This is Epth Nation

Epth is a state of mind, not a place. Reading this will give you a virtual drivers license in that state, but you'll still need to be 21 to purchase alcohol. And you can't get any there anyway, so stop asking.

Friday, May 12, 2006

I Have Seen the Future, and its Name is Ubuntu

To answer everyone's questions: Yes, I have installed Ubuntu Linux on my laptop. Yes, it's awesome. Yes, I've been playing with it so much my marriage is being threatened. Yes, I'm writing this big thing about it as well as my experiences with Linspire and Mandrake. No, I don't know how much of it will go on this blog.

Yes, I saw the LOST episode this week, and yes, I loved it. Yes, I think the show is as good as ever. No, I'm not that bothered by the Sprite tie-in with the internet game I mentioned in my last post. Yes, I'm taking off work for the season finale. Yes, I'm excited. And yes, I noticed that in Locke's dream, Eko is limping (because he's actually Locke -- get it?). Also, I noticed that the psychic is now directly responsible for two LOSTies getting on Oceanic Flight 815. And yes, Libby will return, if only in flashbacks.

Ok, I'm tired of all your prying questions. Let's just say I also saw The Office's finale last night, and liked it, although Jim/Pam is still no Tim/Dawn.



  • At 3:54 PM, Blogger pete said…

    So is Ubuntu compatible with Word and Outlook? Can I run it instead of XP? How hard is it to install?

  • At 7:20 AM, Blogger Mike Pape said…

    This reply might be longer than you'd like, but I'm going to overanswer your questions:

    Word: You can't actually run MS Word in any Linux, including Ubuntu. However, Open Office, which comes with Ubuntu, can save things in Word format. So yes, it's compatible, but it's not exactly MS Word. You can do just about anything Word can do, plus other nifty things like creating PDF files.

    Outlook: Ubuntu comes with Evolution, a Outlook-like program. While you can migrate your Outlook e-mails to Evolution, it involves an extra step you might not be willing to do (importing them into Mozilla on Windows first, then exporting them in a specific way that Outlook can't). However, it has everything Outlook has, and for free with the Operating System.

    Instead of Windows: It can either run instead of Windows or with Windows in what is called a "dual-boot" setup, where when you turn on the computer it gives you an option of which one you want. The dual-boot option might be best, since you'll still have Windows on the computer if you need it. In my setup, I have a Windows computer (three, actually), so I was able to wipe out Windows completely on my laptop and just use Ubuntu. If this is your only PC, I would recommend a dual-boot setup to make sure things work -- like your internet connection, sound, etc. You know, the important things.

    Ease of install: The dual-boot option complicates this. If you're just wiping out Windows and installing a fresh copy, it's very easy. With a dual-boot setup, you need to take some space on your hard drive and make a separate partition on which to install Ubuntu.

    Here's the thing: Ubuntu takes time to get right and get everything working. The main thing is to read the documentation at, because that will bring up issues you never thought of and tell you what's important. That reading takes a lot of time. There are a bunch of differences between Linux and Windows that may frustrate the user if he/she is blindsided by them, and figuring them out takes time. You need a certain level of commitment to make it work to your liking.

    The good news: Everything's totally free, and it comes with a buttload of free software -- you won't even believe how much free software you can install on it. Also, once you go through the initial shock, you get used to it pretty quickly. But there's going to be a lot of extra things you have to do, and you need to decide whether or not you want to make the commitment.

    Ok, you could decide to get rid of it in a week if you don't like it, I suppose -- it's not that great of a commitment. And I'll be here to help you, as will and

    I hope this answers your questions. Go Mavs!

  • At 5:52 PM, Blogger jill said…

    Pete. Step away from the Linux.


Post a Comment

<< Home