Back With New Ubuntu Linux
|Sorry for the lack of updates to the blog. I lost a hard drive and had to recover files. As someone who left the world of paying Bill Gates for Windows some time ago, this meant installing Linux. If you are not already a Linux buff, that means installing an alternate operating system to Microsoft Windows – all free and open source.|
My favorite flavor of Linux is Ubuntu, which releases an updated official version about every six months. It's very easy to install, and basically fool-proof. Being foolish, I decided to go with the latest “experimental” version called “Flight 5”, which means it has the latest “bleeding edge” code being developed. It was really easier than I imagined, and the problems I encountered were actually few. If you don't know at least a little about Linux and have some command line familiarity, some fixes could stump you. The reward for going this route is having the newest features available.
Once everything was up and functioning, I then went further to install something called XGL and Compiz. This takes advantage of code released into open source by Novell in the last month, who has been doing great things in Linux development and contribution of their results. Installing this was not easy, but if you have the patience to do so, you'll be blown away at the results.
You'll get a user interface or desktop that is stunning. Some of the effects are cool eye candy, while others are useful features that are unbelievable. You wind up with a 3-D computer system that is aesthetically superb, customizable, and improves ease of use and productivity.
The next Microsoft release, codenamed “Longhorn”, has been delayed once again until next January. Given the sophistication and features you can obtain right now with Linux, you can have a system that is generations ahead of WindowsXP. It's not even a close contest. Moreover, when the new Windows does come out, you'll not only pay for the software, but find you'll need to upgrade your computer's memory, CPU, and video card to run it properly. I built my computer several years ago, and the state of the art Linux I am describing hums along just fine on it.
The truly amazing part for me was the close cooperation between users and developers in the Ubuntu support community. When I would get stuck, and request help in the Ubuntu forum, another user would provide a solution, often within minutes. Sometimes you see a glitch being fixed in the coding itself by a contributing programmer within hours of it being identified and the solution being uploaded. The talent these folks have and donate to making this happen are so impressive.
Here's a few links if you want to know more, and even preview Compiz by watching videos of it in action.
Ubuntu Support Forum
Novell Compiz Announcement
I'm back in the saddle now with my uber-cool new operating system, so expect posts to resume as usual.