In my last post I mentioned that I had looked at alternatives to Windows as I wasn’t happy with the direction that Microsoft have taken with Windows 8, don’t get me wrong I really like Windows 7 and think that it’s a great OS but Windows 8 left a lot to be desired where laptop\desktop OS’s were concerned. The last blog post highlighted some issues I was having with the installation of Ubuntu 12.04 taking way too much time and leaving me with a black screen at boot up.
Move forward a couple of weeks and I have now been running Ubuntu 12.04 in a stable environment with the same hardware as before, this time however what’s changed is that NVidia had released a new driver which made my system way more stable and for the last two weeks I have been happily using Ubuntu as my main OS of choice, sure there are things I miss from my Windows days (SnagIt and Camtasia Studio as well as not being able to play Battlefield 3) but as a whole the experience hasn’t been as bad as it could have been. In addition to the now working NVidia driver my installation times have also drastically reduced down from the many hours I experienced for the first couple of days to about 15 minutes (thank you 50mb cable connection ).
Further testing of applications have also shown that other applications also worked in Ubuntu (YNAB utilises Adobe AIR, which Adobe have since stopped supporting for Linux, however there are links around detailing how to install it in Ubuntu and YNAB works flawlessly).
As it stands I do still have a Windows 7 machine (my so called management PC) that I use for a number of tasks (it has the vSphere client installed) and as I am a Windows Server engineer by trade I still use Server 2008 R2 as my Server OS of choice so I haven’t gone on a complete ‘crusade’ as a friend put it recently, what it does mean is that I am not as beholden to Redmond as I once was, there are workable alternatives out there.
The lessons learned in this instance is perhaps not to go straight into a new OS release as soon as it’s available, give it a couple of days before attempting to install\upgrade, let any bugs that crawled through get fixed first and give it a go when it’s a bit more stable. I am glad that I managed to get Ubuntu 12.04 installed successfully on my desktop in the end as it had always worked flawlessly on my laptop. Sure it’s not everyone’s cup of tea but in this instance it’s right for me and my family (the wife will be updated this week once the needed data is migrated over to the network).