Shift to Ubuntu Linux
I'll take a break from my regular broadband bashing and instead focus on the new imminent release of Ubuntu Linux, code named Feisty Fawn. With cutting edge software, Ubuntu's version promises to be better than ever before by incorporating huge support for Wireless networking cards, on demand installation of codecs and Windows migration tools.
For long, the manufacturers did not release their drivers for Linuxand most of the wireless drivers had been "hacked" and made backward compatible to the network cards in laptops or desktops. This only translated into user frustration and hence a bad name for Linux when it wasn't really its fault. Much of the hardware is now supported out of the box with Linux and much credit goes to the community who have collaborated on the development of the drivers to support it.
Why should you shift to Linux? Windows XP is being retired early next year in order not to cannibalize the sales of Windows Vista. This means that you would have to pay the price for overpriced software and hardware in order to run the same. Windows has incorporated Digital Rights Management systems which in fact cripples the music or content that you wish to play on your systems. Which is totally unfair for a simple reason.
If you have paid for the content, then using it should be your prerogative and not otherwise. Even otherwise, the end user license agreement with Microsoft means that they are the owners of the operating system that you have paid your hard earned money for. You don't effectively own your own system!
Most of us don't realize the potential implications of privacy concerns while dealing with an evil corporation. Microsoft has allegedly activated encrypted back channels which communicate the specifications of your computer to the Redmond. This was subject to much debate in recent times and this assertion has not been proven yet. Still, it makes no sense to shift to the so called "Aero interface" which is a rip off from Mac OS desktop. Seriously, beyond the eye candy, Vista is of no use to an average computer user.
Arguably, there is not much of a demand for Linux systems because people are not aware of the same. Ubuntu promises to change that. You could go on their home page and order free CDs for yourself. You could tweak the source code in case you wish to add functionality.
Installing this operating system on any standard hardware is a breeze and the whole process takes about 40 minutes flat. For any Windows user, the difference would be stark. And free of the restrictions imposed on us otherwise. You don't have unnecessary drivers for your digital cameras, your USB sticks, Printers et al. Much of the hardware is supported out of the box. Just plug and play.
Ubuntu has everything going for it. The forums have become better and if you post the query in the right place, someone would surely respond to the same. Apart from this, Ubuntu has an active India chapter with a dedicated Wiki. You could catch someone from the team online on the IRC (Join the Ubuntu support and discussion IRC channel: #ubuntu-in on irc.freenode.net) and they'll go all out to answer and fix your queries if any. (Freenode's FAQ answers your queries in case you wish to join them.)
Or you could join their mailing lists. Help is never away and all you need is your working Internet connection. Here is another link from the Ubuntu India Wiki website which details as to how you could configure your Broadband in Ubuntu.
No other system provides the ease of use that Ubuntu Linux does. Arguably, Linux has its hitches (command line terminal may be intimidating for a newbie)- however, the best way to learn swimming is to get into water. Moreover, the graphical user interface takes care of most of the administrative work. You may not even need the command line (just like the DOS of yore but infinitely advanced and addictive!). Installing software is a matter of few clicks. You could check out the excellent Ubuntu Guide online which details everything step by step for a total newbie.
Ubuntu Feisty Fawn makes it's debut on April 19th when it will be released to the public via its servers. You could directly download the distro or use torrents. For those who do not have a stable Internet connection, you could order the CDs to be shipped from its home page. FREE.
I have finally made the switch to Gnome; I am waiting for the KDE 4 release. KDE 4 promises to revolutionize the desktop experience; but until then I wanted something different and fresh from the old and trusty desktop that I have been using for the past three years.
Arguably, Gnome has become better from it's previous avatars but it still suffers from unintuitive interface;it's a matter of getting used to it. It is lighter on system resources as compared to KDE but that is not the sole argument in its favor.
I still use KDE's applications like Amarok (there cannot be a better music player than this) and KTorrent for my torrent needs. Gnome still has to come up with something better than these apps. Using Gnome or KDE desktop managers is a personal preference and you can use both depending on your mood or preference.
Here's hoping that more users will want to know about Ubuntu and Linux in general. You could head over to the IRC channels or the Ubuntu Forums; there are thousands others like you who have discovered the joys of using free and open source software.
Note: There are many other distros; however, my current favorite is Ubuntu Linux. It is free; they send the CDs free to your place; installing programs is a snap; it is based on Debian which is the most stable version of Linux and it has an excellent support forum. Further, it has a predictable 6 monthly release cycle with commitment to support your installed version for at least 3 years (long term release) and 5 years for the server installs before you need upgrading to the newer versions. And it promises to remain free for ever.
Shift to Ubuntu Linux
- » Published on April 16, 2007
- » Type: News
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