A few days ago Sara agreed to try out Ubuntu Linux on her computer. Windows had been misbehaving in some very annoying ways... not that I can stomach its normal behavior anyway. The final push came when we were at a party and noticed that her friend's boyfriend had done the same with her computer, and it seemed to work out well.

Everything went pretty smoothly despite some minor annoyances, and the results have been quite enjoyable. Some of our experiences, good and bad, follow...

  • "What is this, Lion King Catharsis? Who makes this stuff?" - Sara on the overly dramatic Ubuntu login sound. (Does anyone not immediately disable all sounds? Shhh!)
  • "That's all I have to do to install stuff? This is awesome." - Sara on package management.
  • "Huh, is this better than the other photo manager?" - Sara on F-Spot. It took me a second to figure out she meant Nautilus, which displays image thumbnails. I really think images should have normal mime-type icons in addition to a small thumbnail overlay in a file manager. Some thumbnails just make for really annoying icons.
  • "Wait guys... let me just try a couple more packages." - me, several times, while trying to watch a DVD with people. We gave up and used a Mac.
  • I hate packages that think the world revolves around them. Do I really need all of Sun Java 5.0 Plugin Control Panel, Sun Java 5.0 Policy Tool, Sun Java 6 Plugin Control Panel, Sun Java 6 Policy Tool, and Sun Java 6 Web Start cluttering up my menus? This should be one or zero menu items. Who uses that bullshit? Die, Java. (With thanks to Menu Layout—checkboxes instead of deleting stuff is brilliant.)
  • Even though I prefer KDE, I'm convinced GNOME was a good choice for vanilla Ubuntu, and I can't wait till 2.18 gets pushed into the repositories. Many of the reasons I prefer KDE are because I'm a developer and couldn't live without things like IO-slaves. That said, I ended up having to install KDE libraries anyway because Amarok and Akregator blow away GNOME's offerings in my opinion.
  • I could only get Cisco VPN support to work from the console. Save us, NetworkManager!

That's all for now. I expect Sara to start contributing to the Linux kernel any day now...