When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

21 August 2006

WaPo: Mere Users Could Leap Into Tinkerer's World

If you're disappointed with Windows XP, scared to death of Windows Vista, and thinking about dipping your toes into the techie waters of Linux on the desktop, there's never been a better time.

The Linux operating system -- a free, open-source alternative to Windows and Mac OS X -- has long served to define the gap between people who merely use computers and those who tinker with them.If you counted yourself among the first group, you probably were irked by the some-assembly-required ethos of Linux. If you were in the second group, that same aspect was more likely to be a source of satisfaction.

But that dividing line may be fading. On one hand, the security problem with Windows seems as bad as ever for many people -- especially those still running pre-XP releases ineligible for some of Microsoft's latest fixes. On the other hand, Linux's developers have been working to fix the issues that have understandably spooked outsiders.

These days, Linux is a lot less likely to bite your hand off.

Mere Users Could Leap Into Tinkerer's World (Washington Post , August 20, 2006)

And how. The reporter goes on to extol the virtues of Ubuntu 6.06, generally acknowledged to be the most user-friendly desktop Linux install yet.

Put bluntly, this is the first Linux distribution I've seen that I'd consider putting on, say, my elderly aunt's PC. Especially if you've got older PC equipment and you mostly need to send and receive e-mail, surf the Web, and do basic multimedia stuff, you should look into Ubuntu.

For the record, my preferred Unix-based OS is Mac OS X, but at the moment I own just one (recently purchased) Mac; meanwhile, I still own two PCs and have the use of a third (home desktop, home laptop, and work laptop.) It'll be a while before I can afford to replace them all with Macs, if ever.

So I've got Ubuntu installed in a secondary partition on the two PCs I own right now, and between them and the new MacBook, I am happily using Microsoft products less and less as time goes by.


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