Sorry for the title of the post. I was eating my words.
I hereby recant, unequivocally, without reservation of any kind, my opinion of linux. Or, at least, ubuntu.
Jeff at my work took home the asus eee pc to show his wife the other night. In return, he kindly installed the latest, netbook-based version of ubuntu on the computer.
For the most part, I love it. It is very easy to use, and most applications run like the wind. There are software repositories where you can download pretty much whatever you want, all for free. I am downloading a money management app now. Earlier tonight I downloaded a word processor called abiword (even though ubuntu comes with open office, I'd heard that abiword is really good, and it don't cost nothin', so I decided to give it a whirl). I downloaded a hangman game. I downloaded a music player that plays any file I throw at it; it's playing the latest edition of the Pod of Horror now, only the best horror podcast in the world. I just downloaded an app called "Alexandria Book Collection Manager". While open office is included with ubuntu, the database portion of it isn't. I downloaded that.
They say that the beauty of ubuntu is that it is a good operating system that should run acceptably well on older, slower computers. Well, I still have my previous desktop: All 125 megs of ram, all 6 gigs of the hard drive, all ??? megahertz it runs at. Other than the ram, and maybe the processor speed, it meets the minimum requirements for running under the current version of ubuntu. I am thinking of hooking up that old computer again, blowing away the xp that's installed in it, installing ubuntu on it, just to see how well it works.
There is a bug or two with this version of ubuntu on my asus eee pc. The toggle switch to turn wireless on and off only half works. If you turn it off, it crashes the computer. You reboot, and it's off. You can then turn on wireless without incident. A conversion program I downloaded the other night doesn't work, but there is another version I can download, unpack, install (using arcane linux commands I haven't figured out yet!) and run a version that works. I'm intrigued enough by that app that I may go ahead and do just that. There are apparently other bugs, but I haven't found them yet. Give me time.
So, yes: Ubuntu is very nice. I hate Xandros linux, but Ubuntu is awesome. I am now one of those people who will try to convert or seduce others away from Windows.
Have a good night!