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Linux for Human Beings

Ubuntu is a linux distro that I hadn’t heard of until last week when I clicked on one of Simon Willson’s blogmarks.

I haven’t given Linux a shot on the desktop in at least a year and a half, but after reading the premise of the Ubuntu distro I thought it was time again. Read on to hear about my short but sweet experience.


The Live CD version allows you to test things out without disturbing your current system. That sounded good to me.

Between the time I downloaded the iso file and burned it to a CD, I came across this post and started to have second thoughts.

“Oh well” I thought and tossed the CD into my laptop. I really had no idea that three minutes later I’d be browsing the web, wirelessly, and opening word docs hosted on my windows desktop.

I don’t know how it compares to actually installing the distro, but the Live CD thing basically just works. I had to tell it the settings for my network, but other than that, I was good to go. I couldn’t believe it.

It’s exciting to see this kind of improvement to the linux desktop experience. I keep running less and less Microsoft software, but the stability and experience of Windows XP Pro still has me in its grasps. Ubuntu gives me hope. I’m going to keep an eye on this one.

Originally published on Saturday April 16, 2005 at 5:05 pm

[3] Comments

After seeing the demo, I just downloaded a copy of the CD version to run on my XP machine. It looks really cool and has a lot of functionality right out of the box. I also like the user-friendly interface that is often neglected in a Linux distro. The only software I would really miss out on would be Adobe and Macromedia, the rest of it is all there.

Lance said this 12 years, 7 months ago §

I've installed Ubuntu, among others. I like their community, and I like the distro, but I'm not crazy about the Gnome file explorer and I rely on a file explorer to navigate. In my view, they've mistakenly moved away from the tree/detail approach to a spatial desktop. I've read the arguments for this (humans preferring spatial orientation, etc.) but it doesn't work with current GUIs for a simple reason: the screen is too small. On my actual desk, I can have five books open and separated, plus easily put them where I need them. I can't have five applications open and properly visiible at the same time even with two monitors. A computer "desktop" isn't a good metaphor.

You might download and install the Xandros Standard edition (or whatever it's called). It's free, and has the best Linux file explorer I've seen (albeit proprietary). It's also the cleanest desktop. Some argue that it's too Windows like, but until someone (Raskin's son?) revolutionizes the GUI, I see only shades of difference between KDE, Gnome, Windows, etc. My goal is simple: get to my data and applications fast.

Charles L Flatt said this 12 years, 7 months ago §

SimplyMEPIS is much better than Ubuntu for several reasons:

* it includes almost any software users will need
* configuration is better (video & CD's play, flash, iPod, Palm works)
* KDE is easier for first time Linux users
* and it's FREE as opposed to Xandros.

http://SimplyMEPIS.org

Lance

Lance W. Haverkamp said this 12 years, 6 months ago §

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