Linux: Ubuntu Part II

So far I like Ubuntu Linux. Googling for Unbutu and any problem I have had has always brought useful and relevant information. I haven't been left floundering for very long if I had something I wanted to fix or setup.
What I like:
  • You really have a smorgasborg of programs (a.k.a. packages) to install. It's all in one place you don't have to hunt around the Internet to find what you want, for the most part.
  • With enough time you really can setup your machine the way you want. You want clean and simple? Windows like? Transparent, borderless windows? it's all doable.
  • You can change your "windows explorer". I'm used to Windows Explorer to manipulate files, but do you know anyone who ever changed it? With Linux you can use Nautilus, which comes with Gnome, ROX-filer, Gnome Commander, UnixTree or X File Explorer. I remember using Norton Commander and X-Tree back in the day, but I'm sticking with Nautilus for now, it's quite configurable and my machine is fast so it's larger size isn't a problem for me.
  • No viruses, this is the main reason for my switch after a virus hosed my Windows machine. Actually there were about 40 known viruses for Linux vs about 60,000 Windows viruses and none of the Linux viruses ever became widespread!
  • Cross platform programs work better. I use a host of programs that are cross platform (The Gimp, SciTE, bash via cygwin, Firefox, Thunderbird, Filezilla, Unison, and the OpenOffice suite) and they work the same or often better in Linux.
  • Lot's of great software. There are lots of new programs that work only in Linux that I'm only now aware of. Nearly all of it is completely free. Before I would either have to buy or download from somewhere the program that I need, and downloading a pirated program , say, has a higher chance of downloading a virus. So far, my machine is completely pure in that sense, all open source software. It feels good.
What I dislike:
  • Too many choices! My dad used to say that some men are so indecisive that if they go to the bathroom and there are two urinals available they'll pee their pants because they can 't decide which one to use. I'm not that bad, but one reason I have taken so long to go to Linux is that there are so many Linux distros to choose from! Just investigating the pros and cons of each can take days. And by the time your finished your evaluation, one of the distros has come out with a newer version. In the end, it doesn't matter much which distro you choose, since you can configure them all to the same point (or just about).
  • Stuff doesn't always work, right off the bat. Ubuntu was pretty good, my USB mouse, keyboard, IRiver player, and USB thumbdrive all worked flawlessly. But I had to work to get my dual monitors working and I'm still working on the Wacom tablet and my Creative Webcam. I tried the Ubuntu Live CD on my mother-in-law's machine and the serial mouse didn't work. A quick look on the web got the solution, but things weren't 100% AOK on her old machine. For example, the autorepeat rate for the keyboard made you type "gggoooogggglllleee....ccccooomm", and the menus didn't feel right. A little more playing with the keyboard setup fixed one, but I could figure out the menu problem. I'd like to set her up with Ubuntu as well, but I just don't have enough experience with it to set it up nicely. You know how it is, if one thing isn't working they way they want, they say the whole thing is junk.
  • Things are different. This problem is obvious, one gets used to the "Window's Way" of doing things and then feels a bit lost in another interface. Pretty soon, I'm sure it'll be the opposite, I'll start missing features of Linux that Windows doesn't have.
All in all I'm happy with my choice. I feel like a kid in a candy store, and at the moment I'm a little sick to my stomach from eating too much candy. Soon I'll find my favorite tools and setup and Linux will be like a comfortable shoe.


Anonymous said…
I installed Ubuntu last weekend after I have been using Win since I started to walk (well, I was om Amiga and C64). I must I really like so far. There is still some configuration to make and to get everything up and running. I still wonder how to with some applications that I feel is missing on Linux, Fireworks and Adobe Album mostly.

I am still on dual boot so if I cannot get to work I still have Win as a rescue ;)

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