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Category Archives: Computers

I’ve been using Ubuntu at home for over a year now, and overall, it blows Windows away in just about every category. Ubuntu respects that I might like some control over my computer, unlike Vista, which assumes that I am a retard who needs to be protected from making critical system changes like renaming shortcuts in my Start menu or installing software that might be of questionable origin, like AutoCAD and Nero.

I am unlucky enough to be the owner of the sole Vista machine at my place of work, and a couple weeks ago I finally got sick of Vista planting its jackboots in my ribs every time I tried to interact with the computer. After a bit of a hassle (entirely due to Vista not being intelligent enough to consolidate data so I could make a new partition), I got Ubuntu installed and XP up and running in VirtualBox so I could run AutoCAD without having to reboot to Windows. No hardware or driver issues, no activation required, and a big performance increase to top it all off. That being said, the Ubuntu crew needs to work on a few things if there is any hope of Ubuntu attracting non-technical users and overtaking Windows.

First off, this business of manually editing text files to configure programs must end. There is no reason that I should have to hunt around looking for a incomprehensible text file to get something working, and an non-technical user isn’t even going to realize that a text file could control how a piece of software works. I’m very glad to see that Hardy Heron eliminated the need to configure display settings in a text file, because that was ridiculous.

Another thing that needs to be eliminated is the need to do some things from the command line. I really like using the command line and in a lot of cases it’s faster and easier than using a GUI, but no way should a regular user have to type commands in Bash. I don’t think it should be eliminated or made less powerful; it just needs to be hidden from everyone but power users.

Another problem I’ve had occurred with Ubuntu’s automatic update feature. The updater had downloaded the updates and was installing them when it locked up. It might not have been such a big deal, except that it was installing a kernel update when it locked up. I had no choice but to reboot, and when I tried to boot into Ubuntu, my OS was toast. I couldn’t get Ubuntu to boot despite trying a bunch of things to fix it. So, I had to completely re-install Ubuntu. I can imagine what people would do if this happened to them using Windows: they would throw their hands up, say it was a horrible OS, and start wondering if there were alternatives.

The gist of things is that Ubuntu needs to allow power-users the control they want under the hood, while still keeping the power of Linux covered up by default in a pretty GUI for non-technical users. Until then, the average user is stuck with Windows, which uses a pretty GUI to keep users from having any control whatsoever.