Ubuntu: 1 Windows:0

June 5, 2010

The other evening my cousin called, he had phoned to say that he was on the way but gave no clue as to the reason for the visit. When he arrived he was carrying his daughters netbook, a bright pink Acer Aspire One (10.2″ model). I remembered that I had promised to install Ubuntu on the machine for her but had forgotten to do so as the weeks passed. She had seen Ubuntu for the first time when my cousin took possession of my own AA1 (the original 8.9″ model) earlier on in the year and had liked the look and feel of it. Over the next few weeks however she also became impressed with the overall speed of the machine especially during the boot process. Her own machine had XP along with all the normal bloatware installed by Acer, booted to the desktop at least 20 to 30 seconds after Ubuntu and then took another 30 before the desktop was usable, meanwhile her dad had been browsing happily for what seemed like minutes.
I was looking forward to having another Linux convert, so I plunged in, popped a USB pen drive into a slot, booted up and prepared to install Ubuntu 10.04. Then I found out that she used a 3G dongle for her Internet connection. In an instance what had seemed like a normal familiar installation became fraught with the expectation of failure. Although I had seen many 3G dongles I had never seen one in operation on Linux and had no experience to fall back on. I hastily tried the dongle in my own machine running 10.04 and was delighted to find that it was detected and recognised immediately. A few clicks and one PIN later it was configured and connected.
An hour later the installation was completed, the bottom panel had been deleted and replaced by Avant Window Navigator, the machine was tested, including making the process of connecting the dongle automatic and was ready to be returned to it’s owner.
I’ve been a Linux user now for about the last two years and after some initial distro hopping settled on Ubuntu as my distro of choice because of it’s simplicity and ease of use. The majority of the installations I have done for family and friends in that time have also been Ubuntu or it’s derivative Linux Mint. Every one of those installations presented its own difficulties and each in its own way contributed to my ever increasing knowledge and confidence in Linux.