My adventures with Ubuntu
by Tom Carroll
I recently moved from Fedora Core 5 to Ubuntu Desktop for my laptop. This was due to the fact that Fedora Core 5 would freeze every now and then. So after having to do my development work on my desktop, I figured it was time to try a new Distribution. So as some background I have previously run Suse 9.x and Fedora Core 3 and 4 and Redhat. So I had read and heard that Ubuntu was polished and just worked.
So my mind was made up, I did the back-up dance and began to load Ubuntu 5.x loaded fine and everything worked, NICE! I did find a few issues, like the fact that the packaged version of FireFox was ancient (Similar to Suse 9.x) and the package manager used to add new software was passable at best. So I began setting up everything and just before I began using the laptop for current work, Ubuntu 6.x was released. So I did the online upgrade, and it went well, though it took a few hours.
So after the reboot everything looked great except no Wifi. Ugh… Now the funny thing is my wireless card is old, a Lucent Orinoco Gold only supports WEP, just plain old. It has been the only card that I could count on working with any Distribution, but not on Dapper Drake. So, I checked to see if the device was being identified, checked the driver etc…. No luck. So I fashioned myself an aluminum foil hat and dove into the forums. Plenty of ideas and support, I just haven’t had time to try all of them.
Recently people like Tim Bray and Nicholas Carr have recently written about how Linux popularity, as Nicholas puts it, with the “PC elite” is growing. Now Tim Bray cites the fact that Apple uses proprietary formats to store his data and is less open to community innovation / bug fixing. Now, I agree with Tim Bray, increased openness would benefit Apple and help to sustain its more advanced users. The reality is until it just works, the cost of my attention to fix something that should just work, is just to high.
So the bottom line is, my next laptop is going to be a Mac, because as the Angry Penguin put it “It just works”. I will worry about open later, that’s why I have Google.
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