I’ve heard a lot of things said about Linux. One of the things which I’ve heard a few times, and treated with some scepticism, is that most Linux releases are “less buggy than Windows” and crash less often too.
I’ve managed to install Ubuntu on my PC, and I reckon it’s got more bugs in it than the Amazon rainforest. It also crashes a lot – I wouldn’t ever let it borrow my car – though it’s stopped doing that so much that now I’ve moved from dial-up to Broadband. There are a number of Good Things about Ubuntu, though, which have persuaded me to stick with it through this teething period, and have encouraged me to learn more about Linux to get the most from my new found friend.
- Gnome. The whole desktop experience is a pleasure. Especially the little GEyes, watching over me…
- Debian’s packaging tools, which combined with Gnome allow me to click, download and install more applications than I have time to shake a stick at.
- XMMS, which the Debian packaging thingy has mysteriously updated so that it can play MP3s.
- Ubuntu is fast. It takes so little time to load anything up – OpenOffice, Evolution (an Outlook clone), Firefox, games… anything!
- Gnome comes with maybe 50 addictive Solitaire card games and about 12 other simple time-wasters.
- OpenOffice does what I actually tell it to, instead of trying to guess all the time. Plus it can read MS Word 2003 files, which most MS Word programs fail to accomplish.
- All the information on Ubuntu is written for newbies like me. Simple step-by-step instructions for everything.
- I can still play nethack (anyone know how to turn the graphical tiles off in X11?)
The other good thing about OpenOffice is that my novel-in-progress actually looks as though it’s printed on the pages of a book. I know I can do this in Word, but for some reason it doesn’t seem as real, and Word has never been able to keep up with my typing in page layout mode. It’s amazing how different writing looks when it’s laid out on a page. That alone makes this worth the pain.