I “built” my first Linux powered computer system for $31. I didn’t really need it, but I wanted a distraction from getting important stuff done. Three years later, consumer friendly flavors of Linux have come a long way. This week, Conical released their latest version of Ubuntu. Natty Narwhal sounds so much cooler than XP, or Vista and backs up it’s geeky name with a modern refresh of the operating system. The biggest change is a new Unity launching bar that works a lot like Mac’s OSX dock or the Windows 7 task bar. Lots of die hard Ubuntu users are not happy with the change but I like it.
Why should you run Ubuntu instead of XP?
Dude, it’s spring. As in, “spring cleaning”. You really need a better excuse to GLD? Okay, it’s prettier to look at than XP, faster than XP, less venerable to viruses than XP, has a better file management system, and looks way cooler/geekier running on your computer. Go check it out here.
What do I need to get started?
You need an uncool PC running Window XP or Vista to start. I have an Acer Revo 1600 net-top that I got at BestBuy a year ago for about $160. This would be a great operating system for many early netbooks as well. Then download the Ubuntu OS and burn it onto a disk or USB stick. You can boot the whole thing from that disc and try it out.
What software can it run?
I have Google Chrome and Firefox installed for web browsing. I also installed Skype, VLC and Dropbox. There’s built in apps for creating documents, and listening to music. That’s all I really need, but there’s plenty more.
How does it all work together?
Pretty good. I like it a lot. It’s still not quite as nice as the latest macs, but hell of a lot cheaper. If most of what you do is browse the web, I think you’ll like it a lot. If not, well at least you avoided some of that spring cleaning.