When I saw the XGL demo video by Novell, I thought it would years, perhaps decades, before I could get easy access to that quality of a desktop.
Then, somehow, I came across Ubuntu DapperFlight 4, a pre-beta (also known as alpha) Linux distribution. Ubuntu is fairly popular and known as a no-nonsense Debian-based distribution that’s fairly easy to use. Towards the bottom of the page describing its new features I came across something I didn't expect: DapperFlight4 supports the XGL X-server and the compiz effect engine. I knew I had to have it.
The immediate weekend afterwards, I went home and grabbed my laptop. I knew that Ubuntu, or any form of Linux, simply wouldn't agree with my main system, Kool_Killer, mainly because of the hard-drive array. I decided to just use the tried-and-trusty Dell Inspirion 5150. Minus the Broadcom-chipset wireless card, I knew all of the other hardware would be well supported.
I setup my laptop with PartionMagic 8, a very handy and powerful tool that allows me to resize NTFS partitions. After cleaning the laptop of all the junk it collected in the past semester (going from 760MB free to 17.2GB free) I sectioned off an 8GB chunk and left it unformatted. I decided the Ubuntu installer may want to add a swap partition, and I wasn't sure how big to make it.
I fired up the Ubuntu install CD and muddled through the settings. Some of the text-base install settings were unfortunately confusing. But, I hear, they will be having an entirely new way to install from the Live CD, so, things should improve. Grub, a boot manager, was installed since I wanted to keep Windows XP. A restart later, and I was loaded directly into the Ubuntu desktop.