I have been using at the office Windows Vista Basic with MS Office 07. It has been bothering me for reasons that I find absolutely unacceptable from such an experienced veteran name like Microsoft. Now my laptop, at three months old, is not that bad. It has a new Core 2 Duo processor and 1Gigs of ram. Still, I keep getting problems of slowness and of sheer stupid design, allow me to elaborate:
- I once started my laptop, carried it with me to the car (I needed to get a phone number off an email) and drove from Riffa Hajjiyat, to Isa Town (WITH Traffic) before Vista booted up and Outlook started.
- Excel 07 crashes always at least once in each session. For no reason, it just does.
- Outlook 07 does not send emails out. After investigation, it seems that if I type part of the email then select the address from the drop down short list, it could freeze and stop all email after it. I need to go off line & disconnect, then get to that email and delete it. After which, if I want to send it again I have to retype it in its entirety then hit send.
- Outlook 07 sends my emails as text. Despite me checking every possible option to confirm I want my emails as HTML, it still sometimes sends them as text. It is absolutely random.
- If my battery is at 0%, then I insert the AC adapter; it will not charge. I swear. You have to turn the PC off, wait for it to charge at least 1% then you can use windows and charge at the same time.
Needless to say I wasted hours everyday just trying to get basic functionalities like sending an email to work. It eats ram like crazy. My PC was so slow, heck my Pentium 1 I bought in 1996 was way faster.
Enough! I reached a decision: I cannot live with Vista. I must downgrade to XP or... use Ubuntu. I opted to go the Linux way.
This is my experience so far:
- Ubuntu had a problem at install (if you can call it that); it was not able to resize a windows partition (I guess it was locked by windows). I started vista, went to my computer, right clicked on the drive and selected "Manage". From here I freed up 50 Gigs (you could work with less), and installed Ubuntu normally.
- The install took about 15 minutes and had no problems with it.
- OpenOffice.org took the place of MS Office immediately. It even had some better features, like the document writer had a button to export directly to PDF.
- My wireless network was connected easily. This was a problem at previous Linux distros. I have now connected at work, home, my parents home, college and the local Gahwa (coffee shop) with no problems.
- The visual effects of Compiz are amazing. What Vista couldn't (or wouldn't) do, compiz does and more!
- All programmes that you wish for are easy to get. There is a programme called "Synaptic", start that up and type whatever you want. You can write a programme's name or a description. Like I typed ".rar" and a list showed up, I selected several programmes and clicked apply. The programmes were downloaded and installed without the need to restart. Currently "Synaptic" lists 23133 packages available to it!
- There is an advanced desktop search field, that can search anything you want in no less than 8 websites and on your PC. Just click your choice.
- My Samsung MP3 player would not work in Windows without its own programme. But here, Ubuntu knows it is an MP3 player and shows a small ipod icon for it!
- Bluetooth off the bat. I could browse and be discovered but I didn't know how to connect. Configuration I guess.
Of course, these are gripes unique to me, the normal user wouldn't face these problems.
So, after using it for a while without the need to type a single letter in the terminal like before, I must hereby dub this version the first Ubuntu or Linux version that is totally user friendly.
This is a solid substitute to Vista, it needs no technical knowledge and is secure and fast.
I am really happy with this. I strongly suggest you download it and give it a try.