Sunday, January 20, 2008

Ubuntu Update

A little more than a year ago, I migrated from Windows to Ubuntu. It began as an experiment to see how Ubuntu/Linux compared to Windows, to see if the sacrifices entailed in using Ubuntu were too much for a user like me, and to see how long I could hold out before I went home to Mother Microsoft.

I made the change at home and at work. But I've got access to Windows machines if and when I need one. And since virtually all my family, colleagues and clients use Windows machines, I frequently have my hands on and inside Windows machines.

Yet, when I have a choice; for Internet (email & web), for writing letters and documents, for doing spreadsheets, etc.; after a year, I choose Ubuntu every time.

Now, I don't feel compelled to justify myself or sell you on Ubuntu. Instead, I'll tell you what I don't like about Ubuntu:
  • Open Office is quirky. OO Word Processing fine for a letter, but I wouldn't want to use it to put together a long document with footnotes. I cannot do MS Office macros or VBScripting in Open Office, but I can and am doing text processing in Ubuntu using Perl and regular expressions.
  • There's no tax prep software for Linux/Ubuntu. I don't think the online versions work on Linux/Firefox (they don't say).
Note that these are not Ubunu problems per se; they are holes in the apps available to run on Ubuntu. And these "problems" are pretty minor, especially in light of the many benefits (all free) of using Ubuntu/Linux.

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