This weekend I had to setup Ubuntu 11.04 in a Netbook and on my father’s desktop PC. I was really impressed by the improvement made from 10X version of Ubuntu and as they put it, it is really “Linux for humans.” As you know I was never been a Linux/ Unix fan but have spent much time fiddling with all kinds of its variants like Xenix, SCO Unix, SCO ODT, Sun Solaris and other OS like OS2 and Windows from 3.0 and its later versions. Unix crashed more than Windows when we directly worked on these machines (not dumb terminals). Once after a power failure (no UPS), we had to reinstall SCO ODT in a Modi Olivetti machine using 50 1.44 floppies praying all the way the power should not go again :P. Sun Solaris installed in their own SUN machine (costing >5L in 1998) crashed on every power failure which even Sun engineers could not solve it. But installation was easier since Solaris came in CDs.
Now you know why I have a contempt for people talking about the virtues of Unix who has never directly worked on those servers or installed software, but used it only as remote terminals to log in and work which is a very controlled environment. Same guys install all the free software available on the net on PCs and complains when it crashes, where Microsoft does not have any control on the hardware, installation environment or the third party software on it… So I became a Windows fan, even though I liked IBM OS2/ Warp for its GUI, the first Objective OS.
I used to run machines with Beta (even Alpha) versions of Windows. Around 1999 my uncle had run a company’s entire network (just 150 machines) on the beta version of Windows NT 4.0 Server and it never crashed during his stay in that company. Why he was so confident and took risk to move the network from Novel Netware? The server and the 150 machine were assembled by him and a couple of his team members who were taught to assemble PCs. The server costing 7 Lacks was assembled from Intel server kit , it had 5 power supplies for redundancy and implemented RAID 5 using 10000RPM Segate SCSCI hard disks. An equivalent branded server from IBM/ HP or Dell would have costed more than 12L in the market. So he was very confident of the hardware and NT4.0 Server with MS Backoffice (Exchange Server, SQL server, SMS server, IIS etc… ).
Later bitten by Apple OS , bought many of their iPods/iPad/ iPhone etc from different generations and desktop running OSX, currently running Snow Leopard. I have fallen in love with iOS on iPad.
Around 2.5 years I restarted my efforts with Linux by installing Ubuntu on PS3 but Sony killed it by removing the option of installing another OS in PS3 by a firmware change. Really we cannot blame Sony since the famous (or infamous) George Gelot of iPhone jailbreaker who used this feature to break into PS3 and Sony was not ready to allow it. Ubuntu was working on PS3 eventhough I took more than one week to sort out all the issues.
Then it was the time of trying it on an Acer Netbook. I have tried with Ubuntu 9X and faced lot of issues in getting it going. So my friend switched back to Windows on it. Again tried on a Network I was trying set up Linux after a few years of gap, almost dumped it after fiddling it (Redhat mainly) for 8 years from 1995 onwards. Again during this weekend we tried with the new version of Ubuntu 11.xx on a Acer Netbook and to my surprise it worked like a charm. Once the installation is over it has all the essential software we needed including Open Office! It was very fast and GUI is also is equally good. I could even boot and run my Laptop from a USB stick. The resource requirements are much less compared to Windows. So finally Linux is arrived ! Yes Ubutnu 11.X is Linux for Humans. Now I can recommend to anybody ! Ubuntu 11 may be like Apple OSX. Is there anything magical about it, try it to feel it :)