If you’re using the latest version of Ubuntu, Jaunty Jackalope, or version 9.04 and you use a laptop with an Intel graphics chip like I do in my Dell D630 you may have gotten used to to the God awful video performance since you upgraded from the previous release.
I had. I had forgotten that windows aren’t supposed to tear when you drag them, and that yes, the underpowered chipset in my laptop can sort of handle the special effects in Compiz. What changed? The new drivers in 9.04 did. Intel are apparently reshaping how their drivers work but while they do it performance has taken a back seat and is cheerfully swilling on beer while the computer does the heavy lifting up front. (errr)
Anyway, simple way to fix it? Revert to the driver in the previous version of Ubuntu! It’s horribly easy to do. Just follow this guide, update your apt sources, install the old driver and restart X. I did and now I have fancy windows bouncing here, there and everywhere! In fact, my wife used her online O2 account to send a few texts and the confirmation popup window hopped around the screen all on it’s own! Oh how we laughed!
Oh, and for anyone who uses a browser, there’s a really simple way to get a CPU upgrade for free. Download Chrome or Chromium (or for Ubuntu .debs) and give it a whirl. After using Firefox for many years it’s like a breath of fresh air, fast moving air that is as it zips along! OK, it’s not completely bug free. The latest builds have a problem with the “default browser” setting (grab a build from around Sep 4 but the fix will be available soon) but it’s the main browser on my Linux desktop and I love the thing!