Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Thanks Ubuntu

Mark Shuttleworth recently responded to criticism of the Ubuntu project with a very thoughtful piece: "Reflections on Ubuntu, Canonical and the march to free software adoption"

As someone who has been using Ubuntu for mary years (since Breezy Badger), I have nothing but admiration for what Mark has enabled the Ubuntu people to achieve.

Sure, there have been problems along the way, but the result is an operating system that is a pleasure to use. A few years back I introduced my sister to it, she's been running it fine on her laptop for some time. Just this weekend I helped her fix a printer issue using the desktop sharing in empathy (she is in the UK, I'm in Canada).

This weekend I installed Ubuntu on a friends laptop and an old pc tower. The laptop was taking 15 minutes to boot into windows (probably malware issues, but I'm not the person to fix that). So I installed Ubuntu along side, had it import the user's documents and settings and now they are delighted: 30 seconds and they have a machine that is snappy and fun to use.

The pc tower was her son's. Or at least that was what I thought. It was failing to boot at all. It booted fine from a Lucid Lynx disc, so I asked if it was OK to wipe the disk and install. He said, "Yes, go ahead". So about an hour later it was up and running. Only later that day did I discover her son had two pc towers, one was his, one a friend's he had in his room. No prizes for guessing which one I'd upgraded. Oops. Happily, the friend came by later and was delighted with his new, snappy computer, loaded with useful software.

Thanks Mark and everyone involved in Ubuntu.

1 comment:

Denise Fung said...

John - I'm a radio producer with CBC Ottawa. I'm hoping you're the John Gill who wrote an editorial letter about single-transferable votes and the municipal election. If I have the right John Gill, please contact me at Denise . Fung