since I don’t have those mad Linux skills (have to copy files into the Notes directory and set the file permissions). But I figured it out and in the end have a working Notes client on Linux.

Lotus Knows – we want to work on any OS!

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