extended linux use

I’ve been using Ubuntu Linux 7.10 almost exclusively for several months now, both at work and at home. I’m really enjoying it. I figured I would take a few minutes and list some things I like and dislike:

Likes:

  • Installing most common software is easy, and have one interface. (aptitude)
  • The default user interface is very useable. I really like the two desktop default.
  • The User Forums. These are easily the best feature of Ubuntu. Most things that I need to do have already been discussed on the forums. Even if something hasn’t already been discussed, the large and active user community is a great resource.
  • Automounting: The OS automounts media that I insert into my PC. Perhaps the best example is when I plugged my ipod shuffle in to charge it. I wasn’t expecting it to get recognized, I just wanted to charge the battery. Not only did the machine recognize that an ipod was plugged in, but it loaded the music player software, added all the songs under “Dave’s Ipod” playlist, and started downloading album covers. Silly thing to be excited about, but wow! It also allows me to copy music onto and off of my ipod without using itunes, which is handy.
  • Network Shares: it automatically detects and allows me to connect to windows shares on my local network. Handy for sharing files with Melissa.

Dislikes:

  • Sound Support. Sound is still a bit wonky in this release. Any one stream of sound is fine. Some application block others from using sound though, depending on which sound libraries they use. I’m looking forward to the April release of Ubuntu, which will use Pulse Audio. I’m hoping that will address most of my sound issues. Until then, I have two sound cards in my machine, so that I can always play at least two streams.
  • Wine. I feel badly listing this as a gripe, since Wine is still maturing. There it is though. Wine is still maturing. It works very well as a windows emulation layer, but it still has a long way to go. To be fair, I still use it every day, but occasional random crashes can be frustrating.

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