Ubuntu in Virtualbox
Not to just be content with having Ubuntu on an older machine I went ahead and installed Virtualbox so I could run Ubuntu side by side with Windows. Again, the install took about 20 minutes and it was up and running. It had no problem installing in the virtual environment and came up with video and network drivers. I was on the web, checking email and looking at sites without having to configure a thing.
This also proves to me that I need to ditch Virtual PC for Windows 7 for Virtualbox. VPC for Win 7 is junk and is just too much of a hassle. Virtualbox was so much easier to configure and actually works like the old VPC used to.
Going back to Ubuntu, there is no denying that installing apps in Windows is a far easier task than installing apps for Unix. There’s still tons of command line scripting going on in the Unix world and that alone is going to be an interesting learning curve. I had no problem getting system updates, but getting something like Thunderbird 3 on there was not just a simple double-click. And even when I did get Thunderbird working and downloading my email, the app is sitting on my desktop not in a "Program Files" type of location, so clearly not ideal.
Windows is usually really good for its ease of use, but as far as getting an OS installed which has a browser, word processing, image editing and network functionality, Ubuntu has proven itself to be just as easy and effective. It does come down to the apps, but if MS keeps pushing cloud computing the OS will lose its relevance since everything will be running out there.
While they aren’t the same, I really like what I see so far.