Playing with Ubuntu

In order to kill some time while I’m stuck at home recuperating, I’ve installed the Ubuntu operating system on a P4 Dell that my mother-in-law no longer wanted.

I’m enjoying playing with it so far, but I’m a complete Ubuntu newbie, so I’d welcome any advice or resource recommendations.

7 thoughts on “Playing with Ubuntu

  1. I installed Ubuntu on my 3-year old ThinkPad and had a tough time getting wireless to work. I finally managed to get it working with an older version of the OS but never could get Macromedia Flash to work, even when it was installed “correctly”. Overall, I have to agree with the recent review by Walter Mossberg.
    On a positive note, the nice thing about Ubuntu is that many people are using it; when you have an issue, a simple Google search provides many references. In fact, many sources are manufacturer/model specific. Good luck and hope you’re feeling better!

  2. Hi David,

    Half a year ago my laptop crashed on Windows XP. Formatting and installing did not work, so I switched to Ubuntu. My laptop worked and still works fine. So I am a big fan of Ubuntu.

    Most programs can be installed using the synaptic packet manager. Sometimes you have to download a .bin-file. To install such a file read the forum at linuxforums.org. u. For instance, Google Earth is installed this way.

    If you have questions let me know.

  3. Walter-

    Wi-Fi and Flash installed quickly and effortlessly for me. I am told that ease of installation has a lot to do with whether or not the hardware one is using is natively supported.

    Carlos-

    I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, just for opinions about good resources. However, I know find myself wondering how to share files with the Windows machines on my home network, but I’m sure theres plenty of documentation on that. Also, I’m wondering if I could put together a good media center (to be connected to my stereo and television) with Ubuntu. I’m playing with Juk and VLC, and am encouraged thus far.

    Jan-

    Thanks! I’ve made a note to contact you when I inevitably get stuck! 🙂

    -David

  4. The Ubuntu forums will probably provide hours of entertainment (and help) if you’re just getting started with Ubuntu. Users there are swift to help, and there are lots of entertaining threads of “cool desktops” (with Beryl, etc.) and so forth to peruse.

    I’d agree with the statement that the hardware is what makes the difference in installation. My first attempt was on a rather unusual model of Sony Vaio laptop. It worked, but I could never get wireless running. My second attempt was on a very vanilla Dell desktop, and everything worked right away. So I’ve started telling friends to attempt it only if they have really standard hardware–once you’re used to Ubuntu, then you can try installing it on other machines.

    Enjoy!

  5. “Also, I’m wondering if I could put together a good media center (to be connected to my stereo and television) with Ubuntu. I’m playing with Juk and VLC, and am encouraged thus far.”

    You should give mythtv a go. You don’t need a TV card for it to work (although it is helpful), and it gives a relatively good 10-foot interface.

    It can easily be installed via apt.