Ubuntu 10.10 Is Just More Fun

ubuntuMy mom has been happily running Ubuntu on her desktop for years. She never complains, it just works. She has a little netbook that runs Windows, and I'm always getting support calls about that machine, but I never get a single call about her Ubuntu PC.

A couple of years ago, I wrote about how I salvage PCs that start choking on the weight of Windows. I install Ubuntu, a Linux-based operating system. I've done just that a lot this week.

It started when the family desktop suffered a hardware failure. It's been running Windows XP since XP was new, so I tried to save it by installing Ubuntu. I also got my grubby mitts on a couple of old laptops that were fit for the pit, and managed to save one with Ubuntu 8.10. Note: When it runs slow with Ubuntu 10.10, try 8.10 which requires far fewer horses under the hood.

Today, I decided to bite the bullet and actually bought my first new desktop in almost a decade. For $250 I got a fancy new case with an AMD Athlon II X2 245 processor, 2 GB of DDR2 800 memory and a 500 GB hard drive. I brought it home and installed Ubuntu 10.10 and it's super fast and delightfully stable.

Truth be known, I thought Ubuntu 9 was pretty ugly, but Ubuntu 10 looks fantastic. As more and more of our daily computer tasks move to the browser, you have to ask yourself why you'd want to pay for a Windows license when it's just more fun in Ubuntu... not to mention free.

I'm sticking with Ubuntu... at least until the Google O/S gets released and I give that a whirl.

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Sam from Scarbrough

Huh !!

November 26, 2010 @ 7:06 AM


WOW... Mike... your Ubuntu journey runs very parallel to mine. About 2 years ago I took the full plunge to Ubuntu. Instead of Ubuntu being a second class OS citizen charged with salvaging old hardware to squeeze out a few more years I bought all brand new stuff and made it my main desktop. Wifey made the switch with no issues and I can honestly say I haven't looked back once. I run a upnp server to stream my media to my PS3. I easily log in from work to kick off background downloads and processing, and there's basically a tool available for everything I need. I can go 30+ days without a reboot.

Unfortunately I still have to run Windows in a virtual machine for Blackberry Sync, Blackberry Development, and iTunes (I use Virtualbox for that, which works great).

All that being said, I'm looking at snapping up my first MAC today from the Apple store (there's a $100 off deal). I "had" to get it for iPhone development, although I won't lie, I'm pretty pumped to finally own my own sweet-ass MAC laptop. BUT, my ubuntu machine will still act as the main hub for all files, media, heavy weight processing (maybe even a MythTV box for the living room).

November 26, 2010 @ 9:50 AM


I too have been running solely Ubuntu since 8.10 and haven't looked back.

The eye candy with Compiz is pretty sweet as well. There isn't anything in Windows that you can't do in Ubuntu...even running Windows apps via Wine. Game support is still iffy, but I'm not a gamer, so don't care. Everything else...works like butta.

November 26, 2010 @ 9:47 PM


Ubuntu = next Slackware, Red Hate, Fedora...Mandrake, blah blah blah. I been on the wire for 17 years dude...heard this story over and over. Same for Google Apps. Great ideas do not always pan out.

November 27, 2010 @ 2:12 AM


There are a variety of Win/Dos (yes dos) games and programs that are must-haves for my PC: MAME, GrandPrix2 with dozens of bootleg tracks such as Mosport and Toronto Indy, Virtual Pinball (versions 6-8), JpegSaver screensaver program, Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf running in XP with VDMSound, even a real old Lotus 123 where I can quickly type 2+2 without requiring a lousy equal sign character (found buried along the top row?? - so I use a small free keyboard remapper program for the right control button).

I finally tried Open Office this year; within 30 hours of installing it I was hit with a computer virus against two files. No thanks to once well intended and designed but aging free community bloatware. Virtual Pinball /Pinmame & MAME went that way too, after being taken over by "free community" developers.

November 27, 2010 @ 10:02 AM

Great ideas

Irvine, I'm respectfully trying to parse your statement.

Great ideas don't always pan out?

Linux is road proven as a Windows alternative. Everybody has a preferred distro, and Ubuntu is stellar as a Windows replacement because of how intuitive it is. No wonder Toronto Mike's mom uses it.

Linux is free, supported and safe. Gamers aside, it's a great idea that has panned out.

November 27, 2010 @ 10:16 AM


Irvine: Not sure what your point is at all. You've pointed out OS's, yet threw in Google Apps. Completely different.

The difference with Ubuntu is it's corporate backer (Cononical) is focused on "usability". While Novel via Red Hate went after the corporate market and never made it into mainstream. Ubuntu is different, in that it is trying to attract typical Windows users away- and it appears that they're doing it well.

Remember, 80% of corporate and enterprise level systems run some variation of Linux on the back-end, not Windows. Even routers, VPN boxes, switches and most perimeter facing web servers run Linux.

Linux just works, it's free, and with Compiz effects enables, can blow away anything Windows can do. It's also extremely light-weight. Something Windows is not.

November 27, 2010 @ 10:48 AM


Sorry dudes, but Linux is not a viable option to Windows for the typical user. You sound like a bunch of Linux fan boi's (which have been saying this for 10+ years). Linux will not replace Windows to any extent on the desktop. It holds a tiny fraction of the market and that has never changed. Ubuntu is NOT stealing users from Windows. Mac is.

Oh, and in case you think I have no idea what I'm talking about I'm Sun Solaris and LPIC Certified (as in advanced level). I've forgotten more than you will ever know.

The only use for Linux is for servers, web servers (with Apache) and for programmers that write PHP, etc.

Good try tho.

PS. Real UNIX/Linux dudes do NOT use a GUI. They use command line

you belong here /dev/null.

November 27, 2010 @ 6:19 PM


Neat. I'm gonna wait a couple of months, get a smaller laptop (either a 13 incher or a netbook) and run Ubuntu on it.I don't want to risk doing it on my own on my main laptop but I really wanna try Ubuntu.

November 28, 2010 @ 11:44 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

You can actually try Ubuntu without installing it. Burn the iso file to CD, boot from CD and you'll get a prompt to try Ubuntu without installing it.

My Windows laptop is getting dusty when I'm not in the office, because I far prefer working on my new desktop running Ubuntu.

November 28, 2010 @ 12:01 PM


Irvine "Oh, and in case you think I have no idea what I'm talking about I'm Sun Solaris and LPIC Certified (as in advanced level). I've forgotten more than you will ever know."

a total network of over 3k+ workstations in every flavor possible with interfacing and db translations, etc - what you've forgotten is blowing your own horn is a sign of ignorance... Ubuntu is bloated, but for the newb's it fits the bill - a pre-canned solution that 98% of the time - just works. I run nothing but linux, directx and stream decoding are the only show stoppers to date. A look at Microsoft Servers and business solution log files and critical events is enough to send a seasoned pro to the nut house...

January 3, 2011 @ 8:16 PM


i've run out of time trying command lines as suggested on the net to install ubuntu netbook correctly on a usb pen in order to get a friend's acer aspire running.could you please suggest a computer shop guy who can prep our usb pen reasonably?
anywhere along toronto lakeshore

June 5, 2011 @ 10:25 PM

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