In the vein of recent posts, I thought I might take a second to explain how I came to use Ubuntu. My first Linux experience was with Red Hat 5 or 6 I believe. I got CD out of the back of one of those Teach your Linux books. I was probably 16 at the time, and I knew a fair bit about computers but nothing serious. But I could whip up a little Turbo Pascal and QBasic :) Anyhow, I was of the mindset that "Hacking" was cool, and Linux popped up a lot in 2600 and Phrack magazines. I remember it took me the better part of a whole weekend to install it to the point where I could finally bring up an X server with the tiled background and big black X. Getting it to use the dial up modem and connect to my ISP took several more hours. I played around with it for about a week I think, concluding "this is neat, but I'm not really sure what to do with it."
I am a PC, Mac, and Linux user. At night I dual boot between Vista and Ubuntu and during the day I use a Mac almost exclusively. As a result, there are many things I like about using my Mac at work and would not mind seeing them on my home desktop. Since buying a Mac right now for personal use is out of the question I have to make do with what I already have. At any rate, one of the Mac features I actually like is the Dock.
If you are reading this it is because I finally got around to taking Scott up on his request for Ubuntu content. I am not a well versed Linux user and over the years have had a love/hate relationship with Linux and the open source community. My beef is not with proprietary software as much as it is with outrageous pricing and no access to the code to make it work for you. I don’t believe Microsoft or Apple are 100% evil nor do I think that Linux or open source are always the best solution for the job - nor do I think Microsoft or Apple are always the best solution.
Recently a GNOME survey (aka the Neary report) came out that showed who contributes to GNOME and at what levels. Not so oddly enough the results of it turned out similarly to periodic Linux kernel surveys done by LWN and Greg KH. The results being that Red Hat is the top named contributor.
It just so happens that Canonical (the sponsor of Ubuntu) typically does not fair so well on such surveys and as a result they are often criticized for their perceived lack of upstream contributions.
Just got done reading, "Confessions of an Ubuntu Fanboy". While I'm glad the author has decided to be more practical in his promotion of Linux and Ubuntu, I strongly disagree with some of his conclusions and I'll cover them below.
I have been using Linux for about 15 years now and over the course of that time I've helped more people than I care to count with Linux installs, removals and everything in-between. I've seen people try Linux out for a few days and give up on it. I've seen people tough it out and become valued members of our local Linux community. Linux isn't for everyone and choice is good. I no longer advocate Linux for someone who isn't willing to learn new things. I quit trying to push it on people and now I'm somewhat selective in helping people the second they say they want to try Linux. I state up front that there is a learning curve and that they will need to expect it. If I sense that they don't have patience to learn new things, I don't even bother.
The problem with the article in question is that the author seems to want to try to make Linux for everyone and in doing so, he advocates violating some important tenants. He primarily focuses on Windows users but it could be any proprietary OS or applications.
Keir Thomas has released a new book (January 2009) , Ubuntu Pocket Guide and Reference and interestingly a pdf version is freely available for download.
I have taken a brief look at the PDF and it contains some interesting information and there are chapters on the command line interface (bash) and security, including encryption.
Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex didn't come with the newest version of Open Office, due to Open Office 3 not being released early enough for the developers to test it. If you don’t want to wait for the developers of Ubuntu to release Open Office 3, you can open synaptic package manager and add:
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/openoffice-pkgs/ubuntu intrepid main
to your third party software sources. Then update. Worked like a charm for me.
Just thought I would let everyone know that we have a public Ubuntu mirror on the Montana State University campus Bozeman. Feel free to use it as much as you would like. The mirror server is connected directly to our backbone network with gigabit speeds. Anyone on campus and at our regional campuses (Billings, Great Falls, etc) should benefit from very fast updates as well. Anyways here is the information:
I have a good friend, a fellow math major here at Rocky. He's a smart guy, but never really "got into" computers- he uses them for school and is as good as anyone researching on Google, but he never really had the time to learn about what makes a computer work. Not to say he's not interested, or wanting to learn- he's just been involved in other things.
My first Linux installation took place circa 1992, I pulled my hair out for a month or so while I was trying to figure out how to install this very interesting and FREE operating system.
I considered myself an intermediate level user who at this point was trying to learn how to program using the C programming language. Why not C++? At the time all the "beginners" books assumed that you knew the C programming language.
I was reading an article somewhere, probably in the now "merged" C/C++ user's Journal, that introduced an operating system that was "built for programmers by programmers". Needless to say, the best place to learn how to solve coding problems or learn about coding was to look at working code.
A whole operating system with the code! Perfect.