To summarise. It is very important for recent disk performance that partitions are aligned on a 1MB/2048 sector boundary. This stops data from sitting astride blocks and killing disk performance. It is especially important with first generation SSDs, as they have poor write performance anyway, and will save your SSD from an early demise (flash memory has limited write cycles).
Windows Vista and above will use the 2048 sector alignment as will Ubuntu, so it isn’t necessary to worry about this issue any more, unless you are installing Windows XP. MAC OS X is the big loser in all of this as it doesn’t care about alignment beyond 4k which may or may not work well depending on the specific block size of your HD/SSD.
I have been trying to reach a holy grail. Well, not a big holy grail and to some people this will seem silly, but I have been longing to be able to use VOIP in Linux and until I discovered SIP Communicator it wasn’t viable.
Ekiga the default VOIP soft phone in Ubuntu just doesn’t cut the mustard. It crashes is difficult to setup and just plain doesn’t work properly for me (I have a mobile broadband connection so jitter is an issue).
As for Twinkle I couldn’t even get it to work. Qutecom was the best soft phone I had used. It crashed a lot on start up, would crash sometimes in calls but at least it was easy to setup and worked up to a point. And then, while trying to help somebody on the Ubuntu forums, the poster, after tearing his hair out trying to find something that just works recommended SIP Communicator. I thought I would give it a try and it was and is a revelation.
For the last 6 months my Samsung laptop backlight has been flickering at me randomly and indiscriminately. Having had enough if this cyber “water” torture I finally relented and decided to buy a new laptop. As my customers always have good experiences with Dell equipment I decided I should take my own advice and buy from them. Running Ubuntu and already owning a entry level SSD I decided I didn’t need anything flashy but it had to have a decent amount of memory for running a Vista Virtual machine as and when the need arose. It would also need a 17″ screen as working in lots of SSH sessions at the same time is a pain for me with anything smaller.
I basically went for the base spec Inspiron 1750 except with 4 GB of memory and I have to say it is the best Linux experience I’ve had so far with a laptop. Everything pretty much worked straight away with a minimum of fuss.