After solving my Windows Vista64 problems, I decided to give Ubuntu 11 a try. Contrary to what I had been hearing on the net, the download and installation were absolutely painless. Ubuntu does take a bit of getting used to, but the installation was a lot faster and way more user-friendly than anything I have ever experienced with Windows.
The positives: This here Asus laptop came with WinV64, and the [function] keys don’t really work. For example, adjusting display brightness, volume control etc. have to be done with the trackpad and GUI.
However, with Ubuntu 11.04 it just works! Hold the [function] key and press the corresponding icon (F5-6 for display brightness, F11-12 for volume). Really a kick in Windows’ (or Asus?) face, considering this laptop came with WinV64 pre-installed.
I also like Ubuntu’s battery icon and power management better. Finally, it makes dual-booting easy for the layman enthusiast (me).
On the flip side: getting the hang of it is a different story. Maybe it just takes time, but for now I find WinV64 generally easier to use – except for the things noted above.
Nevertheless, considering Ubuntu is available for free, I would heartily recommend anyone with some spare hdd capacity to give it a try!
edit: another win for the linux team: fast and straightforward installation of HP network printer drivers.
A minor negative would be the aesthetics: I’m a Mac user and I find the Ubuntu GUI not the most pleasant to look at. I’ve downloaded a few different themes, but they don’t make much of a difference. It’s not a dealbreaker, though. It looks decent enough, just not great. I hope someone will develop a slicker GUI, as long as it is not detrimental to performance.
Give any person a computer that has never used it before and you soon see that “user friendly” is often times confused for “user familiarity”. I am glad you enjoyed Ubuntu, and hope it continues to surprise you in a good way
Check out the Software Center btw 😉
Great to hear to got it up and running. I advise you to wait two more days for the next release of Ubuntu and try that out to see if it looks any better. If not then you can get to know the real advantage of Linux… customize it to be what you want it to be 🙂
In the looks department you could try another theme (some are more pervasive that others) or another window manager like Gnome or KDE or even enlightenment (17) if you are feeling adventurous.
Remember that almost anything is possible and has been done by someone else, so just shop around for good idea’s and use them. A small range of possible looks:
(Screens taken from this thread: https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=127384)
And lastly if you find you really only want a familiar face: http://maketecheasier.com/turn-your-ubuntu-intrepid-into-mac-osx-leopard/2009/01/08
Thanks for all the tips and links, Frank! I don’t use this laptop for anything else, so it is an ideal target for tinkering and extended binary torture 😉