Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Linux - It just works!

I have really been enjoying getting around in Linux and I am getting used to the Gnome desktop environment. I find it very simple and easy to use and I am learning my way around rather quickly I think. I was not only amazed at how easy the installation process was, I have been really impressed at how intuitive it is. I was also surprised to find how things just seemed to work when I needed them.

The first time I needed to print something I had my husband on standby. I was so afraid I was going to have to install drivers or figure out how to point Linux to my printer, however, I never needed my husband's help. When I went to print something my printer was already listed in the printer options. I selected my printer and clicked print and away it went!

I also tend to like to edit my printing options to save on ink. If the document I am printing is not very important I will often use the Draft option. While the menu is set up a bit differently than in Windows I was still able to find that option available when I clicked on the Advanced tab. From there I just clicked on the Printer Mode was given several options. I chose the Draft option I preferred and it printed my page for me! There was nothing to it!

Well, then I needed some photos off my camera and sure enough, when I plugged my camera in the same thing happened! It just worked! I did not need to install anything, it came with software that worked for me. When I plugged in my camera that following menu popped up!

I was really expecting Linux to be a bit more difficult, but so far it has not been. It works just great. I found that it also worked well for reading CDs and DVDs. When you insert the disk the menu pops up to choose what program you want to use to open it with. (For DVDs my install came with Totem by default but I would recommend you using the app Add/Remove programs and look for VLC Media and use it instead because I did have trouble getting Totem to work.)

I also had great success with many of the games that we had purchased for my daughter. For Christmas we had bought The Veggie Tales Dance, Dance, Dance game which also came with a dance pad. I know that many games that require Windows do not always work in Linux, and I figured that this game would be one of them. Well, it was not, it installed and worked flawlessly (thanks to Wine of course)! Other games that worked were Bible Champions, Jumpstart Kindergarten, and Jumpstart Animal Field Trip. I will be trying to install a few more in the weeks ahead and will let you know how that goes.

Getting familiar with Linux hasn't been that different from learning how to use a new version of Windows. I remember having to get used to XP when I left Win98 and I would have to learn Vista or Windows 7 if I chose to go to either of those. So if you decide that you are not interested in paying for the latest version of Windows or simply want a version that gives you more privacy and control, try Linux. If you are going to have upgrade and have to learn something new anyway, why not make it a "free" version? That is what I am doing, and so far I am extremely happy with my choice!


  1. Glad Wine's working for you!

    I now link to this page from the middle of my
    cebit presentation about wine,

    Please don't forget to file bugs at bugs.winehq.org
    for the inevitable wine problems you'll run into
    down the road!

  2. Any recent Linux is a lot easier to install than any Windows I've ever installed. Drivers for motherboard, monitor, printer and everything I've ever needed are included both in Ubuntu and openSUSE.

    Even all of my digital cameras are automatically detected!

  3. proud of you...you are a housewife...but you still have time to share your knowledge about open source...i'm really admire that you can do that..
    i'm a newbie in learning Linux and open source... thanks to your article....
    viva open source!!!!