Sunday my computer decided to crash, unlike most crashes, Windows didn’t start back up again. After restarting several times, Windows appeared to start loading, but crashed before logging in with the dreaded “blue screen of death.”
I had most of my stuff backed up with Dropbox (see my review), so I wasn’t too concerned about data loss. I was concerned, however, with whether or not Windows would install correctly on my system as there seemed to be something I didn’t understand going on with the partition. I’m no computer expert, and after popping in my faithful XP disk, it said that no hard drive was detected.
My first instinct was that I would have to replace my computer or at least the HDD, but I’d been curious about trying Linux for a while. I decided on a whim to see if it would do an install off of an Ubuntu 10 disk that I had made a while ago. I did. Flawlessly. I’m really impressed with how easy the install process was, so if you’re thinking about trying Ubuntu out, don’t let difficulty of installation throw you off.
I plan to do updates on this blog from time to time about my experience using Linux, but after using it for one day, here are my impressions:
- Installed correctly and easily.
- GUI in Ubuntu seems very good. I initially installed version 10, and I like that much better than the native version in 11. This can be swapped back, which I did.
- Most of the programs that I use run in Linux, including: Draftsight, Inkscape, GIMP, Firefox, Dropbox. The browser-based Quake Live, and WordPress work as well.
- “Ubuntu Software Center” seems like a great resource for finding software you want.
- Seems to access the HDD less than Windows did – hopefully will provide for better battery life.
- For a Windows XP user, the GUI is different and takes some getting used to. The verdict is out on this, I may think it’s awesome in a week.
- The middle button on my Thinkpad doesn’t work for scrolling by default (apparently this can be changed). Also, I liked how Windows would highlight everything in the browser bar on Firefox (probably can change this too).
- File system and terminal commands are unfamiliar.
- Some programs don’t run that I liked. iTunes and CamBam are the two that I’m going to miss. Hopefully I can find a substitute.
As a longtime Windows XP user with some computer knowledge, I’m willing to give Ubuntu a try. There are some good and bad things about it, but after getting used to where everything is, I will hopefully really like it. If not, I’m out $0. Check back to see how I like this OS after I get more used to it, or just subscribe via RSS!