Wayne and Phil finally convinced me to switch operating systems on my office laptop. Wednesday they gathered around me as I took a deep breath and pressed enter to launch the installation of the Ubuntu version of Linux. Afterwards they led me, rapidly, through the installation of various applications and repositories using the command line interface and using the Synaptic Package Manager. I installed VMserver to run the few Windows applications I need, like the Unicorn client, Workflows. Next I need a book to achieve some independence. Right now it is still “Hey Wayne, how do I …” and “Wayne, why is it doing …”
I copied all my documents to another server prior to installing Ubuntu. From there I burned everything to CD. I find it liberating to be free of all the junk I had installed on my laptop and all the documents I had accumulated but not looked at for years. I still have the documents if I need them but I am greeted by a very clean desktop.
I think I am going to start using Google documents more. I like the ability to quickly share. Ubuntu automatically installs OpenOffice so I can easily create local documents.
Day-by-day use of Ubuntu is nothing I have to think about. I only have seven application icons on my toolbar: Synaptic Package Manager, Firefox, Help, VMserver console, Pidgin, Thunderbird, and a terminal window.
My desktop only has folders with the Unicorn API documentation, and two links to our shared library network drive. One is an ssh link and the other is a Windows share. I only mounted the Windows share because there were some permissions issues when I was transferring files around. These links give me very quick access my folders and documents stored on the library’s shared network drive.
Before Ubuntu, I was not able to get a connection to my home wireless network. No matter what steps I took, which wizards I used, I couldn’t get a connection. When I brought home my laptop with Ubuntu I was connected in about a minute because that is how long it took to key in my pass code. Amazing.
We will see what unfolds over the next weeks but I’d say that I’m a Linux convert.