Thursday, 2 August 2007

Ubuntu switcher

About two weeks ago I installed Ubuntu on the Girlfriend's laptop, after her request. She had become fed up with the sluggish responsiveness of her Windows XP installation. There was also that virus incident not long ago.

At some point of frustration (coupled with a bit of cursing from her part :-) ) she asked me whether moving to Linux would make things any better. Trying to suppress my extreme geeky excitement I replied somewhere along the lines 'Well, I think it would. At least you won't get any viruses and most of those pop-ups would go away'.

She instantly liked the overall theme as well as the name. The included games were a big hit, especially Gnometris: ('Are you telling me I've got Tetris on my PC? Woohoo!'. I challenge you to find one worthy Tetris game on Windows XP). Then I installed Frozen Bubble which proved to be an instant hit too.

What she did not like was the carry-over wallpaper from her Windows XP account (Windows migration tool is quite impressive although it missed Firefox's bookmarks) . 'Eeeek! Am I back to Windows? Can you please take that away??'. She also got frustrated with the super-sensitive track pad but that was easy to fix too.

So for the last two weeks everything has been nice and dandy. I dare say that some things work better than they did in Windows XP. The wireless connection is one, while Internet radio streaming (in .asx format) has been stellar contrasted with Windows XP's (and sadly OS X's) hit and miss performance. I've set up read-write access to her NTFS partition where are her files still reside and put a shortcut on her desktop so she can find them easily.

From now on I can only guess how things will go. I guess she will eventually like the absence of viruses and adware and the general hassle-free environment. I've also noticed that Ubuntu has had zero dropped connections from our wireless home network. Windows XP was constantly struggling to connect to our home network even when the laptop was sitting next to the wireless router.

Of course she did not get involved with the process at all. I was solely responsible for setting everything up. After everything was done and dusted I just gave her a quick tutorial ("Here are your files, here is Firefox, here are the games"). There was no point in getting her involved with anything else like how I got the NTFS partition to work (super easy, just install the relevant utility). I consider it a success that she thinks it was as easy as it looked to her (and even to me). That's a big thumbs-up for the Ubuntu team by me.