For the longest time, I have always had a goal to be Windows-free. Many people I work with feel that it is pure apostasy, because I have worked in Microsoft shops in the past 10 years or so. But frankly, I am particularly sick of Windows as a whole. If I can still continue doing my work without having Windows on on my HP Pavillion dv9008nr laptop, then I think I am set.
So, I installed Kubuntu 9.04 (Juanty Jackalope) today. It was the most painless installation of Linux that I had… ever. It was even less painful that my initial installation of Ubuntu 8.10 (Intepid Ibex) on the family desktop (recently auto-updated to Jaunty).
My laptop wireless has the ever painful Broadcom chipset, which historically has been a problem on both 32-bit and 64-bit systems. But I found out that they got off their butts and started to provide drivers for Linux. So, after enabling the closed source drivers, my wireless just worked period. There was no manual configuration that I had to do, no driver to look for, and no searching through outdated documentation for clues on configuring everything. Do you have any idea how refreshing that is?
Here are other refreshing things:
- The NVidia chipset for graphics acceleration worked with zero configuration.
- All of my external devices worked.
- Even though I like the GNOME interface in Ubuntu, I absolutely love the KDE interface in Kubuntu. I am ecstatic that I went in that direction.
- BZFlag looks / feels much better on Linux that on Windows.
- The best system for tools I already use on Windows: Pidgin, GNU Emacs, Steel Bank Common Lisp, Mozilla Firefox, and others.
- Even Adobe Flash has decent performance, even though there is no 64-bit native version for Linux. Most YouTube videos do work, even in full screen mode. So, I can deal with it for now. (Adobe is now the new Broadcom, IMO).
- The default Remote Desktop (RDP) client allows me to connect to my Windows desktop at work, basically completing my minimum requirements for total conversion.
So, I look forward to writing more about my experiences on Kubuntu.