I am a computer junkie, and I’ve lived almost all my life (at least the part I like to remember) with a computer.
But I still remember my dark ages, when me and my computer were under the yoke of windows. Windows used to annoy us both. It used to get tired (and crash) a lot, asked me to send “error reports”, or even tell me that “Access was denied” (the nerve!) when I requested some particular operation.
Me and my computer were slaves. I needed more freedom, and so did my software.
Love at first sight
So I decided to take the leap: switch to linux, and I’m so happy that I did. Since then, I’ve tried many popular distributions: fedora, openSuse, Mandriva, Red Hat… but none caught my attention like Ubuntu.
It was love at first sight. Like I knew it all along. I was made for Ubuntu. Ubuntu was made for me. It is almost a spiritual connection now.
But for those whose soul does not run on an operating system, here’s why you should chose Ubuntu.
I just love the convenience that a live CD offers: You don’t have to install it on your computer, just use it, and feel safe knowing that your files actually will not be modified and you cant switch back immediately if you don’t like it. Its a dating-vs-marriage thing. You can check it out, no promises made. You can work on it, play on it and like to grow on it. And when you’re smitten by it, you can pop the question: ask it to marry you computer.
Plus, the GUI installer is great for beginners. It keeps things simple and doesn’t freak out the beginners (affectionately called noobs, also n00bs).
For the record, Ubuntu is the first distro whose live CD has come to be so popular. And, Debian (on which ubuntu is based) was one of the pioneers of live CD technology.
A just installed Ubuntu system already contains all the lovely apps you will need. Some of them are:
- Firefox – Doesn’t need an introduction, does it? But for the lost souls who don’t know duck about it, its the greatest web browser of all time. Yea, IE sucks.
- Evolution – It is the standard email client. I’ve never really tried it though (I use gmail). But there is this cousin of firefox called Thunderbird – It is supposed to be another great email client.
- OpenOffice – A package contains has an industry standard word processor (Writer), spreadsheet editor (Spreadsheet) and presentation editor (Presentation).
And for the unsophisticated, there is gedit – a simple text editor that leaves Notepad far behind in the dirt.
- Rhythmbox music player – A simple music player that has great library management.
- Gimp – An analogue of Adobe Photoshop – free of course – and way (way way) ahead of MS-Paint.
- Pidgin – AIM client, that talks with almost all chat servers – gtalk, yahoo, AIM, MSN, ICQ, and of course, good old IRC.
The Apt package manager
I’ve used fedora, and I now know that their packager manager (yum) rots. It does not display clean error messages (“could not fetch the packages” instead of ” could not .. because of error 407″). And god save us all if a package download gets disconnected. Instead of resuming the download, yum will start all over again (rots, right?).
But apt solves these problem quite nicely: it tells you things like “Failed: HTTP 404: Forbidden” or “Failed: HTTP 111: Connection refused”. And it resumes broken downloads too.
Perhaps the only disadvantage of apt is “[it is] harder to use as a verb in jargon filled conversations. “I apted that last night” as opposed to “Yum up that new GIMP2 package, it’s great!” (taken from this discussion over apt and yum)
But my favourite feature of apt is what it does when I type “apt-get moo” on my command line. It prints out:
(__) (oo) /------\/ / | || * /\---/\ ~~ ~~ ...."Have you mooed today?"...
The conecpt of community is what makes linux so special. And with Ubuntu, this reaches a whole new level. The Ubuntu community is the best online forum I have ever met. The participants and moderators alike endeavour zelously to solve one more problem, answer one more question and scratch just one more itch. They truly make us feel like a part of a big family spanning countless regions, languages and cultures.
Linux for human beings
Ubuntu is by far the easiest linux distribution for a normal desktop user. However, it is powerful enough to be configured into a graphics processing workstation, a server maichine, a cluster computing solution, a software developer machine and much more. There is this intensity about ubuntu that makes you love it oh so much.
Ubuntu is now my mistress and my god. I worship her. And I take every opportunity to try and convert just one more person to ubuntu.
Ubuntu bless you all.