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Adventures With Ubuntu Part 1
With Kenilworth Computer Repairs



Put simply Ubuntu Linux is an alternative Operating System to Windows. The Operating system is the software installed on your PC that makes it look, feel and work the way it does. There are both Server and Desktop varities and there is also a multitude of different desktops. At Kenilworth Computer Repairs we use the Gnome Desktop.

Anyone who remembers the original Unix Operating System will be right at home with Ubuntu, since both Linux and Ubuntu were in effect developed from it.

The major difference with Ubuntu is that it and the application software that goes with it, is supplied entirely free of charge. Most of the application software is also compatible with Windows file types. In fact you can do in Ubuntu exactly what you can do in Windows.

Ubuntu is "Open Source", this means that it was created by a community of developers for free, rather than one manufacturer. It also means that anyone in the community can make changes to the system, provided that they are also distributed for free.



This really could not be simpler. We had a spare PC knocking about and in the space of a couple of hours managed to create a complete 64 bit Web Server, with Office Libre, Antivirus, Audacity, Firefox and Mozilla Thunderbird along with several other well known applications. Curiously the end result was much faster and more reliable than anything Windows could offer.

Ubuntu can be downloaded from here and the installation can either be burned onto an ISO CD or run from a USB memory stick.

We also found that once everything had been installed the machine did not and hasn't yet crashed. We mean it, it simply has not fallen over at all. Using the desktop is similar to Windows, although depending on which desktop you choose the layout might be different. The Gnome Desktop for example has a vertical selection bar on the left from which applications are selected, rather than a screenful of icons.

Of course like all operating systems there are updates and with Ubuntu there are many. Our friends at Surefyre web design have pointed out that unlike Windows updates, Ubuntu updates almost never require a system reboot.



We also found that many big name software providers now produce versions of their products that are certified to run on the Ubuntu Linux platform. There are two ways to install software either using the software centre or using the command line.

We quickly got to grips with a brand new command in the terminal window to install software for free.

We installed Office Libre which would be equivalent to Microsoft Office and has a Word Processor, Spreadsheet, Database and can create and save documents in the familiar Windows formats, so you can open and use them on a standard Windows PC. Open Office is also available for Ubuntu with all the familiar applications a "Desk Jockey" might require.


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