Switch to Ubuntu Linux
have always been curious about Linux.
I have heard many others and read numerous forums and
web pages touting the virtues of using Linux. I played with
Mandrake Linux a few years back. I found it to be
interesting. I was amazed that pretty much everything worked
(sound, LAN, video, etc.) out of the box. What put me off was
the fact that when I tried to install applications it was a miserable
nightmare. I remember that Mandrake 10 came with an older
version of The GIMP. I was going to try to upgrade it to the
newer version but I kept running into dependency issues and the whole
install was extremely unintuitive. Lets not even get into
install the Java Runtime Environment. I was also put off by
forum members talking to me as if I was a idiot because I did not know.
I guess they were born with the information. My
opinion of Linux was that it was an elitist operating system best used
I gave up on
Mandrake and headed back to Windows. I was
fairly happy with Windows but got tired of its unreliability, having to
re-install when something happened, etc. A colleague at work
was talking one day about Ubuntu Linux and how sweet it was.
I kind of glanced over it as to say, whatever.
Toshiba kind of pushed me to Linux a few months ago.
I was thinking of buying a laptop for home usage and such and
did not want to spend and arm and a leg on one. I found a
really good deal on a laptop and bought it. The laptop was a
modest one (1.73GHz, 512MB, 80G HDD). I turned it on and
booted into the new shiny Vista OS. I had heard a bunch of
negatives about Vista, but just thought it was a bunch of
anti-Microsoft people talking. Well after about 7-8 minutes
the PC finally came to the Vista desktop. It took forever to
launch applications and the system crawled with every mouse click.
I did some more reading and Vista requires at least 1G or RAM
and a 2GHz processor. In all actuality Vista wants 2G of RAM,
a 3GHz processor or a dual core processor. Ok well that takes
this laptop out of the equation. I had my old computer with
XP Pro that I no longer use so I decided that I would just install XP
on it. Well some more digging around and it seems that
Toshiba has deemed my laptop to be Vista only. This means
that they don't publish 2000/XP drivers on their site. Ok, I
am very sure that Microsoft and the other PC makers are pushing Vista
down our throats as they all are doing this. I normally build
my own PCs as I have complete
control over the hardware. Building laptops is possible, but
they are more expensive than the ones you can just buy.
I said screw
Microsoft and decided to give Linux a try again.
I did some reading and decided that Ubuntu was the best
choice. All the reviews say that it is an excellent
alternative to Windows and combines a lot of the features that you like
all for free. I downloaded the .iso image from Ubuntu's
website and decided to give it a try. Ubuntu told me that the
CD was a LiveCD so I could test drive it before installing. I
loaded the LiveCD up and I was greeted by the Ubuntu brown (yuck) but I
did notice that everything seemed to work except the built in wireless
card. I had a PCMCIA wireless card that plugged in and it
worked. I connected to my wireless router and was able to
surf the internet. I played with Openoffice, launched a few
applications. I was really digging this and still could not
believe it was all free. So I decided to install the OS and
get rid of Vista.
Ubuntu (which was WAY faster than XP) my laptop was
Linux. I did some research on the internet and was able to
get all the
proprietary codecs, encrypted DVD playback, and mp3 ripping done.
A little more research and I was able to get the madwifi
drivers for my built in wireless working. Now mind
you this was not 100% painless, but a new OS is never going to be
perfectly 100% usable as soon as you get it.
I was just amazed
at all the free stuff and it was quality software for
the most part. The add/remove would go and get all the cool
software for you and install it. It was so easy that almost
anyone can do it. I was so impressed that I converted my XP
desktop over to a dual boot Ubuntu and XP. I now use Ubuntu
about 98% of the time. The only time I ever go back into
Windows is to either play a game or do some Powerpoint stuff.
For the most part Openoffice does everything I need but there
are special occasions.
I have not missed
Windows at all since the switch and now recommend it
to everyone I know. I have converted many folks over to
Ubuntu that are sick of Microsoft and their expensive push to Vista.
I am also really impressed at how small the Linux footprint
on your hard drive is. The complete install was around 3GB.
About 1/2 the size of XP, so an 80G drive is actually huge
when it comes to Ubuntu. I also like the fact that viruses
and spyware have no affect on Linux. All in all I am very
happy with Linux. I don't see myself ever going back to
I have recently
upgraded all of my PCs to the latest version of Ubuntu entitled Feisty
Fawn and I must say I am impressed. Drivers for your video
card and wirelss are an absolute breeze. All I had to do was
enable the restricted drivers and viola. I must say that I
had heard a few negatives about Feisty but I can say that it has been
fairly smooth sailing for me.