I’ve heard a lot about Linux over the years, how it’s a ‘better’ operating system than Windows, how it’s going to break the domination of Windows (and how that’s a good thing) and mainly how awkward it is to use.
Well, here I go. There’s an old laptop of mine which has been giving more and more trouble recently with Windows, slow, infected, slow… annoying. Having invested too much time in trying to fix it, I’m off – I’m going to linuxland.
My research tells me that the only thing that I can’t do in linuxland is to use iTunes, which only really matters for my iphone. But, I’m not that attached to the iphone and my contract is up. Other than that, apparently Linux can do all by browsing, office work, music, video, and other bits and pieces in relative comfort.
The first thing that I had to do was to make a CD to install from (luckily I’d already had advice about which Linux to install) and there are nice and easy instructions for that. It took about 10 minutes to burn, I stuck it in the laptop, rebooted and a whole new desktop came up with one button ‘install ubuntu’. Nice start.
Clicked that and there were a few simple questions… now it’s installing. What will it be like?
(11 minutes later) Holy shit. I’m now editing this on my shiny new Ubuntu computer. It’s installed, it’s online and it’s about 10 times easier than windows.
Next challenge – sort out a photo organiser, music player, and office suite. So far it gets a huge thumbs up from me.
Any older relatives that might be wanting to start off on computers and will be starting from scratch… get them going on laptops with Ubuntu instead of Windows.
I met my first hiccup a minute later – went to Applications, Software Centre (instead of downloading installers like in Windows, you pick from a menu in the software centre)… and when I tried to select ‘Adobe Flash Player’ to install it, I saw an odd error. Luckily enough, a quick google solved it for me, and now it appears, the solution is updating my entire Ubuntu, so hurrah for that.
Onwards and upwards…
UPDATE: March 22nd 2010
So far, it’s been incredibly reliable and almost everything has been working well. There were two annoying problems and only one of them is partially solved. Flash wouldn’t work properly (since partially solved) and I can’t get the mic to work (so no Skype).
Other than that, it’s all good!