I finally got Linux installed on my netbook, and WOW! This journal is just a first look; I've been in it all of an hour now.
I found a utility called Linux Live USB to boot this thing into Linux. It's not the easiest utility I've ever found, but it's not the hardest, either. I wanted to install Mandriva, as I used Mandriva, KDE and LILO for almost ten years, but Mandriva didn't want to install. I've heard a lot of good things about Ubuntu so I thought I'd give it a shot. As I've always liked the KDE desktop I downloaded kUbuntu.
It took a while to download, since my internet connection is flaky. It's flaky because since there are usually unsecured wifi connections I couldn't see paying Comcast fifty bucks a month for cable, or AT&T twenty bucks for wifi. I may still go with AT&T, even though they pissed me off when I had Cingular and was happy with them, and AT&T took them over and my phone bill quadrupled. So I'm hesitant; the twenty bucks is for the first year of a two year contract and I shudder at what the second will cost, and wonder what fees and taxes are added to the twenty the first year. I called AT&T last Saturday and the recording said I had to call during "normal business hours".
I'm right on the signal fringe of the kind soul who's left his connection unsecured (and if I get a commercial ISP I plan on leaving mine unsecured as well), so the speed and availability are wildly variable. I had a great signal yesterday and the last half of kUbuntu came down the airwaves pretty fast.
I was downloading Foxit at the same time since Adobe's PDF reader has a zero-day that's being exploited, and even though it's only a 5mb file, a regular DL broke at every attempt. Bittorrent is a LOT more stable; your DL doesn't die just because you lose your connection for a while. kUbuntu has lots of peers and seeders, Foxit has few. It's only half downloaded.
Most people trumpet Windows ease of use. Most people are full of shit. Have you ever installed Windows on a white box? Linux is a breeze to install. I was a bit worried that kUbuntu's install would be more like Windows than Mandriva (Suse's was back in the day), but it was even easier than Mandriva's.
That was actually a drawback! With Mandriva you choose your apps during the install, kUbuntu installs its own choices, so I'll have to download and install Firefox to replace Konqueror, just as I had to in Windows to replace IE. I'm sure there are some other Ubuntu defaults I'll have to change as well.
It took months to start liking Windows 7. It took all of five minutes to start liking kUbuntu. It took all of one minute to get annoyed with windows 7, and ten to get annoyed with kUbuntu.
The first thing I noticed with this newer version of KDE is how incredibly gorgeous it is. It's as much prettier than Windows 7 is as Win 98 was the old KDE.
You hear about how hard setting up wifi in Linux is -- BULLSHIT! With a capital BULL and a capital SHIT. It, like Windows, has a little connection icon at the bottom right. It, unlike Windows, doesn't treat you like a moron, but it's actually easier to configure.
Unlike what the Windows trolls will tell you, everything in Windows is in KDE, and then some. The Acer's Fn key works just like in Windows, only their displays are better looking and more informative than in Windows.
But when I opened Konqueror, it couldn't find Google. That was the annoyance I mentioned earlier. So I booted back into Windows, to find -- my hotspot was gone. It wasn't Linux's fault after all.
As I typed this up my connection came back, so I booted back into Linux -- and was connected to the hotspot, but not the internet. It looks like I still have a little research and learning to do, but like I said, it was months before I had Windows 7 figured out despite using Windows for almost fifteen years, and I've only been using KUbuntu for ten minutes and I'm alread
Like I said, I'm typing this in notepad to post to slashdot, since I've yet to get Konqueror to pull slashdot up, and a goddamned window just popped up in front of my face asking me if I wanted to let Adobe update java. For Christs' sake! I had a similar popup in Linux, but it wasn't in my face and it didn't take focus away from what I was doing. And I just updated java yesterday!
I rebooted into Linux again... and I was able to pull up slashdot. Like Windows, it takes a few seconds to connect to the internet after it connects to the local wifi network.
Windows has a long way to go before it catches up with Linux's useability. For instance, if you reboot Windows, you have to restart every app and document and web page you had open, but with Linux it's just like you left it. Booting Windows you have to enter a password, Linux will do it for you. They've had both these features for over half a decade, Windows still doesn't.
Any machine that treats me like a five year old is crap. Windows treats you not only like you're five, but retarded as well, and does its best to make you feel like you're retarded.
Perhaps someday Windows will be ready for the desktop. I'm not holding my breath.