Giving people Ubuntu envy

While preparing for my presentation to the staff of the Sun.Star website last week, I was a bit worried whether Ubuntu Feisty Fawn would detect and work with the office’s LCD projector.

I’m a stickler for backups. I finished my OpenOffice Impress presentation in the laptop and then converted it into a PowerPoint file. I then saved the file in my USB stick and phone’s memory card.

ubuntu presentation PRESENTING WITH UBUNTU. Demonstrating installation, maintenance, and upgrading of WordPress to Sun.Star website staff. Click on photo to enlarge.

My Ubuntu laptop runs an Apache, PHP, MySQL server for local web development and demonstration. I recreated an Apache server on my USB stick using UniformServer in case (dear God no!) I would be forced to use any of the Windows XP units of Sunnex, the department that runs the Sun.Star website.

Just in case I encountered problems, I did a web search for issues with Ubuntu and LCD projectors and then copied possible solutions for different problems. I assumed, correctly it turned out, I wouldn’t be able to access the Internet in the remote Camotes Island resort we were billeted in.

Come presentation time, I was crossing my fingers when I plugged the LCD projector cable into my laptop. I need not have worried. It worked flawlessly.

In doing the presentation, I was–as Cebuanos would put it–“igat.” I don’t know the precise English translation for “igat” but it carries shades of meaning of the words “flirt” and “showoff.” I think I caught a “wow” when I rotated the desktop to shift from my Impress slide to my demo workspace, which had Firefox opening my local server.

I was unrelenting in the seduction, burn effects in minimizing windows (darn, I discovered shading windows late), making windows wobble, using the Mac-like function to expose all open windows (as if I didn’t know where the other windows were) and the full Beryl arsenal.

I also used to good effect that nifty zoom function in Beryl. You press the Windows key in your keyboard and use the mouse scroll button to zoom into the screen and magnify elements. While in this mode, you can move around and magnify other parts of the screen by moving your mouse cursor. This is particularly useful in drawing attention to parts of the screen.

The department’s manager said she wants to shift to Ubuntu after seeing how I did things in my laptop.

At the office yesterday, I was working on the newsroom’s conference table, which is near the stacks of network hubs, when mass communications interns assigned to Sun.Star asked about their assignments for my page. We needed to open websites to discuss the assignments and I grabbed the chance to show off Ubuntu. Boy were they impressed.

I am scheduled to lead a round-table discussion later this month for reporters and editors. “Igat” will not begin to describe how I intend to approach it. I’m confident of gaining Ubuntu converts from the lot.

Ubuntu, by the way, will release its latest version tomorrow. I don’t know if there are release parties in Cebu (if you know of one being organized, send me a note) but if there’s one I will do my darnedest best to attend. I regularly skip invitations to press conferences (especially those scheduled in the morning or evening and partly because of this) but I will plead with newsroom colleagues to swap tasks just to attend an Ubuntu release party.

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13 responses

  1. How was it possible that Ubuntu detected the LCD projector without any problems? The current Ubuntu versions do only include X.Org versions which do not support hot-plugging of external devices afaik.

    So, did you had to restart X? Or did you do anything else manual with your X before? Or was it due to 3D party drivers like Nvidia or ATI?

  2. Liquidat,
    I really have no idea. I was concerned it wouldn’t work but it did. The only thing I recalled installing was 915.

    I didn’t have to restart X. I just attached the cable and my desktop was projected into the screen. I forgot to include in the post but the reason I was concerned it wouldn’t work was that even without the projector attached I tried pressing the Function + F2 key, which I do when I was using Windows with the projector, and the display turned into a mess of scan lines. For reference, I use an MSI s260 laptop.

  3. Hm, would be interesting to see your xorg.conf.
    But it also might be due to your intel graphics card: at least it could be that the intel drivers already came along with some kind of hot plug since the new hot plug system for X is developed by Keith Packard, who also develops the intel drivers.

    Anyway, thanks for the answer.

  4. Ha, I checked with the current Feistay Fawn package list, and indeed the new X core and the new RandR are included (version 1.2 instead of 1.1).

    Congrats, you now have a Desktop fully capable of device hotplugging. You might want to check with the terminal command
    until the first fancy GUIs are out 🙂

  5. Ubuntu just rocks! I installed it on one of the laptops we use for the student council and it worked flawlessly with the LCD projector as well.

  6. liquidat,
    Thanks I’ll check it out.

    Hi Jhay,
    Did you use Beryl?

  7. SNAP. I demonstrated to a client their website ther other day, all three directors. The ONLY question I ever got after was “whats that 3D” effect.

    So after a few CD’s burnt and permission to copy as many times as possible i have happy clients.

    Apart from the effects I will also add that composite desktop, beryl in my case it great and increases productivity. I normally work on two three projects at the same time with one in each viewport. 😉

  8. omg, i feel so ancient. i swear i knew nothing about ubuntu/linux when you first told us about it… learning here.

    anyway, hope you’ll keep sharing… hehe!

    sorry, sir. shameless posting.

  9. Open Office is great alternative to MS office na laging nag hang recently sa laptop ko. We had to reinstall the ms office. Buti na lang may Open Office.

    Ganda sa Camotes– saan pala kayo nag seminar doon… we are always in search of good place to stay.

    Been to camotes before but only for an afternoon.

  10. Lancest Avatar

    Ditto on the wow exp.
    Ubuntu works out of the box for only the projection screen (not your monitor). You can tweak it (can be very difficult) to get 2 screens or use excellent card Linx utility for Nvidia drivers to get Twinview. ATI or Intel who knows?

  11. howlingmadhowie Avatar

    i would imagine the detection of a second screen is very hardware dependent. on my laptop (which uses the opensource nvidia driver), this works fine and has to the best of my knowledge always worked fine. just plug in the second screen and press the hotkeys to determine which monitor (or both) are on. you can probably set it to show different things on different monitors, but i’ve never tried that.

  12. Richard Steven Hack Avatar
    Richard Steven Hack

    Lucky you weren’t wireless, though, right? Using the Wireless Assistant?

    Otherwise you might have found that it didn’t work with their WEP.

    I lost a client over Kubuntu because of that.

    Eye candy is nice, but I prefer solid testing and quality control of things like installation and package management – and Ubuntu has a ways to go there.

    Actually most of the distros are falling down in that department these days. My Kubuntu 6.06 CD didn’t even allow leaving the change mount points screen – which means the entire install process was never tested…

  13. Dude,

    I know this is an old post but Hardy Heron ( 8.04 ) was released yesterday, we should have a release party here in Cebu!

    Go Ubuntu!

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