Around the (Linux) World in 30 Days

Today marks Day 30 in a series of articles entitled “30 Days With Ubuntu Linux” by Tony Bradley of PCWorld. To some extent, the articles mirror the course of this blog in that Tony, as a Windows user, set out to explore Ubuntu Linux. However, the articles are on a much accelerated time scale from the blog, since Bradley gave himself a month to complete the series, while the blog remains a work in progress.

As Bradley indicated about Linux at the outset “If it is free, stable, efficient, elegant, and secure, why doesn’t everybody use it? Well, I guess I will find out, and hopefully – if you follow my journey for the next 30 days – so will you.

The answer is that Ubuntu Linux has some good features – and some bad (or not-so-good) features – with the result that, for entrenched Windows’ users there is quite a steep learning curve to use Linux efficiently.

The series of articles cover many aspects of the operating system and its associated applications, and is a very worthwhile read for anyone considering making the switch to Linux or those just wanting to try it out. The series is based on Ubuntu Linux Version 11.04 with the Unity interface, but the main topics are readily applicable to both earlier versions of the software and the classic desktop interface.

If you just want the quick-and-dirty summary, check out:

Day 30: What I Learned from 30 Days With Ubuntu Linux
http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/234885/ubuntu_linux_day_30_what_i_learned_from_30_days_with_ubuntu_linux.html

At the next level, two further “summary” posts are available:

Day 29: Five Things I Like Most About Ubuntu Linux
http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/234791-2/ubuntu_linux_day_29_five_things_i_like_most_about_ubuntu_linux.html

Day 28: My Five Biggest Ubuntu Linux Complaints
http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/231367/ubuntu_linux_day_28_my_five_biggest_ubuntu_linux_complaints.html#tk.hp_new

If you want to read the entire series, then start at the very beginning:

30 Days With Ubuntu Linux: Day 1
http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/229187/30_days_with_ubuntu_linux_day_1.html#tk.mod_rel

At the end of each article you will find a link to the next day’s topic so that you can systematically progress through the entire series of articles.

Two of the interesting, but not unexpected, conclusions from the series showed up in the likes and dislikes summaries:

Number five on my list of things I like least about Ubuntu Linux was the Linux flamers. As I said, though, the Linux flamers are a vocal minority that give the platform a bad name. The other side of that coin is the broader Linux community which is much more welcoming and supportive.

As you read the on-line articles, you can also view the comments that other readers left. These should leave you in no doubt of the veracity of Bradley’s observations.

It’s a pity that zealots (on both sides) muddy the waters in this way. The fact is that both operating systems have their strengths and their weaknesses. The beauty is that Linux is available as a no-cost option and can work cooperatively with Windows’ files. Try it; use it; use it in conjunction with a dual-boot (Linux/Windows) system; or don’t use it. It’s completely optional. Sure, you have to put a little time and effort into the process, but you may find this time very well spent.

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