Linux (Gnome Ubuntu 17.04) on Lenovo ThinkPad P50: Configuration for displays, Optimus and trackpad

I've updated my P50 to ubuntu-gnome-desktop 17.04. 

This is a few hours work since you need to carefully remove all non-standard PPAa (use ppa-purge), remove other PPAs and uninstall left over apps. I also reversed out my use of hte HWE xserver stack. Then you do a distribution upgrade to 16.10 and then another one to 17.04


It's worth it though. 17.04 comes with the just-released Gnome, and it's very good. I haven't used gnome for a long, long time. It's very impressive, but you can make up your mind on that.

Here's some great things about it:

The three monitors just work. I'm using libinput (see below) and the gnome control panel supports that quite well, although it doesn't pick up the trackpoint which means I still use a script to get it to work in natural scrolling. 

The touchpad is remarkably better. I no longer need to use a very slow acceleration to get rid of the jerkiness. I don't know why, I thought I was picking up the latest and greatest synaptic drivers in 16.04 because of the PPAs I used, but it is a much better experience.

I am not using a custom prime switch script either, it works. 17.04 is also ready for nvidia optimus Prime Sync, but I will wait for the next nvidia binary release with the lastest bug fixes before I try it again. 




Linux (Ubuntu 16.04) on Lenovo ThinkPad P50: Configuration for displays, Optimus and trackpad

Xubuntu 16.04 on the Lenovo ThinkPad P50 is almost painless and provides good battery life, multi-displays. As for the usual questions: suspend/resume is 100% reliable for me under all circumstances. Wifi is perfect. Multi-monitor works. Stability is completely rock-solid; it’s better than my last five years of Macs, and better than any Windows experience I’ve had. My machine is the core i7 model, with the Full HD display, not the hiDPI. There are some tweaks, and if you use 16.04, there are steps you can take to get later versions of the graphics stack, instead of waiting for 16.04.3.

Converting MYOB to a terminal server brings big advantages, particularly if you have the database files on the terminal server as well. This articles discussed moving a directory tree of MYOB databases from a mapped network drive to a local drive, keeping security settings, and a python script to bulk update shortcut settings with the new location of the MYOB databases

Simple Notes on Internet Security and Email


It is very easy to forge email; that is, to send email as if it came from someone else.

It is trivial for your email to be read while it is in transit: left to its own, email is like a postcard. I don't like to sound like I live in the backwoods of Montana, but government agencies all over the world are reading email via automated scans. If this upsets you, you don't need to blow up any buildings. Just follow the instructions here.

Some steps for happier home surfing, (advice I give to friends). The software recommended here is all free and mostly open source.

1. Do not use Internet Explorer except when absolutely necessary.

2. Do not use Microsoft Outlook Express for email.

3. Do not use the Microsoft MSN client, use Gaim

4. Change some Windows settings.

5. Don't use Kazaa (consider emule).

6. Antivirus software: look at Avast, because it is free and works with a better range of email software than Norton.

7. Firewall: Use sygate

8. Anti spyware software

Radical alternative: Get a Macintosh.


For a couple of months now I've been using Linux as my main operating system. I bought Tris a Macbook, and after 30 minutes of using it I was embarassed to be still using XP. A big step was being able to run XP as a virtual machine, because I doubt that I can really find a good Linux alternative to Photoshop elements for working with my digital photos (I have a Canon EOS 5D, shoot in raw and like to use Adobe color space, so I am beyond Picassa).