After using Ubuntu some more I’ve run into a few new problems with no solution. If anyone has any advice, leave a comment. If I happen to find a solution I’ll edit the post and add it to the end.
First off I’m using a Canon iP1800 printer, and there appears to be no 64-bit drivers for it. I found some 32-bit drivers for it and attempted to install them using getlibs, but nothing seemed to happen. If I try and just run the deb files I end up with an “incorrect architecture error”. No solution found yet, Googling just reveals lots of people with the same problem and the only solution seeming to be switching to 32-bit Ubuntu or using a generic Inkjet printer driver which doesn’t perform well at all on this printer.
Second, there is no 64-bit Sun Java plugin for Firefox. If you try and install it on 64-bit with apt-get you get the following error,
Package sun-java6-plugin is not available, but is referred to by another package.
This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or
is only available from another source
E: Package sun-java6-plugin has no installation candidate
I would just stick with IcedTea but Java3D doesn’t seem to like OpenJava. I installed the IcedTea plugin for getting Java to work with Firefox and installed the Java3D libraries following the instructions on this link, http://www.icram.de/?q=node/85, but all I get is a grey box when trying to load any sort of Java3D application. Eclipse still works with Java3D applications using Sun Java’s JVM though.
Neither of these problems are deal breakers, but they’re certainly annoying, and further evidence that Linux (especially 64-bit) isn’t quite ready for the desktop world. Linux works great, works with hours of Googling and editing of configuration files, or doesn’t work at all (unless you feel like writing your own drivers). Unfortunately, I’ve always had hardware that fits into the last category (weird wireless cards, video cards, printers). The blame is quite likely on the hardware companies and not the operating system itself, but the average desktop user doesn’t care who should be blamed for the problems, they just want them fixed. And for that matter, so do I… switching to Windows every time I want to print something is a real hassle, and buying new hardware to make your operating system work is more of a Mac thing.