So, I’ve always been a Windows fan boy, everything about it was just so simple for me. My programming was very straight forward, my skills were achievable at even the youngest aged memories I had, and there’s a plethora of applications that control the market that make it illogical for me to have ever strayed from Microsoft before. Well that was until I started using Ubuntu regularly on my laptop, now I barely spend any significant amount of time using windows, and when I do it’s in a Virtual Machine setting or it’s while I’m working on someone elses’ computer.
What started out as a weekend project to resurrect the laptop from my last deployment, turned into the game changer of my computing usage. Â My Samsung R580 was purchased back around 2009-2010, and was a beast of a machine, compared to laptops I purchased before that, and lasted me until around March 2012. It was one of those simple mistakes we’ve all made at some point, not noticing how far off the corner table the laptop was sitting, and knocking it down. Luckily for, nothing was badly damaged except for the power adapter port. For a while my fix was to stick a staple in it to act as the pin that would go with the original female power adapter. With time though, the staple wore and the plastic ended up breaking on the inside. So I was left with having to do this little hack of using again another staple and a universal plug without the end fitting. It was only a matter of time before logic took hold and this wasn’t going to last, I had to replace the power adapter itself (involves desoldering and soldering a new piece….unfortuantely my attempt at that was a fail) or replacing the motherboard.
Now, I’m not the type of geek that just replaces a broken piece with the same piece without doing a set upgrades to go with it. Memory wasn’t an issue, i already had previously upgraded to 8GB ram, so that left two things I wanted to try: SSD (haven’t ever used one yet) and CPU. Fortunately for me, this motherboard had a removable processor, and looking online I was able to upgrade my I5 mobile to an i7mobile. Battery life has been decreased due to power consumption of an i7, but boy does it pack a better punch. Lastly was the SSD. My first task was to install Windows back onto the machine, but due to the costs already associated with the replacement mobo, cpu, and drive, I knew I had to wait for a few paychecks to get a Win7 disk. The logical thing to do was to do one of two things, be an outlaw and Pirate a copy of Win7, or download and use Ubuntu for a few weeks. My previous experiences with Ubuntu had been a bit of a lackluster of an experience: driver issues, software issues, even included software would break. So certainly I didn’t go in with high hopes, until I met Quantel Quetzal.
Who the flip is Quantel Quetzal? That is the code name for Ubuntu 12.10, the version currently available at the time of the installation. Now before I start praising Quantels feats and abilities, know that the default GUI Environment, Unity, has got to be the greatest step BACKWARDS I’ve ever seen and I have also broken my installation about 3x in the first few days (turns out I like to [email protected]# with things). Otherwise, it’s been pretty nice, I chose to go with Ubuntu’s setting called Ubuntu Studio which looks like a clean version of Gnome (understand Gnome and Unity as kind of Windows 8’s Metro and Desktop environments).
Since installing and getting Ubuntu to my liking, I’ve done almost everything with it. It’s my TV to watch movies on, Office to answer emails and forum posts, Social Connection for facebook and twitter, and Music library. Now sure you can say that even your Ipod is all that, but I don’t think you really understand, the speed increase of Ubuntu over Windows is overwhelming, I feel much safer on the interweb then before, and with it’s apps that integrate with the system, everything feels natural. I have an Audio Recorder (dubbed Audio Recorder) that automatically records my pandora and spotify songs Â that I don’t have in my library and saves them with a name as “Artist – Song Name”. My internet setting also comes coupled with an easier and native way for me to connect to my VPN so my office is where ever I am and my IP is always at that other (secure) location. While I cant game on the computer, well cant play new games really, I can run anything basic I need in Wine or a Virtual Machine which emulates Windows. Lastly with the multiple desktop support, I actually have different screens have different windows Maximized and nothing is hidden behind any thing else.
It’s just been a great time, I really love Ubuntu and really dislike Windows Â 8, that’s for another story though. So if you want to see what I’m talking about, go to ubuntu.com and download a “Live CD” to try it out without even losing windows.