Sunday, 8 May 2011

Windoze or Ubuntu (Linux)?

I more or less promised last week to talk about why I tend to use Ubuntu Linux these days instead of Windows.

What would I miss about Windows?

1/  Excel
2/  . . . hardly anything else!

However, there is always the option of using it by running a copy of Windows in Oracle's excellent (and still free) VirtualBox environment on Ubuntu.  Windows in a window is a compromise.

What would I miss about Ubuntu?

0/  Security (I think)
1/  General speed and responsiveness
2/  The online community's help with (almost) whatever problem I meet whereas for Windoze it seems more difficult.
3/  LaserJet 1000 printer driver (none available on 64 bit Win7 but no problem in Ubuntu)
4/  Multiple desktops - how you get used to having this facility! 
5/  Easy way to save Youtube videos as they download - grab them from the cache folder.
6/  Ubuntu One synch so easy - if you trust cloud computing.  (And OK - there are other ways to do this on Windows.)
7/  Tomboy notes just work and synch.  I keep little notes to myself and can open them on each of the three machines that I use regularly.  (Cloud computing again though.)
8/  It's free
9/  Its so easy to reinstall in event of a major problem - and did I mention . . . free!
10/  Freedom from Win7's unexplained one minute freeze ups experienced on my laptop
11/  Login window without a visible choice of user names.  (This used to be available in Win XP but seems to have vanished in Win 7 and I regard it to be a security feature, albeit 'soft security')
12/  And finally - OK I admit it - It is not Windows.  My slightly anarchical world view is showing through.)

I would admit that there are still some slightly negative points about using Linux but I can live with these:

1/  Shorter battery life on my laptop - this is the only really annoying factor.
2/  A few niggles about wireless network cards and in some versions the reluctance of the PC to suspend to RAM (sleep) and resume (wake).
3/  Intel/nvidia's Optimus technology - there are no linux drivers if you are unlucky to have that hardware.  You lose the speed and 3D acceleration but just have basic graphics.  I'm quite happy without it as my graphics card is not nvidia and the processor is not Intel.  Nvidia always used to be the Linux users graphic card supplier of choice, for good compatibility.  Clearly their policy has changed.  What a pity.
4/  I suppose if you are a big game player there might be other items too.  

So have I upgraded to Ubuntu 11.04 yet?  Well - yes on my laptop.  The experience is generally rather positive too.  More on that topic soon.


Derby Sceptic said...

I have just updated one machine to Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, Precise Pangolin - don't you just love the names?

My only concern is now that Oracle have got their hands on Javascript (and Open Office which is why 12.04 ships with Libre Office) they may start making life difficult. I believe they are already making waves for Android and it's use of java, and Android is a development of Linux.

Keep your eyes peeled!

Derby Sceptic said...

Another benefit of Linux I have found is when you get the call from one of these scam companies claiming they have identified a problem with your computer - just tell them you run Linux and they are stumped!