Saturday, May 02, 2009

A Weekend Trip With Only Ubuntu 9.04

I took a leap of faith bringing only a fresh install of Ubuntu Linux with me on this non-business trip. It made sense as all I needed from my computer was email and web browsing.

I put this shiny new Ubuntu on my old IBM ThinkPad T43 laptop. It ran as if my laptop was this year's model. It is very fast and responsive. Actually it was faster than my brother's new Dell laptop running Windows Vista. I turned it off as soon as the installation and update process finished and packed my bags to leave for the airport.

Later that evening, in the hotel room, I turned my laptop on to read my email and some blogs. The desktop was clean, Firefox pre-installed and ready, it already connected to the hotel wireless internet, all that without me touching anything but the power button. If I remember correctly, windows required so much tweaking to reach this point! I read my email and was able to view PDF and docx attachments without installing additional software.

I couldn't sleep, so it was time to play some Counter-Strike on Steam. All I did was install wine and download Steam. With the fast connection in the hotel, I downloaded the entire game and was playing in 30 minutes. This game was not playable on the same laptop when it was running Windows XP. How ironic is that?

This experience amazed me because I was able to to do every I can do with Windows, without Windows. Even do things I couldn't do with Windows, like running games on old computers. What this means is that we, the people, have the option to work/play on the platform that we choose. This concept is strange to us now because we are used to accept the fact that all computers run Windows. Well, not anymore.

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