Right after I got my first notebook a few months ago, I installed Ubuntu. It’s a very nice distribution of Linux because it is pretty friendly and easy to use especially to a Linux newbie like me. Within a day I got WiFi working on it and could run basic task like wordprocessing, spreadsheets and internet browsing on it.
Hint: Don’t get the CD version as the WiFi Network Manager does not come with the basic install. You have to have internet connection to enable that WiFi feature. Chicken and egg situation. If you don’t have WiFi, how to go online to download the packages that will enable internet?
I suggest you get the full DVD version of Ubuntu. It took me 26 hours to download Ubuntu 7.04 DVD iso but it was worth it. (I recommend use of a download accelarator like FlashGet)
I am not surprised Dell has chosen Ubuntu 7.04 (codename Fiesty Fawn) to be a customer buying option on some notebooks and PCs.
A few months ago the WiFi function somehow got corrupted and stopped working on my Ubuntu so I had to switched back to Windows XP.
However, last weekend I cleaned up and reformatted my Dell notebook harddisk and reinstalled Ubuntu and WinXP. I recommend a periodical reformat and cleanup to anybody because right now with a speedier response the Dell feels like a new notebook!
One thing I really hate about Windows is that it is appears to be constantly busy doing something as the harddisk light is perpetually flashing - even when I am not doing anthing on the notebook. At first I thought I had a virus or spyware but even the freshly installed WinXP exibits this same behaviour. Ubuntu on the other hand is great. When idle, there is no harddisk activity. I know it’s a small thing but I just hate not knowing what my notebook is doing in the background when it’s idle.
One reason I had to wipe our the harddisk is that my windows got infected by spyware. Things still worked but the system was slow and quirky. My output to TV/external monitor, volume control, windows scrolling on tochpad all stopped working. I was glad all these functions were restored after the reinstall.
To be practical, it’s not “goodbye Windows, hello linux” yet because I still can’t do without Windows essential apps like Ultraedit, Paintshop Pro, Chessbase and Chess Assistant. For many other things, Ubuntu fits perfectly. I’ll be using Feisty Fawn more in future , that’s for sure.
(this article was typed on my way to work on a Psion Revo. Cool huh? More on the Revo later)
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