I cannot believe the responses I’ve received and the number of site visits my piece on Ubuntu vs. Macintosh and Windows has received. I originally wrote that as an email to my brother who has followed my Macintosh, Windows and Linux adventures over the past decade and a half. One of the readers of my piece inferred that I must have an older Macintosh. I own a three month old MacBook Pro which I really enjoy and continue to use every day. I purchased it when I began my program of study in Educational Leadership at St. Bonaventure University. Prior to purchasing the MacBook Pro I purchased two MacBooks. One for my daughter and another for my son. I really enjoy the Macintosh interface and I was using a Macintosh Plus and programming with HyperCard over twenty years ago. I’m not an Apple hater. Apple Computer has great products, but that being said, I work in education where there are dwindling dollars and when one can purchase two Dell’s equipped either with Ubuntu or Windows 7 for the price of one MacBook one must make choices.
I’ve been using Linux since 1997 when I purchased Red Hat 5 at Staples and a teach yourself Linux in 24 hours book. I’ve progressed from Red Hat 5 to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 and I’ve used Centos 3 and 4, Fedora 1 through Fedora 5. I was on a trip Portland, Oregon in 2005 when I attended a Portland Linux User Group meeting at Portland State University and a guy handed me Ubuntu 5.04. At first I didn’t like Ubuntu because of “sudo” but then gradually over the last four years it has come to be my favorite Linux distribution even on the server side of things. I’ve used it on standalone servers, created Linux terminal servers, print server, a Mythbox, several desktops and several laptops. I’ve got my Mother using Ubuntu and she likes its simplicity and reliability. Thanks to everyone who left a reply as I’ve learned something from each of you.
Since I originally wrote that piece I’ve installed Ubuntu 9.10 on my new Dell Inspiron 1545 and it works even better than Windows 7 did on that platform. I will eventually virtualize the Windows 7 that came with the notebook using Virtual Box. Today I drove over to pick up a computer that I donated over a year ago to the Franciscan Friars at Mt. Irenaeus. It’s a Dell mini-tower with Windows XP Home. I’m going to give the Friars the option of installing Ubuntu and then virtualizing Windows in that too. There’s something to be said for a stable host operating system and a virtualized guest OS. I’v benefited more than once from reverting my virtual Windows XP desktop to an earlier state after spyware and or Windows updates caused problems.
One the features of the MacBook that I really enjoy is the ease of converting old video tapes to DVD format for clients of mine. I did some of that over the holidays and helped an old friend recover memories of a deceased brother that were locked away on tape. Peace!