My New Toy

So for a few years now, I’ve been threatening to buy a cheep PC and install Ubuntu on it, just to see what Linux is all about and if it really holds up to the various shiny OSs that Apple has put out over the years. The only reason it’s taken so long to get around to it is because I haven’t needed to buy a computer in at least 5 years. My wife’s old iMac and my mini work just fine, even though they are outdated G4s. And for the last 2 years, our laptop has been a Powerbook that came with my job. But, since I’ll have to give that laptop back within the next 6 weeks, before my job ends, we were facing a near future with no laptop. This was unacceptable. And due to tight finances (did I mention I’m losing my job in about 6 weeks?), we couldn’t exactly afford the $1200 MacBook Air we’ve had our eye on.

So, last night I finally made good on my threat. We went to Best Buy and picked out a shiny new HP n455 netbook for a whopping $250. Downloading and installing Ubuntu 11.4 was pretty easy. It took a try or two to get everything working, but I’ve had more problems just installing Photoshop on a PC, so getting a whole new operating system up and running in the span of 3 hours is amazing. Haven’t fully explored lal the applications yet but the fact that it comes with Gimp, Firefox, LibreOffice and an assortment of other Open Source programs that I don’t have to bother hunting for on my own is a nice bonus.

Ostensibly, this will be my writing laptap, so I’m curious to see how LibreOffice performs. It looks pretty much just like MS Office circa 2004, which is a good thing. (Sometime beforeĀ  2007, the entireĀ  HCI team at Microsoft had an aneurism and coded up one of the least intuitive office suites I’ve ever seen. Office 2010 should be shunned like a leper). And there’s always Open Office if that ends up not suiting me, so I’m covered for Open Source software on this machine. Which is the plan: run this bad boy on nothing but Open Source software. I’ll keep the blog appraised as to how that goes.