Tuesday, 7 August 2007

A Taste of Ubuntu (Original Posting 22nd July 2007)

At the start of last week the CD-ROM I had been waiting for came through the letter box, Ubuntu 7.04. Now I had promised myself not to get too excited...just put it on the shelf and wait until I can get my hands on a cheap laptop to run it on.

We must have it...our Precious...


Later that evening I popped the CD into my laptop, just to run the Live CD. Basically this allows you to dip your feet and get the "feel" of the OS, while also allowing you to see any potential conflicts. I had two straight away, both my modems. So a quick Google and solutions were found for both. But I took out the CD and just said no...not yet.

Kill the dirty, smelly hobbit...

The next day as I watched my OS "blue screen of death" and counted the dump process a bolt of lightening hit me (or was it a whiff of Ubuntu?), "this is why I ordered the damn thing!". So in went the CD, booted up into the Live CD and hit "Install". About 25-30mins later my previous OS was gone...or so I hoped. You see I was raised with the Graphical User Interface (GUI)...or point and click...the last time I inputted a line of code was when I had my C64! So after realising that I had not a clue of how to install the modem fixes I had to dig out my windows back up, reinstall, go onto the web, the GREAT people in the Ubuntu forums guided me through the process, reinstall Ubuntu and 3 hours later I had written (probably Ver 9999.9) my first config file and then it was "Welcome to the world of tomorrow"!

My Precious...it is just us now...My Precious...


So here I am, my first blog post with my new OS. Yes, some teething pains. But that is mainly due to not understanding fully how the system works (me man...no need instruction manual!?). Average and new user should easily learn it though. All the software is here, you just get it differently. The great thing is, as I have seen through the forums, you can make this look and feel however you want. To a degree that you would never have imagined (there are even Christian, Muslim and Satanic versions of Ubuntu!).

The Ubuntu community...where do I begin? Let me put it like this, you could compare them against the other OS communities with this, "When other Generals make mistakes their armies are beaten; when I get into a hole, my men pull me out of it" -The Duke of Wellington after Waterloo


I will never be a poster boy for Ubuntu, I do not want to write pages of code tweaking the system, but you will find that somebody has already done what you are wishing for and then made it 10 times better! I just want an OS that just works. I look forward to telling people all about my new OS and hopefully getting them to try. Let's face it, for the price you just simply can not complain...what is the cost? FREE! Yip, you just spend time on it and you will find yourself having much more of that. My boot up has gone from 8-9mins to 30-40secs! That and I have yet to experience a "crash".

Yes, tweaking is required. Not just of the system, but you must also recalibrate your mind. Once you start getting used to it you start realizing, "this makes sense". Or put a better way, open-source is for the open-minded. With that attitude the limits of the OS will be defined by you.

You never know...I might make poster boy yet!