Monthly Archive for October, 2008

A Journey with Ubuntu: Conclusion so far.

[Previous article of the Journey: A Journey With Ubuntu : Hardware Challange]

After giving Ubuntu a try for more than 2 months, was I able to achieve my goal?

A short answer is no. I eventually reverted to Windows XP. Let’s have a look why with more details.

What worked well while using Ubuntu ?

The interface is nice, pleasant to use, nice color and nice sound. I’m one of those that don’t waste time with themes, etc. So I keep default themes.

Using multiple workspace is very cool and turned to be very useful despite my initial skepticism.

The package updater is great. One point though, when you got an update you don’t know what the update are fixing, you just update from the repositories you have setup.

Boot time, shutdown time: Fine; nothing to be excited with: I does what it does in a reasonable time.

What did not worked while using Ubuntu ?

Some of my hardware components were not recognized at all : the internal microphone is certainly the most paintful one and in a lesser extend the finger print reader.

The falling sensor that can be used to protect my HDD didn’t have any drivers to be installed (as final/stable package).

The Wifi connection at boot time was rather erratic and slow to connect (when eventually it did). I had to wait frequently more than 2 minutes before being connected to Internet. When I open my machine only to check my emails, this is frustrating because I eventually spend more time trying to get this damned wireless connection working than checking and doing my emails.

Skype did not work correctly: the sound was awful and the phone calls were cut repeatedly not to mention the need to use my external microphone.

I needed to create “Word” document to be used by others and couldn’t fail to have the document layout and content not looking right. So using Open Office was not appropriate; I reverted back to XP to create these documents from Microsoft Office. I know this is not Ubuntu related but consider I had to revert back to XP to achieve my task. Some of you could point to Wine. Others could argue about installing virtual image of Windows and MSOffice, blablabla … STOP.  I aim simple install and straight forward usage or forget it. I’m not keen to go on the geek side just to be proud of doing it. What about MS Office supporting Ubuntu 🙂 kidding…. euh, actually …. not.

Side note about MS Office handcuffing: sadly when it turns to official document to exchange for business Word is still the standard de-facto.

I had to provide remote assistance to users that running XP and using TeamViewer Quick Support. Sadly Teamviewer is not Ubuntu supported and so I had to revert to XP during the remote assistance session. I know you could argue I just need to change to a new remote assistance tool. Ok, but give me one that is as easy and as intuitive as Teamviewer (from the remote controlled side percepective). One name and I’m ready to discuss and review the product.

Conclusion.

Using Ubuntu has been a very interesting experience and I discovered a world full of promises. Unfortunately it wasn’t able to fulfill all my needs. As my goal was to completely switch to Ubuntu, I must say this is not successfull and so I reverted to XP.

I will possibly give it a try again when the next release of Ubuntu is available. But not without having my internal microphone, finger print reader, falling detector working appropriately. If the hardware limitation are lifted up, I’ll be happy to go for a second journey.

Ok, I know, the case with MSOffice will not be resolved…but I might then be really tempted to switch away from Windows XP. I’m sure you, Ubuntu lover, will suggest me a replacement for Teamviewer.

Did I say Second Journey, already ?