‘Windows Baby’ Goes Linux


As a child of the 90’s I grew up using windows, they were reliable, while a little buggy. However a recent system failure has meant that I have started using Linux, a system that I honestly Doubted I would actually find a legitimate use for, that is until now.

ubuntu wallpaper2 by sarcasmrules

ubuntu wallpaper2 by sarcasmrules - © Some Rights Reserved

So it’s about 9pm when I get a text from the OH saying that the laptop that he uses has finally failed, Bit of a nightmare since everything was on there and some of the info wasnt backed up.

It’s perhaps one of the worse things when your computer dies on you, all your data just goes up in smoke, or does it? In a last ditch effort to get his data back my OH put Linux on his machine without expecting much joy, he though it was a hard drive failure that had wiped the system out. Imagine his surprise when he discovered that wasn’t the case and that he could flash the system with his Linux OS and have a working system again.

And that is what lead him to installing linux (in this case Ubuntu) as his main operating system, and thus in turn myself installing it as a goto system alongside my windows installlation.

Now don’t get me wrong, I do love windows 7, it is by far the best Windows Operating System that has been rolled out from Microsoft in the last few years, but its not perfect especially with its slow start and shutdown speeds. By the same merit I like Macs but they have their own inherent problems that I have outlined before here.

The beauty of Linux is that it combines the best bits of both systems and then refines them even further, again not without issue but nothing in this world is flawless.

The Pros

  • One of the main pro’s is its start-up and shut-down times. The speed of linux is pretty much unmatched, on my windows system it takes around 2 and a half minutes to get into my login screen and then from there another 2 minutes for all the start up processes to run (and at that I’m running a stripped down start up so its minus manufacture bloatware). To boot the system in Ubuntu however takes about a minute to a minute and half to get to the log in screen and then, nothing.

 

  • The initialization time once you log in (ie the time it takes to go from login to ready to use) is LESS THEN 10 seconds, closer to the 5 second mark. This makes Ubuntu the perfect system for Internet Browsing (where Internet Explorer is not essential which it rarely is now days) word processing and generalized usage.

 

  • The Integration with windows is also a major plus. As well as being able to load along side Windows (Windows 7 in this case) recent updates to Ubuntu have allowed you to access the Windows file systems and read and write to any drive that you have windows folders on. While this has its possible downsides (there is the possibility to corrupt your windows install if you delete key windows folders) the benefits are fantastic as you no longer need to have 2 copies of your music library or be isolated from essential documents on your Windows system so long as you understand how to navigate the file systems.

 

  • Fully Integrated Twitter and Messenger (including AIM, Facebook, MSN, Google, IRC, etc) AND a fully integrated mail client  compatible with all major (and most minor with POP3) e-mail providers. These features seamlessly integrate into the main core of the OS and alert you with a notification similar to that of the MAC OS’s Growl Programme

 

  • Test Without Installing, Arguably one of the best features of Ubuntu is the fact that you can test the system using a home made CD or USB drive to create a temporary Ubuntu OS without having to install anything, this lets you try out the majority of the systems functions to see if it is right for you, if you decide that it is you can choose to install the OS and still use the temporary space to browse the we while its doing it. (After inputting the details it asks for of course.)

 

  • Finally, 5 second Shut-down (mileage may vary a little) . This is the pro that caused my partner to coin the term “windows baby” as he shut his system down he was amazed that it literally took his system 5 seconds to power down, a process in windows that usually takes 2-5 minutes depending on the length of your session. To Quote the conversation:

OH: It takes 5 seconds to shutdown!!

Me: You Sound Surprised

OH: Well, yeah. I am a Windows Baby afterall

Now this can vary a little, my machine take roughly 10 Seconds all in all but I really dont think that 5 seconds is worth griping over.

The Con’s

  • As good as Ubuntu is it isnt without its cons, One of the first ones being Driver Support. Most manufacturers do not cater to Linux platforms (although the list is steadily growing) and sometimes you have to use generic drivers. Sometimes even the Developer Recommended Drivers are just not up to scratch and can cause conflicts with other hardware however lets not pretend this can’t be an issue with windows either.

 

  • Secondly you must be prepared to take in a learning curve, there are things in ubunut that do not function the way you will be used to with windows or mac, these things take a bit of getting used to but i pretty much garuntee within an hour you’ll be blazing trails as you get your grips on the system that not too foreign.

 

  • Thirdly, if your installing it to an existing system and it hasn’t come with Ubuntu as standard then you really have to have at least intermediate knowledge of how a computer works and understand how to troubleshoot problems on your own. Yes there are online help forums, but they are no good to you if you cant get your system to boot because you installed a bad driver for example.

 

  • Finally, while Ubuntu comes with Firefox pre installed there is a good chance that you will want to switch this out for another one of the available browsers. Now being a big fan of Firefox I thought I wouldn’t actually want to do this but the Ubuntu version of the popular web browser can be a little funny when it comes to handling the use of flash so I would recommend The use of Chromium (not to be confused with Chrome, Chromium is essentially Chrome without Google’s nasty propriety integrations and privacy issues)

The Final Verdict

 

Ubuntu gets it right where many have tried (and failed) in the past. Being a beautifull blend of most of the Windows and Mac features that make the geeks dream machine Ubuntu is damn near  perfect, add to the fact that it being open source provides near endless oppertunities as developers compile more and more juicy tidbits of software. I am officially a convert for my daily tasks.

 

The “Unfortunately Needed” Disclaimer: While I can heartily recommend using Ubunut I cannot accept any responsibility should you choose to install the program and loose any data etc, all undertakings are done at your own risk. Additionally ALL companies and brands mentioned inside this article are used for reference only, I claim no copyrights or trademarks and do not stand to gain financially by referencing any of these products or companies.

About nomis78

Photographer, Gamer and Internet Blogger and All Around Loon. A simple guy whose a bit of geek and doesn't mind admitting it.

Posted on May 30, 2011, in Open-Source, Review, Ubuntu and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I am very glad to hear that you have been checking out Ubuntu. As I am a fan of all things open source, I have to say that Linux – and Ubuntu specifically – really does it well. I had an issue with my Windows machine several years ago and ended up switching over to Ubuntu and could not have been happier. Unfortunately, my old hardware was not really supported in future versions of Ubuntu so I had to let it go. But when I invest in a new computer, it will be running Ubuntu from day one and will be specifically designed with hardware that fully supports Ubuntu.

    Another awesome thing with Ubuntu is that it is updated every six months. This isn’t something where they take several years to try to copy Mac and rebuild itself from the ground up. They know they already have a great thing, and don’t need to copy anyone else. So they simply focus on constantly improving security, adding features, and making sure the OS runs as well as it possibly can on as wide a range of machines as possible.

    Another thing I would love to check out at some point is the Ubuntu Netbook version. That looks especially interesting, and the concept of an even FASTER Ubuntu for Netbooks is just mind blowing.

  2. yes im interested to try the netbook version of ubuntu, im intrigued just how fast that will be but alas ive not had my chance to do so yet (but i will)

    yeah the hardware support can unfortunately be a little squiffy at times with older hardware but such is the nature of open source :s

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: