[AI] Ubuntu: Linux for humans

vishnu ramchandani vishnuhappy at yahoo.com
Tue Apr 8 06:00:38 EDT 2008


Ubuntu: Linux for humans

Author: Ajit Nathaniel

No, Linux is not just for the geeks. Even you can be a
user.iT ADDA tells you how to go about using it... 

OKaY! So you’re sick of the old computer and want a
new one. You have it all figured out a nice processor
with a lot of RAM, an elegant TFT screen and of
course, a huge hard drive to store all your ‘stuff’. 

You go to the store, give your specifications, browse
the models and the options for operating systems.

Going all legal is an expensive proposition. Windows
itself costs a great deal of money and once you add on
an office package, anti virus software and
a firewall (with paid renewal every year), you realise
that you haven’t really budgeted for all of it.

What if you could find a way to keep software costs
down and spend your money on hardware and that sleek
22 inch TFT monitor? 

Ubuntu joy

Enter open source. Many years ago, Bruce Perens
published the ‘Open Source Definition’, outlining a
philosophy of software development that gave anybody
the right to possess, install, redistribute and
re-engineer software free of charge.

Ubuntu, tagged ‘Linux for human beings’, is becoming
popular among home users. You can order a free Ubuntu
installation CD with free shipping at www.ubuntu.com
(Yes! You will not be charged even for shipping.)

Installing Ubuntu is simple. Its installation, by
default, includes the Mozilla Firefox web-browser and
Pidgin, an instant messaging client that lets you
use Yahoo, MSN AIM and GoogleTalk in a single window.

The package comes with OpenOffice, with a word
processor, a spreadsheet and a database programme and
a presentation tool. Evolution Mail, an Email
programme
is also a part of the default package.

No virus!

You do not need an anti virus package because most
computer viruses are designed to attack Windows
computers.

Once the initial install is done, your computer can
connect to the Internet and download all the updates.

In case there is any hardware on your system that you
don’t have drivers for, Ubuntu will download them
automatically.

Your Internet enabled Ubuntu computer will be able to
connect to a global repository of over 20,000 Linux
applications from where you could download and
install any programme you like, absolutely free of
cost.

The add-ons

Playing MP3s and movies require some additional work.
You will have to install the MP3 codec via Synaptic
Package Manager. Media players like  VLC and
Totem that play all video and audio types can be
performed via the Package Manager without having to
visit any product websites. 

There is a programme called WINE (www.winehq.com) that
allows you to use windows programs on Linux. This
works well with Microsoft Office and some games,
but other programmes may not perform as expected. If
downloading is your thing, Azureus and Limewire are
available for Linux.

One of the advantages of being on Ubuntu is the vast
support network available.

There are thousands of pages of information out there
on virtually every problem that you can encounter.

Volunteers offering help will be patient with you if
they know that you are a total newbie.

Make it a point to join one of the discussion groups
and put your questions to the more experienced users.

Teething trouble

So, Ubuntu is free, all the applications are free, you
don’t have to worry about viruses, hey, that’s like
having a supermodel girlfriend who is a cordon
bleu chef and has a PhD in particle physics, right?
Not quite.

Ubuntu comes with some constraints. A majority of the
world’s computers run or Windows or a related
platform. Many business applications do not have a
Linux version simply because it will not be worth
anybody’s time to produce. 

Also, the idea of paying for software goes against the
essence of Linux and Open Sources.

If you’re looking for a computer that you can use to
surf the Internet, check Email, chat, listen to music
and watch videos, Ubuntu is for you.


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