An Apple User Tries Ubuntu

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| I sat down with a Toshiba laptop, a hot little box with 2GB of RAM, running
| Ubuntu, the Gutsy Gibbon release. I used the machine courtesy of Free Culture
| at Virginia Tech, which provided assistance as a clicked around.
| First off, immediately, before anything: the rotating desktop. Damn, that is
| totally cool. You click an icon in the screen’s lower right, and the desktop
| rotates to a fresh view. Remarkably, you can have up to 16 different
| desktops.
| It’s not just cool, it’s great for workflow. You can have files and documents
| open on one desktop – maybe you’ve got four browser windows open, researching
| something – and a single click takes you to a fresh desktop, with documents
| and apps open as you like.
| Ubuntu rotating cube
| The rotating desktop in mid-rotation
| I thought to myself: this could increase productivity so much. Even with my
| huge Apple monitor, I'm always needing to move things around when I’m deep in
| a project.


Starting a week with Ubuntu and Lenovo's X61 ThinkPad: First impressions

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| I finally decided to put my OS where my mouth is. Or, at least, where my
| typing fingers are. I'm typing this from a Lenovo X61 ThinkPad...running
| Ubuntu 7.10. I'm going to spend the next week or so reporting on the
| experience, including some first-person accounts from the lady who has cut my
| hair for the past 21 years, Valerie, and my grandma, whom I've noted before
| has been locked out of the Linux experience. * *


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| Early this month, Mark Pilgrim made waves when he went shopping for a
| new Mac, but decided not to buy one, and, in When the bough breaks, wrote
| at length about switching to Ubuntu. I've been thinking about this a
| lot recently, and now John Gruber's written And Oranges, a fine excursus
| on Mark?s piece. I'm pondering the switch away myself, too, and maybe
| sharing my thoughts will be helpful. [Update: Lots of feedback on the
| state of the Ubuntu art.] [Update: More from Mark. I feel sick,
| physically nauseated, that Apple has hidden my email--the record of
| my life--away in a proprietary undocumented format. I've had this happen
| once before (the culprit was Eudora); fool me twice, shame on me. Hear
| a funny sound? That's a camel's back, breaking.]
| [...]
| Will I Switch? · Yes. For Mark?s reasons, and because I'm pretty darn
| sure that either Ubuntu or some other distro will eventually get the
| key things right.
| Alternatively, Apple could open-source a few of their apps so we could
| all fix the pain points, and they could start having an actual
| conversation with the world. Nothing less is acceptable.
| As John Gruber points out, neither Mark nor I are exactly typical.
| But you know what? I think that if the GNU/Linux/Solaris community
| can sustain its current level of energy and progress, and if Apple
| maintains its dysfunctional communications culture, there are going to
| be better choices just not for me, but for a lot of other people too.