Last night I detailed in the post, "The Curse of SUSE Linux," some Linux challenges that I ran into because of a security update that I installed. It ended up disabling my mouse and keyboard. The funny thing is that Tuesday night I was talking to a couple of programmers who had both abandoned SUSE because of similar problems.
Yesterday I was unable to get Xandros up and going again. Today I once again played with Grub in SUSE trying to get Xandros running. I then tried reinstalling Xandros twice. Nothing seemed to work. Finally in frustration, I grabbed my Ubuntu, "Breezy Badger" install CD and went to work.
In a few minutes I had deleted both Xandros partitions and was letting Ubuntu work its magic on the free space on my hard drive. Within a few minutes, I was logging into Ubuntu and customizing it to my taste. While the Grub screen isn't as pretty in Ubuntu as it is in SUSE, it does work which is much better than a pretty one that doesn't work.
It only took my a few minutes to customize my desktop, set up printing, networking, and my e-mail. Everything was accomplished with a single hitch. Fortunately I had taken the time recently when I set up a Thunderbird e-mail client to clean up my address book. Thunderbird will export a "ldif" file which is exactly what the Ubuntu e-mail client needs to populate its address book simply and quickly.
I rarely used Xandros anyway so I doubt I will miss it. The coolest feature was the ability to run Windows applications using CrossOver Office. The reality is that I will be lucky to master one Linux much less three. I now have Ubuntu running on a Mac G4 laptop, a Dell Latitude Pentium laptop, and a Dell Dimension Pentium desktop. It's nice to have a consistent desktop.
I find the networking and addition of printers on Ubuntu easier than it is on a Mac. At this point I've learned my lesson about SUSE. My SUSE Linux is going to be a static installation. I have only a couple of problems on it, and my son can fix those during the holidays, but I keep it going just for the sake of comparison. I'll probably stick to Ubuntu for my Linux needs. Especially since I have configured it with a desktop of one of my favorite photos that I took in Beaufort, NC this fall. It's much nicer than the default SUSE one which admittedly is just as easy to customize.
It's taken me about a year, but I now have a nice functional multi-platform network which can accomplish almost any computing task. I certainly understand very clearly why CIOs would prefer to have single platform environments. What I don't understand is why more of them aren't considering Linux. I've seen some challenges, but I'm not exactly a Linux guru so I have to think that any enterprise with some quality Linux people could have a very successful Linux environment. You could have a few dual boot Macs and Windows machines for specific needs and still have a consistent Linux desktop for the company. Of course scaling my little network to thousands of machines might present some problems, but a proper enterprise organization will go through a process before releasing security updates and changes.
I've also had very good luck with Windows XP Professional and Mac OS Tiger, but I find Linux more responsive, not to mention less expensive. It's pretty hard to argue with free when it comes to an operating system like Ubuntu which includes plenty of applications and is very easy to use and install.
Now that I finished wrestling with computer technology, I hope to get back to some more fun things.