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Thursday, September 2, 2021

Ubuntu

I Don't Get It

Every now and then I get the urge to change up my desktop and try something new. Recently, my laptop running Windows 7 crashed giving me a perfect opportunity to try Ubuntu. I did a search and found there was a relatively new version of Ubuntu released.  Great! I downloaded the latest version for desktops (there are versions for desktops, netbooks, and servers) and burned a CD. You can test the OS by loading it directly from the CD or by installing it as the main OS or side-by-side with Windows. After a quick test running it from the CD I decided to load it as my main operating system as my Windows 7 was already gone.

I was looking for a fast, clean and lean OS. I always liked the look of linux systems. The Ubuntu website boosts these very features:

"Super-fast and great-looking, Ubuntu is a secure, intuitive operating system that powers desktops, servers, netbooks and laptops. Ubuntu is, and always will be, absolutely free."

Ubuntu is certainly all that. And I would have continued to use it except for my biggest disappointment. Flash playback in full screen. Flash playback in normal mode plays fine, but playback is really choppy at full screen. I downloaded the latest Flash player with no improvement. I downloaded the previous version of Flash player as recommended on some forums, but still no improvement. After spending a couple of days browsing forums for a solution, I decided to throw-in-the-towel. Unfortunately, this was a deal breaker.

I was willing to give it a decent go, but I just don't get it. If you do a search for pros and cons of using Linux, it seems to all boil down to a few features:

  • it's free
  • it's not Windows
  • it's better at cracking wifi networks than Windows
  • in general is a more secure environment than Windows

That's about it. It seems that most users still run Windows most of the time and just use Ubuntu for the occasional project. Though you can do pretty well most things with this latest release of Ubuntu, and installation and usability has been much improved, there are still plenty of cons:

  • there is a wider selection of programs available for Windows
  • the best programs are still created for Windows (and Mac to some extent)
  • you can run Windows apps in Ubuntu using wine, but why not just use Windows
  • a lot (and I mean A LOT) of configurations requires imputing instructions into a terminal which most new users are uncomfortable with
  • Windows has better drivers and the drivers are easier to find
  • gaming is not as good as Windows
  • full screen video is choppy and a fix is hard to impossible to find

In terms of software, Ubuntu does come with the Open Office Suite, which is an excellent, full-featured product. To a large extent it is compatible with Microsoft Office products and then some. Just be careful if you are exporting or saving a document in a Word or Excel format. It might not be completely compatible when opened by Word or Excel, particularly if the document is somewhat complex.

All that being said, I still like the look of Linux and since I needed to install an OS I opted to step back to Windows XP (SP3) and look for a Ubuntu theme. Windows XP is a little leaner than Windows 7 and runs all the applications I need and use on a regular basis. I found this website, Make Windows XP desktop look like Gnome, which provided links to all the downloads I needed to make my machine look like Ubuntu. I've been running this for about three weeks now and am quite happy with it. Here's what my desktop currently looks like.

 

 

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we are listening

Andrei said:

Friday, July 1, 2021

Flash is integrated into Google Chrome. One can easily download google chrome for linux and it works reasonably well. Fullscreeen also works. I'm using debian but should be the same in Ubuntu.