I have been using Ubuntu for the past two months and I have started to love it. After about twenty years with Windows, finally I have spent two full months without a windows machine at home and I do not miss it at all.

Already my wife has switched to Mac about a year ago and I was using windows on some of the netbooks that I got last year. Towards the end of last year, I took two very old laptops and wanted to try and get them used at this time, as they were lying around idle. I downloaded Ubuntu OS image on my MAC machine and cut a bootable disk using it.

After that I found out that kubuntu, a offshoot using KDE from the same ubuntu team was also available. So I downloaded a Kubuntu OS image also and got a installation disk ready.

Since I read good reviews about Kubuntu over Ubuntu, I decided to install Kubuntu. The installation was the smoothest ever in my life – having started from DOS then on to Windows 3.1, 95,98, 2000, Me, XP and then Vista (oh I also had tried Linux for sometime in 1995 as well as recently in 2006). The only limitation I found with Kubuntu was that after I logged in, the display was quite wierd. I tried to adjust it and also read up about it, but it was of no use. I immediately tried the same installation on another laptop and I got the same problem. So I cut another new Kubuntu disk, as I was worried if something was corrupted with the disk. Repeated the installation from scratch, still the same issue. At this point I gave up on Kubuntu.

Now I went back to the Ubuntu installation disk and tried the installation on one of the laptops. Just like Kubuntu, the experience was very good – without any issues the installation was complete. Right after that I restarted the machine, with my fingers crossed, and there it came..the beautiful Ubuntu login screen. I logged in and from that day till now, I have had zero issues with Ubuntu.

I have Ubuntu 9.11 (Karmic version) installed on my laptops and to my wonder, some of the software it comes pre installed with are:
– Open Office Suite: This allows me to manage all my documents, spreadsheets, presentations, etc – bye bye MS Office
– Evolution Mail: This is a mail client and helps me connect to my mail servers
– Firefox Browser: This has been my browser of choice and I am happy it is available on this OS by default
– Empathy IM: This is a IM client, built into the OS, allowing me to access various IM services such as Yahoo, AOL, MSN, GTalk, etc.
– GIMP Image Editor: This will help manage all photos and images – similar to Adobe’s Photoshop.

I am just amazed at the simplicity of the beautiful implementation of open source in this product, with integration into other reputed open source applications such as Open Office, Firefox, etc.

What this also means is that it saves the time I would have had to otherwise spend on installing these additional applications on my machine.

The next step is to install Netbeans on it and I should be on my way towards developing my next LAMP application using my laptop.

If you are ready to try it out go to http://www.ubuntu.com/ or let me know if you have any questions on this and I can try and help.

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