Monday, March 1, 2010

Installing 32-bit Ubuntu 9.10 -- Additional Tweaks

In a previous post (and in a couple of comments after it), I described the steps I took to downgrade from 64-bit (x64) to 32-bit (x32) Ubuntu 9.10 (a/k/a Karmic Koala), including installation of VMware Workstation 7 and other programs.  This post describes further installation and adjustment steps that I took as time went by.

To make more vertical space, I moved Ubuntu's top panel to the left side of the screen.  To do this, I right-clicked on the panel and went to Properties > General tab > Orientation.  While I was there, I also unchecked Expand and checked Autohide and Show hide buttons.  In previous installations, I had found that sometimes a panel would misbehave on startup.  To fix that, I would just come back to these options and check and then uncheck Expand.  (To get to these options on the revised left panel, I would right-click the Hide button at the top of the panel.)  I had experimented with moving the bottom panel to the right side of the screen, but there were some panel items (e.g., date, weather) that required reading, and reading was easier when I left them on the bottom.  I made the bottom panel more consistent with Windows XP by moving the shutoff button to the bottom left corner, from its original location on the top right corner, and also by moving the date to the bottom right corner.  To move these items from the (formerly top) left panel, I right-clicked on them and chose Remove From Panel.  Then I went to the bottom panel and used right-click > Add to Panel and selected Clock and Shut Down.  To relocate them on the bottom panel, I used right-click > Move, and then put the hand on the part of the panel where I wanted them to be and clicked again. To move items that were already on a panel, I had to right-click > uncheck Lock to Panel, then move the hand to the panel location where I wanted the item, click there, and go back in and Lock to Panel again.  To move some items, I had to look for the icon consisting of three tiny grey marks and right-click on that.  That included, on the bottom panel, the entire set of buttons for currently open programs.

While I was revising panels, I added Drawer to the left panel.  Then I right-clicked on Drawer and chose Add to Drawer.  This was for infrequently used items that needed to be horizontal (for reading), and that therefore belonged in a Drawer on the left rather than bottom panel.  For now, the only such item was Character Palette.  On the rough principle that the left panel was for applications and the bottom panel was for WinXP imitation and for everything else, I also added Force Quit to the left panel.  To the bottom, I added Disk Mounter (in a Drawer), Lock Screen, Sticky Notes, and Weather Report.  For some of these items, there were Preferences that could be adjusted. There were some items that could not be added to panels in the normal way.  Specifically, I wanted a copy of the Places > Computer icon on the left panel.  To get it there, I went to Places > Computer and click-dragged the icon to the panel.

I ran into a problem with VMware Workstation 7 performance.  I had downgraded to the 32-bit of Workstation, so that it would run on 32-bit Ubuntu.  It seemed that the lower RAM capacity of 32-bit operating systems might be to blame.  I worked through that problem in a separate post.  The solution was to use a PAE kernel, which can recognize more RAM.  Otherwise, the next major step in this process was to upgrade, some months later, to Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx).



I also installed KAlarm via Synaptic.