Monday, September 04, 2006

Now, a bit about my Ubuntu adventure. When I discovered Ububtu, it was version 5.10 Breezy Badger, beta 1. Perhaps it was not the best place to start. Stuff broke frequently. I was a total newbee on Ubuntu Forums and, while the folks there were very helpful, I had a lot of learning to do. In particular, when things broke, I panicked. Ubuntu was on my production box and I needed it everyday to do my work.

I learned several things that, as a Windows user, I was quite unfamiliar with. First: the command line. No, there was virgin territory for me. Most of the beta breakages were fixed through command line interaction. I would travel to the forums on my Windows box at work. Run home and try the fixes on the Ubuntu box. Certain things broke the xserver. Those were the worst. I didn't have a clue that I could use the command line even when X was broken to update my system or download fixes. As a result, I reinstalled Ubuntu no fewer than five times before the final release and a stable system.

Even now, I play too much and break things badly. Like trying to get Nvidia working on my new system. That brings me to the second thing I learned: make a backup disk of all my important data. I don't know why I ignored advice to make a backup before, but it's essential if you're going to play and break things.

The third thing I learned was to wait if something was broken. Often you had to wait a could of days for an official fix from the Ubuntu people, then simple go to the command line and do a sudo apt-get update, sudo apt-get dist-upgrade... problem fixed. By this time, I was really hooked on Linux and the Ubuntu miracle.

In my next post, I'll talk about how I replaced everything (everything but one) that I used to do on Windows. That includes some tricky stuff, like getting my Canon Pixma printer working and the scanner, too. Cheers.