Monday, March 19, 2007

The Ubuntu Experience, Part 2

PC World recently did a feature article on Operating Systems, and named Ubuntu as their favorite Linux distribution. I decided to document my experience working with Ubuntu, and this second article, Part 2, will detail my experience installing and using applications. I'm using the latest version of Ubuntu, 6.1.

Installing More Applications

Ubuntu comes with tons of free and open-source applications, but I decided to go get some more before writing this article. I opened the Add/Remove Programs item on the Applications menu and was pleasantly surprised. After scanning my system for installed apps, it downloaded a huge list of free apps that I could install off the internet; in other words, Ubuntu offered to do the downloading and installing for me. Is that allowed?

I installed Adobe Reader, which was a large download, but it didn't take too long and was instantly installed when fully downloaded. It really was that easy.

Using Applications

Next I decided it was time to start trying out my apps. After playing games, reading email, IMing my friends, and more, I settled on a few apps to talk about.

The star of the show has to be Evolution Mail. This email application does more than Outlook Express. In fact, it does more than Thunderbird. It outright rivals Outlook itself, the grandpappy of email applications. And it does a pretty good job of it too: I couldn't find anything it couldn't do that Outlook could. It was surprisingly easy to set it up to get my Gmail and Yahoo! mail, and I could even have it store the incoming mail in separate folders, based on the account. Evolution Mail: 5/5

Next was Gaim. This IM application can handle Y!, MSN, AIM, Jabber, and a host of other chatting systems, and it does so with a fairly simple layout and clean interface. Unfortunately, it can't handle GTalk, even though this uses the iChat protocol (just like AIM). Gaim is also available for Windows.

Overall, none of Ubuntu's available applications were disappointing. They were well polished and tested, and this was obvious from the bug-freeness (a new word!)

Coming Up

In my final article in this series (Part 3), I'll be talking about how Ubuntu compares with other OSs, such as Windows XP. Until then, submit your comments below and let me know what you think.

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Blogger James said...

I had no problems setting up gaim to use gtalk. Google has this information on their help page for the googletalk app.

Monday, March 19, 2007 1:27:00 PM PST  
Blogger P said...

One small clarification, your version of Ubuntu would be 6.10, since the numbering system Ubuntu uses is year.month (in this case, October 2006).

Tuesday, March 20, 2007 7:02:00 AM PST  
Blogger Cubex DE said...

Thanks for the comments.

james: Thanks, that's helpful. I'll check into that. Does this also apply to Trillian Basic?

p: Alright, I didn't know that was important. Still, the only possible values are .10 and .4, so I'm pretty sure you know what I mean ;).

Thanks again for everyone's feedback.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007 11:56:00 AM PST  

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