December 21, 2010

Ubuntu 10.10 Great operating system for everyday tasks and more!

I been using Ubuntu 10.10 Free Open Source Operating System for a few weeks, and it has been excellent. I use Ubuntu to check e-mail, browse the web, watch videos, listen to songs, Facebook, Twitter, play flash games, Linux and Ubuntu native games, write blog post, go on social networking sites, watch TV, and do other daily tasks. It has been one of the most trouble free experiences with an operating system I ever had.

Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat will satisfy most users need when it comes to typing a letter, going online, and doing daily tasks. If you are willing to learn a little more about Ubuntu, and Ubuntu and linux compatible software you can do most tasks you would be able to do on more popular operating systems like Windows 7 and Apple Mac OS X.

The Desktop, and using Ubuntu 10.10 is very easy to use, and smooth.What I love most about Ubuntu is it's fast start up times and how fast it shutdown on my computer. Plus, my computer is not really fast by todays standards. I have a HP a1720n desktop computer with a Intel 1.86 GHz Core2Dou CPU, 1GB of DDR2 RAM, on-board Intel video and sound . After installing Ubuntu on my desktop, I can go online with my cable Internet service, watch video, check e-mail and listen to music without needing to adjust any of Ubuntu settings or running a wizard.

I also do not experience much slowness with Ubuntu 10.10 compared to non-Linux operating systems. What I like about Ubuntu is I no longer have to defrag my hard drive, scan for viruses, spyware, and malware like Windows or Mac which run in the background slowing down my PC. Plus, it is harder for unwanted people or programs to install unwanted programs on your computer since Ubuntu only allow people with an administrative password to install software on it. This means your kids, family, websites, etc can't install programs which slow down your PC without your permission. Your computer might last longer running Ubuntu since there is less wear and tear caused by disk defrags, and scans since they tend to make your hard drive read and write a lot, use a lot of CPU and RAM resources which might eventually wear out your mechanical and electrical parts.

 I notice when using Ubuntu my computer hard drive does not read and write as much since scheduled  virus scans and disk defrags are not needed like Windows which tends to make my computers hard drive move a lot especially when it is doing a scan, disk defrag, or using its swap file when I am running out of RAM/Memory when I have too many programs or files open. By not having my hard drive read and write as much during regular use, I notice my computer is more quiet. Plus, it might last longer, and run at a lower temperature inside my PC case.

Another advantage to Ubuntu is it is very hard to break Ubuntu unless I really try. I love how it takes under a minute to start up Ubuntu 10.10 and a few seconds to turn off my computer running in Ubuntu. Plus, after I log-in to Ubuntu, I do not have to wait for my Anti-virus, and other startup programs to start up. I can just click on a shortcut icon like Open Office Word Processor to start writing a letter, essay, etc to someone.

Because of the fast 1 minute or less start-ups time in Ubuntu, I don't leave my computer on all the time or in sleep mode when I am not using it, so I just shutdown my computer when I'm not going to use it. I  can deal with the 1 minute start up time compared to waiting minutes when I used Windows 7 and Vista on my slower desktop. By shutting down my computer when I'm not using it for extended periods of time I save electricity, and my computer parts like fans, hard drives, power supply etc from un-needed wear and tear from being on.

Plus, saving and turning of a computer reduces the chance of losing work you forgot to save when a window is minimize, and the user forgot to save their work, but their computer is still on, but suddenly turns off because of a power outage, error. Sleep mode also sometimes can be annoying when a computer loses power before the user get the chance to save their work to their hard drive or USB thumb drive which most likely result in lost of work unless the program can recover their work.

Even if you somehow manage to break Ubuntu or want to upgrade to the latest version of Ubuntu when Ubuntu 11 is release, it should be very fast and easy to install Ubuntu again since most of the software most users use on a regular basis will be pre-installed on Ubuntu during the re-installation. Plus, if you use Ubuntu Software Center to install 3rd-party free software, you do not have to type in a long serial key to activate your software, or register before using it like most paid software for Windows or Mac, or worse going out and buying new software and hardware because your current software and hardware does not work with the latest version of your operating system.

The minimum system requirements are 256 MB of RAM, 5GB of free hard drive space, and 1GHz CPU. This means most computers built in the last 10 years can run Ubuntu well, or can run Ubuntu by inexpensively upgrading a computers RAM or hard drive.

When Ubuntu is not running any programs, it only uses 123.5+ MB of RAM out of my 992.5MBs of RAM and under 4% CPU resources on my Intel Core2Dou CPU. Also, Ubuntu uses almost no network and swap file resources when idle. What this means is when you run programs like Web Browsers, image editors, video players, etc, you'll have more free RAM, CPU. network, and swap file resources for running your programs. You'll are also less likely to notice slow down because of lack of RAM or CPU resources.

By using less computer hardware resources, I can listen to music, watch a video, surf the web, and write a blog post all at the same time without slow down while doing multiple tasks at the same time in Ubuntu 10.10.

I also notice playing Flash Games like Farmville, Cityville, Fishville, Social City, and other games on Facebook and other sites like New Ground with Firefox Web Browser or Google Chrome Web Browser and other websites a little faster compared to Windows on my low end computer which can barely run Windows, but run Ubuntu 10.10 very well.

You can most likely buy a used computer which meets Ubuntu 10.10 minimum system requirements for under 100 dollars from a thrift store, eBay, Amazon Marketplace, Craigslist, or ask a co-worker, neighbor, friend or family member if they have a older computer built in the last 10 years you can use for installing Ubuntu 10.10.

Since Ubuntu can run on slower computers, you save more electricity since you do not need to buy a high end or modern computer with more power hungry parts which run faster, but uses more electricity. Plus, I notice there is less slowness when starting programs in Ubuntu, so the few seconds you save starting programs, starting your computer, and shutting down your computer can really add up into hours of power savings in the long run. Pleasantly, there are no need for real-time virus scanners needed for Ubuntu like Windows. Real-time virus shields/scanners are one of the main causes for computer slowdowns in Windows in my experience especially on slower computers with very little RAM and slow CPU/processors. There is also no need to constantly update to the latest virus, spyware, and malware definition files in Ubuntu since you do not need to run any programs which require them. This means your internet and computer won't be slowed down by updates and install for security software like Windows.  Plus, you no longer have to leave your computer on over night to run a disk defrag, scan disk, disk clean up, virus scan, spyware scan, malware scan, registry clean up, or other tasks which can take a long time to complete since Ubuntu needs none of these scans. Although, Ubuntu automatically scans your computer hard drives for errors every few days during start up which only takes a few seconds in my experience.

Users can try Ubuntu 10.10 desktop edition out by starting the install CD from their computer, and pick Try Ubuntu 10.10 instead of the Install option. This is a fantastic feature since not many operating systems which I know of let you try an operating system out before you install them. Although, using a CD to run Ubuntu 10.10 could be very slow depending on how fast your CD drive and other computer parts are.

Installing and updating Ubuntu 10.10 on my computer was very simple. I just followed the instructions after starting my computer from the Ubuntu Install CD. It took about a hour for me to install and customize Ubuntu to my needs by installing extra software, and changing a few minor settings after the install.

Updating Ubuntu will also update 3rd-party Ubuntu compatible software a long with the Ubuntu operating system files. This saves you a lot of time since you do not have to go to every website to see if you are running the latest version of your software by 3rd party Ubuntu software makers.

The default user interface and desktop is also very nice looking. I like the Black mat tool bars, and animations. Finding the shortcuts to programs are also very easy since Ubuntu categorize all the software by type into sub menus.

I also found it very easy to change the desktop background picture, make shortcuts on my desktop, change the theme, and make changes to the appearance of Ubuntu 10.10.

The default File/Folder Management program called Nautilus is also very easy to use for organizing and browsing through your folders on your drives on your Computer. What is nice, it tells you how much free usable space is on your computer on the bottom status bar. You can also bookmark folders for easy viewing of folders.

 I can also still access my files on my Windows drive on my computer, and use my USB hard drives and flash drives which I used in Windows. I can also install "some" Windows programs and games in Ubuntu 10.10 with Wine Windows Compatibility layer.

Ubuntu comes with a lot of software the typical computer want like a Word Processing, Presentation Slide making and spreadsheet program, dictionary, calculator, Firefox Web browser, music player, video player, picture viewing software, screen capture program, scanner software, instant messengers, Bit torrent client, e-mail client, games, system utilities, sound /voice recorder, CD/DVD Burning Software, text editors, video editor, drawing program, clock, and many other programs. There is even software for people who have poor eyesight, so they can read the screen better on Ubuntu by magnifying it, and text to speech tool.

The file and folder search is also very fast in Ubuntu 10.10, so I can easily find my files and folder by name.

I use Ubuntu Software Center to very easily search and install my favorite free software like Google Chrome Web Browser, VLC Media Player, Sound Juicer CD Ripper program, Gimp Image Editor, FileZilla FTP client, KompoZer website builder, Wine, Audacity sound recorder, TrueCrypt file encryption, and many more useful programs compatible for Ubuntu 10.10. Ubuntu Software Center is great for searching and installing software which you need, but did not come pre-installed with Ubuntu 10.10.

I also found removing programs which I don't need like e-mail clients since I use webmail very easy with Ubuntu software center. All I have to do is go to the "Installed Software" section in Ubuntu software center, find the name of the software I want to remove, click on it and click the remove button, and I do not even have to restart my computer or unlock a registry key which sometimes is necessary in Windows Operating Systems which can be very frustrating. Also, with Ubuntu Software Center, you are less likely to remove a important program since there is a "more info" button which gives you more info on the program to let you choose if you really need it or not. Also, all the technical items are hidden by default which makes using Ubuntu Software Center even more safe.

There are also free games which you can install with the "Ubuntu Software Center" to install racing, role playing, strategy, simulation, and many other kinds of games which work natively in Ubuntu.

With the money, electricity, PC repair bills savings and time you save by using Ubuntu 10.10 Linux and its bundled or supported free software from Ubuntu Software Center, you can buy a current generation game console like the Xbox 360, Wii, PS3, DS, PSP,a few games, and a small HDTV 20"+ television.

The downside to Ubuntu is there are not as many computer games for it, and the selection of video editing  software is also somewhat small compared to Windows and Mac. Although, you can use Kdenlive, Openshot, and Pitivi video editor which you can install from Ubuntu Software Center for free. Ubuntu also is compatible with a older HP laser printer I own which is not compatible with Windows 7, so I can reuse my older computer parts and accessories which do not work on Windows 7, but works on Ubuntu.

My old Logitech COMCAST QuickCam Messenger which   which did not work in Windows Vista and 7 because it did not have Windows Vista or 7 compatible drivers work with Ubuntu 10.10 with Cheese Webcam Booth which can be used to take pictures and record video from a webcam. Cheese also has a lot of cool special effects to make your pictures and video look unique.

But, sadly not all hardware works in Ubuntu like my scanner and ink-jet printer made by Canon, so before buying hardware for your computer running Ubuntu it is best to go on a Ubuntu help website, forum, blog, etc and ask fellow Ubuntu Linux users what computer hardware works for Ubuntu.

In my experience, all regular analog microphones, and speakers work for Ubuntu. The same goes for USB and PS/2 Keyboards which and mice which I tried works on Ubuntu except some of the multimedia keys might not work. Most monitors also work with Ubuntu as long as the video card works.  

The best part of using Ubuntu 10.10 is the value since it is free to use for life. You can also install Ubuntu as a dual boot computer, so you can keep Windows,  and Ubuntu on the same computer without the need of giving up either operating system. You just pick which operating system you want to start from on the start up menu when you turn on your computer.

Ubuntu 10.10 Linux works so well that It does not feel I am using Ubuntu since there less error messages, and slow downs caused by the operating system, so I can focus more on doing more important tasks like typing up this blog posts instead of searching the internet to find a tweak, or trick for fixing a blue screen, or slow down like using Windows on my slower desktop which can get ridiculously frustrating at times if no one wrote a post on how to fix my problem.

Ubuntu 10.10 also lets every user register for a free Ubuntu One account which gives them 2GB of Free online storage for storing their bookmarks,  broadcast messages, contacts, and important files to the Internet, so they can access them from the Internet, and other Ubuntu 10.04 and 10.10 computers connected to the Internet while still keeping a copy of your files, bookmarks, contacts, and broadcast message on users computer, so if there is an Internet outage, users can continue to work on their files during the Internet outage unlike other online services which has their files and programs all stored on an online server.

Ubuntu One also updates users files to the most recent version of a file like a text document when connected to the Internet. If a user's computers breaks, gets stolen, or lost, the user can login to their Ubuntu One account and download their files back on their computer again without losing any work since Ubuntu One automatically back ups the most recent version of its user file to its 2GB of free online storage. If you need more space for storing your files on Ubuntu's One online storage account, you can pay 2.99 US dollars a month or 29.99 US dollar for 20 GB of extra storage on Ubuntu One. In my experience, the software that comes with Ubuntu does not break very often or become buggy, so there is not much worry about not being able to edit a file because of broken software, but a bigger worry is a hard drive breaking making the file gone forever.

With Ubuntu One, you can just reinstall Ubuntu on a new computer, or a new hard drive, and download the file from your online storage account you have set up with Ubuntu One. You can also use a web browser to login to your Ubuntu One account on its website, and manually download your files from a web browser like any other file you download from the web with a web browser.

Here are some short videos about Ubuntu One, and what it can do to improve Ubuntu's user experience.

I recommend buying a guide on Ubuntu 10.10 if you are new to computers, or been using Windows or Apple Computers for most of your life.

If you need help with Open Office which is the bundled free Office Suite for Ubuntu, you should pick up a manuals on using Open Office at Amazon.


Anonymous said...

I use Ubuntu 10.10 like you, dual boot system with windows on the other partition.

Ubuntu makes Windows look like s**t.

Won't be buying any Micro$ software and apps any more... too slow... virus prone ... too expensive, the list goes on.

Johnson Yip said...

I agree with you.

MS can learn a lot from Ubuntu since MS software is can be very slow, and too easily infected by virus if you do not have a good Antivirus.