Why I keep coming back to Ubuntu

Every so often something will happen with my desktop that I need to rebuild it. Maybe I get a new SATA drive that’s faster, so I make it my new boot drive, or I build up a new desktop or whatever, XP just gets fat and slow and needs to be reinstalled (you know you do this at least once a year). I always find myself putting Ubuntu back on one of the secondary drives, and the last two times I ended up buying an additional drive to just do that. This time is no different.

There’s a surprise in every box

I get to about step 4 in the installation and it looks at my id 0 drive, sees I have a Windows XP account, and asks if I want to import this user? WTF?! How cool is that! Hell yes I want to import that user! So I select yes and fill in my info and move on. What to my wondering eyes does appear? Everything! My desktop, preconfigured links to all of my other drives, folders and information from that windows account. Before you would have had to install the extra drives, and adjust some text doc to get them mount on boot every time; not any more! This is a huge step in the right direction.

I start about my business again, chatting with the fam, and installing my favorite applications and utilities. Automatix is on the top of the list. With that installed I get on with it; nVidia, Flash, Acrobat, yada yada yada…. I restart after the nVidia install, and damn it! My primary monitor is now my little 17 incher instead of my 20 inch wide screen. Gah! This happened before and it took me a 1/2 hour to get the freakin xserver right. Navigating to the Preferences menu, I open the nVidia setting manager, and notice right away it has support for both my monitors, and simply show that the big Dell is disabled. So I enable it, set it to be left of the little shooter; and KAPPOW! I have dual monitors in Ubuntu! Again with the great googily moogily! I was never able to get this to work before Feisty; ever. I wasted hours screwing around with the settings, crashing xserver, and combing forum posts and the good juju never showed for me. Until now.

Why Ubuntu still isn’t a consumer product

As I happily install some cool things, like the new Ubuntu Studio, I suddenly notice that my xorg server is dead! Upon restart it wouldn’t come back up and I couldn’t figure out how to get it back to a happy place – so I aced the install and started with kubuntu. I should have known better – but I figured what the hell? Lot’s of folks like it, and KDE is pretty slick. So what do I get for my trouble? A failed install, and errors upon updating. So again, I aced the install and here I am back to ubuntu – and I am happy again. It’s this exact sort of non-recoverable GUI failure that keeps Linux off the shelves as a valid, stable consumer product. It’s bad enough when windows goes south, but to get stuck at a command line because you ran an update, I don’t know too many non-computer types that would deal well with staring them in the face.

My top 10 list

The top 10 things I love most about Ubuntu…. hmmmm…..

  1. It’s super easy to install, and fast
  2. It now easily supports dual monitors
  3. Automatic imports of Windows user profile
  4. Automatic mounting of NTFS drives
  5. Almost all the apps I need are preinstalled
  6. Beryl
  7. It’s free
  8. Great online community
  9. Great applications for it, and they’re free too
  10. Tux
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