Sunday, July 15, 2007

Brand New Ubuntu User: Part I - No More Windows

Confessions of a user:

Lately, I've been feeling increasingly the corporate crush of Microsoft. With the advent of Vista, I, as a common user, have finally been prodded to try something really different.

Mac, you say? Well, after the flexibility and malleability of Windows, the Mac struck me as a little too one-stop-shopping. It's expensive, too.

Enter Linux, or more specifically Linux's easy-to-use GUI (graphical user interface) avatar Ubuntu. As I am by no means a geek, the thought of Linux by itself threw me a little. Ubuntu, however, looks to solve the issue of user-friendliness for those of us who have never written code.

Oh, and did I mention it's free? Not free as in "Trial Period," but completely open-sourced here-ya-go forever free.

In fact, this current iteration of Linux may indeed be a viable alternative to Monsterlith XP or Visa. I intend to find this out.

Installation:

Wow. That was easy. Anticlimactic, in fact. See, Ubuntu can be installed several ways, one of which is an ISO file that you can download and burn to a boot disk. But I couldn't get my HP laptop to see the ISO file upon booting, even after setting the CMOS/BIOS to boot from the CD first. Dang! Was there something even easier out there?

As it turns out, Ubuntu has a Windows-based down-loadable installer called WUBI

So, after cleaning up my Windows installation by eliminating junk files and defragmenting, I ran the installer. Ubuntu commenced installing itself on a 15G partition on the hard drive. Note to self: remember absolutely the username and password you set up in the installer - it's case sensitive. That cost me a re-install. Also remember to hit F8 every time Ubuntu restarts, so that you can go to the OS (Operating System) choices menu and select Ubuntu rather than Windows XP.

So here I sit looking at a clean and elegant desktop - reminiscent of a Windows desktop yet with differences. There was no start button in the lower left hand side, and there were three menu items in the upper left hand side: Applications, Places and System.

Ubuntu sees my laptop wireless hardware and connects immediately. Nice.

First task: change desktop image: open Firefox, go to Top Gear, and grab lovely picture of BMW M3. Right click and select. Done. Intuitive as can be.

About this time a small orange icon in the upper right hand side indicates that I have updates. Excellent! Turns out I have 89 updates - everything from music players to security protocols.

That's where I sit now - watching these update. I'll start soon on the next step, which is actually using the OS, and then furthermore using the OS with programs I'll actually need.

Stay tuned...

1 Comments:

Anonymous Kristen said...

Keep up the good work.

12:38 PM  

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