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CIMA Gallary
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Perfect 10

Ubuntu 10.10 is here, and it’s absolutely free. All those who can’t afford a genuine copy of Windows must surely get it.

I moved to Ubuntu because I couldn’t afford to upgrade my system with new hardware. Nor could I spare money for Windows 7. I already have a Mac running Snow Leopard. With Ubuntu, you don’t have to buy any accompanying software like an Internet Security Suite.

The features in Ubuntu 10.10 are fantastic — free apps, safe and fast web browsing and a dedicated music store. Ubuntu brings the very best technologies. There is a Netbook edition too. Included in this edition of Ubuntu 10.10 is cloud computing. The minimum system requirements for Ubuntu Desktop Edition are:

· 1GHz x86 processor

· 1 GB of system memory (RAM)

· 15 GB of hard-drive space (although this can be split into two drives, a 5Gb / and a 10Gb / home fairly easily)

· Graphics card and monitor capable of 1024 by 768

· Either a CD / DVD Drive or a USB port (or both)

· Internet access is required.

OpenOffice.org that comes with Ubuntu is compatible with Microsoft Office and has everything you need to create professional documents, spreadsheets and presentations. OpenOffice.org is easy to use, packed with the features you need and free.

You can get Ubuntu in either of two ways: download the file or place an order for a CD. If a slow Internet connection makes it difficult for you to download it, you may want to request a free CD. But please consider carefully before you make a request; the number of CDs that can be distribute is limited, and the cost of providing them is high.

If your request is accepted, your CD should arrive within five to six weeks. I ordered the CD and it came from Amsterdam within 10 days. And I did not have to pay a dime.

Once you insert the CD, you have three options. First, insert it and restart your computer. You can explore what Ubuntu has to offer without making any changes to your PC. Your Windows will not be affected.

In some PCs, when you restart with the CD inserted, you may find Windows is still being loaded. If so, go to your CD drive and run the file wubi.exe, Ubuntu’s helper application to give you the three choices.

The second option is to keep Windows and install Ubuntu. The third is to get rid of Windows and keep Ubuntu. If you decide on the third, take a backup of all the Windows files, documents, songs and videos.

I chose to keep Windows and install Ubuntu. So when I switch on my machine, I am asked whether I want to load Windows or Ubuntu. I needed Windows as I experiment a lot. Second, I didn’t have the knowledge or understanding to install only Ubuntu. What if something went wrong?

So what was my Ubuntu experience? Yes, Windows XP is good and reliable. Vista is poor in comparison, yet Ubuntu is far better and close to Windows 7. Windows a resource hog. Mac OS X is, of course, the best with the huge number of applications in comparison to both.

There were two major issues I encountered in Ubuntu: VPN (Virtual Private Network) and drivers. It has now become necessary to access remote documents, file shares, research articles and databases, and other networked resources. VPN software needs to be installed, but even after the configuration a mystery message told me that the connection had failed. In the end I gave up.

Once I had installed Ubuntu, the drivers for graphics and networking weren’t exactly falling on my lap. When an operating system needs drivers, it should pick them out for you. Mostly it gets them right.

Linux doesn’t have an issue with drivers; it’s the hardware manufacturers who seem to have given drivers’ priority to Windows, the more popular operating system. Yet with the open-source community as it is, they chip in where and when they can to write and maintain drivers they have written themselves, filling the gaps in most places.

But on the whole, I’ve had a good experience. I did spend a lot of time installing drivers and configuring the system for how I wanted it to be, and will probably take longer than those who have used nothing but Windows through their entire lives. But once done, it’s a brilliant operating system to use.

Send your computer-related problems to askdoss@abpmail.com. The solutions will appear soon.


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