Ubuntu Linux 8.04 Hardy Heron
Ok, so anyone who knows me knows that I already head a secret society in
Linux... well actually not, but I'm a big fan of it anyways, and use it in
my everyday computers. Having returned from a six week stay in Italy and
England, I with baited breath downloaded the latest release of Ubuntu
(Version 8.04) and after four failed attempts finally got an error free
copy. Apparently, I wasn't the only one hitting their servers for the
download a few thousand others were hitting the servers pretty hard. I
headed off in my venture for an install-fest...
My first computer I loaded this onto was an HP
laptop. The installation was pretty painless, and it recognized all my
hardware except my built-in wireless. Historically, this has been a
problem for Linux, but I've always been ether netted in unless I was on
the road... in which case I use my Orinoco PC Card, which works
flawlessly. I also use a homebrew Cantenna with an Orinoco card that can
hit an Access Point from over a mile away.
I followed the online instructions for installing my
$199.00 Wi-Spy USB spectrum analyzer device... and it worked in seconds.
"Wow," I thought, "This really is impressive!" Enabling my external
DVD-Rom drive to watch DRM encoded media also took less than ten minutes
and was equally painless. Bit torrent is enabled by default, so no issues
there.... Hmmm. Office 2003! That'll break it! Wrong... it installed with
WINE with no problems. Another WOW.
My wife and I brought a new geek into the world a few
years ago, so we decided to give her the Linux experience. She has a
Toshiba laptop that we bought last year on Black Friday for $250.00.
I installed it and gave her all the usual kids
educational applications... they all took with no problems. After the
install and reboot, get this, I got a popup window! The window told me
that my child's laptop battery was recalled and directed me toward
Toshiba'swebsite for information on how to get the battery replaced. Her
default Vista OS never did this and neither did XP... weirded out about
the laptop reporting my configuration anywhere aside, I was amazed that
Ubuntu had gone as far as to check my system for this... another wow.
Was this nirvana? Had I drank too much that evening?
Short answer, NO. Compiz makes Vista's "Aero" look like a Commodore 64.
This system is efficient, powerful, reliable, and well... it just plain
works.My wife queried me about this new sexy OS and
addressed her concerns, she doesn't want to have to get an external Wi-Fi card an she wants Yahoo video chat. Sadly, I had to tell her to
enjoy her Mac.
So is Linux poised for the desktop this year? I can't
say that for sure, but I'm edgy and on the fence. If production uptime is
paramount, and you're willing to make a few sacrifices... and I mean very
few sacrifices, then yes. Mounted with the decision of installing
Vista or Ubuntu, you'll probably have far better
success in Ubuntu as it has far better legacy support for the 'teddy bear'
applications than Windows, and less vulnerability. With the advent of
Codeweavers new product, "CrossOver Games" for a paltry $39.95 you can buy
the safety, security, and knowledge that even your Halo won't get
interrupted by an offer delivered by your computer to buy Viagra from