Impressive Ubuntu (Linux) install!

Yesterday I decided to finally install Ubuntu Linux on my Dell C600 laptop with its 700 MHz PIII. I’d just reinstalled XP a few months ago and figured that I could use Ubuntu instead of XP as a backup laptop. Well, was I surprised when the Ubuntu installer offered to resize one of my NTFS partitions to make room! I figured, what the heck, so I let it go. Well, guess what? — it worked! The NTFS partition is about 6GB smaller and still completely usable from within XP. So, my laptop now has both XP SP2 and Ubuntu Linux.

Sweet!

Took most of half of yesterday to figure out how to get wireless working. Ubuntu is based on Debian so I read a bit about it online and then figured out that I was reading the wrong stuff since I use WPA. So, I reset my brain and started reading a whole different set of documentation, some of which was out of date and some was just plain ole difficult to fathom. But, in the end, I got it running. Now, when I plug my wireless card it, wpa_supplicant starts up automatically and logs me into the correct access point on my home network.

Again, sweet!

My experiences, though, show me why Linux isn’t ready for the casual home user. I had to go through way too much techie stuff for the average user. My knowledge of Unix in general and Linux in particular along with my networking knowledge were the only things that saved me. It also reminds me why I gave up using VM under GNU Emacs to read my email. When you have the time, it’s great to customize your environment and have to rebuild it every time a new release comes out but when you don’t have the time … well, let’s just say it’s not the best.

OK, now that I’ve got that off my chest, let me say again about my Ubuntu installation:

SWEET!

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