Sunday, March 09, 2008

Ubuntu Update

This is by way of being an update, rather than a full blown review.

There are many aspects of Ubuntu that I like and there are some I dislike. The ones I like are:

  1. There is no need for tedious and memory-consuming virus scans.
  2. When new hardware is plugged in Ubuntu waits for me to do something about it, instead of trying (and failing) to be helpful by providing Autorun features as Vista does.
  3. Change is good. It's refreshing to use something other than Windows.
  4. There seems to be much greater scope for personalisation than with Windows.
All these things said, for the average and casual user there isn't a great deal in any of this. Most of the above points are more to do with the general crapness of Windows rather than anything good about Linux/Ubuntu.

Things I don't like about Ubuntu:

  1. After dual booting Ubuntu with Vista I can no longer disable my Synaptics touchpad.
  2. Ubuntu does not include native support for DVDs or mp3 players. I know that this is a niggle and shouldn't be a big obstruction, but for the casual and lazy user (like myself) it is just irritating.
  3. New things scare me.
  4. Ubuntu defaults to being so like windows that there doesn't really seem to be much point.
  5. I've been prodding the bash shell or whatever it's called and it's all very oldschool and cool but to be honest I don't want to have to learn a whole new language just to get my PC to work when a GUI would do. And yes, I know that I can do pretty much everything through the GUI but I'm lazy.
OK - my conclusion so far is that there really isn't much point to Linux. If it's ever going to go mainstream it will be through things like the Asus Eee, which Charles Stross comments on at length here.

I'm still having trouble understanding the ubiquity of Microsoft Office in business, when OpenOffice is free and does exactly the same thing (at least as far as 90% of corporate users are concerned).

I think when I buy a new PC or laptop the first thing I'll do is install Ubuntu and use it from day one. This way I will avoid falling into the habit of using Windows.

No comments: