I recently bought an Acer Aspire One netbook since I wanted a small portable computer to take with me when I travel or just don’t want to be tied to my destkop at home. It came pre-installed with Windows XP which is fine by me, but one of the reasons I bought it was to try a Linux version called Ubuntu which recently seems to be getting some popularity. Ubuntu works pretty well with the AO and its been a long time since I used Linux so I thought I would check it out and see if it was better or at least faster than Windows.
It’s been a while since I have tinkered with dual booting operating systems and partitioning drives, so it took me a little longer than usual to get both Ubuntu and Windows to share the same drive, but finally got them both up and running. I actually installed the Netbook Remix version of Ubuntu which alters the look so it fits better on the smaller screen (very nicely done). Now, the last time I remember using Linux was about 6 or 7 years ago and remember the constain pain of things not working properly or having to run several commands to install software, or even trying to find help or documentation for a problem.
Well not much has changed in my opinion. I’m not calling Linux a bad operating system, but just still how un-user friendly it still remains. My point being if the Linux community really wanted to grab the attention of average user, they need to have a simple way to install software and not have to google for help on all the errors they get when typing in commands to just run an application. I know most people would just give up or not install anything after the first hurtle of having to open the terminal. I don’t like having to type a command for everything I want to do to fix a problem with a new driver. It seems I’m always forcing Linux to not use what it came with but use these “other” drivers that fixes the too many bugs that you get. The AO works pretty good with Ubuntu after the intall, however still many things don’t work or are unstable which you spend hours hunting down help and drivers all over the internet. My sound barely works, my microphone either doesn’t or is so distorted its worthless, and the video playback is often choppy or slow. I would just like to see more advancement since 7 years ago (which there is a lot), but still is plagued by having to know more than the average user to get the thing running and having the patience to fix things when they break.
What it all boils down to since I have both operating systems installed is what has Linux brought to the table over Windows. The answer is not a whole lot. I more often use Windows since its not any slower and it can do all the jobs I need it to do. I’ll definitely keep Ubuntu installed since its interesting to try new things with the machine since you can have so much control over it, plus I support open source software and what the community is all about.
This is kind of a random post, but something I wanted to write to keep this site fresh.