Kubuntu/Ubuntu – One year later

I can’t believe it. It has actually been a year (give or take) since I jumped into using Kubuntu. I was really nervous about giving up my second hard drive to an “unproven” operating system that I had absolutely NO experience with, but a couple of guys at work recommended Ubuntu.

Frankly, I prefer the eye-candy, so I went with Kubuntu and it’s prettier (arguably) K-desktop. I will admit that out of the box there were the usual growing pains. I had to get MP3 and other codecs, roll in Flash support, learn apt-get (okay, I could’ve used Adept, but apt-get is superior in my mind), add repositories, and determine where all my programs actually were.

For your average person this is too much work. You had to like problem-solving and/or be a geek to work through these issues. Now all a person has to do is follow the easy steps to install Automatix, then check some boxes, and their issues are solved. Granted, Automatix was around when I jumped in headfirst, but it wasn’t widely known or promoted.

Today I can happily say that I don’t switch back to XP except to occasionally watch a stream or Flash animation that won’t work in Linux (Flash 9 isn’t out yet). If hardware and software vendors would just give a bit more support to Linux, those issues could be squashed and I wouldn’t have any reason to keep it taking up a 40GB drive.

Frankly, Kubuntu works fine to surf, email, process documents, edit photos, watch movies, download, and burn CD’s (LOTS of that for me). I have yet to find any need on my PC that Linux cannot accomplish, and I would consider myself a “stronger than average” user.

Perhaps the initial growing pains are too much for most people to overcome. Perhaps Microsoft is succeeding in holding Linux adoption down. Perhaps PC users are lazy.

I don’t know the reason why Linux adoption hasn’t skyrocketed. Perhaps it will if some savvy group, company, or person makes their push right now. Microsoft won’t have Vista in people’s hands until after the end of the year!

An effort to get those Win98 users who still haven’t upgraded (or can’t) would almost certainly succeed with measurable results. The OS is the right price, support is only a geek-away, and once setup it works quite well.

I have rambled enough. To summarize: Kubuntu works well, and I have little reason to consider keeping Windows around. To all of you other users: GO CONVERT SOMEONE!

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