After having my laptop grind to a halt with all the clogware that comes with windows, I decided it was time to re-build her.
I had just got the updated APC mag that included a livecd of ubuntu and decided to see how it would run. I was only planning on playing around a bit and see what was still broken running a linux distro on a laptop.
But was I supprised! The only thing that didnt work straight out of the box was the WPA wireless, but open accesspoints worked seemlessly. I have a internal sd slot, along with an external HD and my iPod. All these were detected and mounted automatically and fully accessable.
The widescreen resolution, automatic, the network access, automatic, booting and configuration automatic. The liveCD was the most seemless operating system start up ive seen. It just works.
So I played around, used the package manager to install a couple of apps, started playing mp3s from my external HDD, then decided to get email, setup evolution. A bit of development to try out, so I needed the jdk installed, now is when the ease of use slowed down, but a couple of google searches (thanks to the automaticly installed firefox) and I had it on, then download eclipse, extract and run.
It was then I realised I had a fully functional computer and that I was still running on the liveCD. Nothing on my internal HDD was being used or touched. So I tested a few more things printer connectivity, fileserver network access and it was all good.
So do I take the plunge, yep why not.. I was rebuilding it anyway what would matter if I had to re-install XP in a couple more days.. Ok deep breath and go
The next brilliant thing is the actuall installer, I expected to have to re-boot and select a boot menu option to actually install ubuntu. But no, on the desktop there is a funky little button called install. Double click that any you are away.
Now let me set the scene. Eclipse open reviewing some code changes, email open in evolution, firefox searching the web and xine playing mp3s in the background. And now another window in the foreground, the installer. It goes through all the normal steps, pick the timezone, keyboard format, disk partitions and usernames, then the please wait while we do all the voodo magic to install this operating system for you.
So it chuggs on for a while, I surf the web, checkout some code read email and listen to mp3s.. Then bing up pops a dialog box saying the ubuntu install is complete and it has to reboot.
A reboot and 40 seconds later and I have a login screen for ubuntu. It no longer has my mail configured, or the jdk/eclipse installed but 15mins later all thats installed again and its working like a Breeze (pun intented).
Ive been with it for a few weeks now, and apart from a few apps that are missing its brilliant. See followup posts on my setup and how I still have XP apps running perfectly.