I have been a Mac user at home and stuck with Windows at work for years. It should be fair to say I am a half-and-half Mac and Windows person. But I am definitely a Mac believer. So, how do I feel about Ubuntu?
It’s a little scary at first. My installation didn’t go too smooth. When I was stuck at the command line during the first reboot, I really didn’t know what to do. I knew zero Linux commands. A little bit of luck led me to the right commands and straightened things out.
Once I got into the Ubuntu desktop, I started to customize things. The list of selections in the Preferences menu is quite foreign but I found my way around. Took me a while to find out how to install Firestarter and I learned a few things about the Package Manager. I visited the Help menu many times during these first few hours of Ubuntu experience but not very much of it makes sense or actually works exactly like it described.
I am very much lost with the Hibernate and Suspend functions. The laptop powers down but I can’t get it to wake up. Is there a special keyboard shortcut for wake up? If there is, I don’t know what it is. I kept turning the machine off by holding the power button and reboot again. I hope I didn’t break anything in the process.
From a Mac person’s point of view, I think it takes an adventurous person to get into Ubuntu. It doesn’t seem to work “right out of the box” like the Mac OS. The Help menu needs a little more work than providing links to the other sections. All in all, I feel okay with it. May be I will get more comfortable later. My main purpose for getting an old but relatively small laptop is to be able to get on the internet while I travel and to have my own computer to give presentation at events instead of borrowing from someone else (bad experience the last time I did that). I think the laptop will fulfill its purpose after I add a few hardware.
First off, I need a new battery. I kept it plugged to the AC during the installation. And now Ubuntu is working, the battery lasts only 30 minutes on its own and I’ve already turned the screen brightness way down to 2%. eBay shopping, here I come.
I need a wireless PC card but I don’t know which one would work with the laptop in Ubuntu. The list of supported wireless cards posted in the Ubuntu documentation is so long that I don’t know where to begin.
I also want to get a smaller/lighter mouse for travel. I read about the MoGo Mouse BT yesterday and I thought it’s such a cool thing. It uses Bluetooth and stores in the PC card slot for recharge. I have little hope that it would work in Ubuntu.