Thursday, January 1, 2009

Ibuntu...Ubuntu, too?

I spent most of the day wrestling with my computer. I contracted a nasty army of viruses, then compounded my problems by toying with the registry.

I also managed to snap off the front cover of my CDR, which was jammed beyond fixing with a paper clip.

Armed with a butter knife, a relatively old Linux book from the library, and encouragement from folks here, I finally managed to get Ubuntu installed on my puter.

I lost Windows along the way....but I'm liking what I see with Linux.

Is this just love at first blush, or should I have switched years ago?


Malik said...

Thanks for sharing your struggles in upgrading to Ubuntu... I have it on one of my desktop machines and I don't really miss Windows at all.

The only issue that I face is hardware compatibility. Besides that, Ubuntu rocks!

twitter: mrich1911

Angela the Magnificent said...

I hope it works out for you. I'm going to let me hardware age a bit and hope that when I try again I'll have an easier time.

doyle said...

Had I the disk and a functioning CDR, it would have been a snap (so long as I was willing to give up everything on the hd--the partitioning step didn't work, so I skipped it). Otherwise, I am pleased with how easily it went.

I may have gotten lucky, and at any rate, I had nothing to lose. My Windows was fubared. I even considered buying a new puter.

Even if I should manage to get my hd twisted in knots again, I can just wipe it out and start over. The Ubuntu disk holds not just the OS--it loads up Firefox and OpenOffice as well.

ertzeid said...

probably a month or two from now you'll realize that yes, you should have switched years ago.* i'm personally very anti-windows. my umbrella complaint re: windows is that they took a poorly designed OS (DOS) and rather than fixing it, added a bunch of crap on top to try to make up for previous mistakes. the graphical part, 'windows', tries to do too much for the user and ends up being overly confusing.

linux is based on a really clean OS: Unix. then it's got just enough graphical interface to be easy to use, but bare-bones enough that you can get into the guts and do whatever you want. this is a double-edged sword: mess around without knowing what you're doing and you could screw it up. but if you only use the shell when you know what you're doing, you'll be fine.

getting software can be tough. there's not much of an incentive yet to write fancy games for linux. but that also means you won't get sucked into hours upon hours of civilization IV. and OpenOffice + Firefox are all that most people truly need.

*note: i still use a mac, but if/when i need a new computer, i'd like it to be a linux machine. this won't be for a long time.

/computer science student

Kim said...

Hi Mr Doyle,

Ubuntu has smoothed off a lot of the rough edges over the years.

There are many things that are familiar, some things will bug you no doubt, as they are different, and some things will be quite foreign. Like no drive letters. Yes every thing is in one logical file system.

A few things to remember;
- back things up, its still a computer
- drivers for new/weird deveices may take a while to get drivers for
- windows soft printers suck check if there is support first =)
- the command line is not scary, there is a huge amount of useful stuff lives just under the surface.

I've been following your blog for only a few days =) Been using Ubuntu for some years and Linux since 1993.

There is as much as you could want to learn on a new platform. Especially Linux, as so much of it is open and accessable. Sure some doco isn't fantastic, but you can just keep exploring =) Its a learning platform in itself.

Theres a lot more to Linux that just the software on the desktop. There is the whole community that evolves it, supports it, documents it, blogs about it, goes to conferences about it. I'm heading of the Linux Conf in Hobart later this month.



doyle said...

G'morning ertzeid and Kim,

Great to hear from folks who know what they're talking about--the linux/windows signal to noise ratio is a bit low until you take out the "us vs. them" rants.

didn't take me long to realize I should have switched years ago--for what I do, this is perfect. I already use OpenOffice, already use Firefox, and Ubuntu has even more tiny time-wasting games than XP, so everything's fine!

(I actually used unix a tiny bit way back in the day; I even taught an elective for med students on computers. Not because I knew anything about them, but because I knew more than the other docs, which wasn't saying much in the early '90s.)

I am famous at home for messing up puters--won't be long before I peek under the shell, but this time I'll back up.

Yeah, right.

I used to play with Windows until XP came out--got too foreign, and I got too old. I've been diving into the linux docs on-line, and also from a library book. Once I get back to school Monday, playtime is over, but the machine is humming now.

For both ertzeid and Kim and whoever else wants to jump in:

This may be silly questions, but I have read conflicting reports--do I need a third party anti-virus program? If so, which one(s)?


lucychili said...

No you dont need virus protection on Linux. At least at this stage the viruses are a Windows phenomenon.

Kim said...


I have never encountered a virus or even hearsay of viruses on Linux. I have heard of worms back in 1994.

If your computer is behind a NAT'ing device like a ADSL or cable modem that is a router, and you don't forward random ports to the inside, thats probably all you need on the firewall front to start with.

The main nasties can be avioded by being careful about running arbitary java, javascript and flash applets in your web browser. A good start is to use ad-block and no-script in firefox...



John Spencer said...

I'm with you. I love ubuntu. On the old computers, I use xubuntu and it's been lightening fast and the newest distros of ubuntu rival OS X and Vista, in my opinion.