Linuxblog Introduction: We took an average windows user, gave her a handful of distributions of Linux, and forced her to use each distro for one week. We gave her alsaconf, email servers, and mounted her windows partition to the fresh install. Then, we faded away and quietly watched her in her new environment. You too can join us by reading on…
1) Look/Feel – I was impressed with the desktop. I think it has something to do with Gnome because Fedora looked similar, but I like the look of Ubuntu better. It’s professional looking and it makes me feel like I am using something very official. It has that cool and sleek design that I want in a desktop–one of the best looking distros I have seen. (Score – 10)
2) Performance – I have no issues with performance. Everything seemed to work as it should. It’s not slow or anything. We’re cool here. (Score – 10)
3) Hardware/Software – All of my hardware was detected properly. There are not many software choices with this distro, as was the case with Fedora. I’m told this is a Gnome thing. So this is a definite down side of Gnome for me. I like choices. Remember, downloading new programs and such is out for me for the most part, unless I can get someone to help me…which I’m not doing for these reviews as to maintain new user status. (Score – 5)
4) Upgradeability/Security – I’m just guessing that everything is okay. Same situation as before. (Score – 10)
5) Documentation – Their website is very nice and organized. There seems to be the same attention to detail and documentation as with Fedora. But as before, it’s not a whole lot of help to a new person like me, right off the bat that is. I am sure with lots of time a work I can figure somethings out but this is not what I am here for. I want easy answers, just like every other average person. (Score – 9)
6) Installation – Installation went okay, it was text only and involved a lot of blind guessing, but I made it through. But after the install was done, I was instructed to take out the cd and it would automatically restart. Well I was then bombarded with text flying everywhere and I didn’t know what the heck was going on. Then after about five minutes I was sure I had done something wrong so I consulted the guru and I was informed that this was part of the install. Whah, hey? It would have been nice to have some sort of warning as to what was about to happen. I thought the install was over but no, evidently I was now watching the software being installed FOR TWENTY FIVE MINUTES!!! THEN a boot screen appeared. That whole ordeal was super annoying. If I had not had someone to consult, I would have probably pulled the plug after ten minutes. I need graphics, I need explanations!! This has been the worst install yet because I was totally convinced that something had gone horribly wrong and I was ready to write it off right then and there–but I didn’t. (Score – 2)
And now…once again…it is time for my criteria…
1) Mail – Easy install. Evolution is a nice program. Images are kinda slow to load but everything else was okay. Which by the way, it was Evolution in Fedora that gave me such a hard time. This leads me to believe that the problem is not with Evolution but with Fedora. –So the zero I gave Fedora in the email department is really justified. I wonder why it was so much better with Ubuntu? Anyways . . . (Score – 9)
2) Internet – My website doesn’t render, AGAIN. Plugins are not automatically installed. Flash was a snap with Firefox…but java is pretty much an instant replay of what I’ve been through with all but two distros. This aspect is really starting to bother me. If they can make it so easy in some distros, why can’t they do it with others? If people think that making it easy makes it too much like Windows, that’s just stupid. It’s like shooting yourself in the foot and I thought the idea was progress people, huh? But no one has to listen to me, it’s not like my opinion really matters anyway because I have no REAL knowledge or REAL desire to learn according to some people. The thing that bothers me most in this experiment is people telling me to just â€œlearnâ€ how to do things. Well I would, if I were not busy playing the part of a new user with each and every distro. I don’t think some people realize how much effort I put in to being an actual new user every time. I actually have to refrain from doing things that are too advanced and have to remind myself how I was using Mandrake (the first one I tried). I have to constantly keep that frame of mind without dumbing myself down too much. It’s not that easy. How many casual PC users know to go to forums and ask questions about how to install or use a new program. How many Windows users do you know that go to forums to find out how to install Java or Shockwave? Big fat zero, why? Because it’s already done for you. That being said, who is going to choose the hard way when the up side may be saving some cash but the down side is spending six months learning how to get your computer to the point that in Windows would take a few hours? Most people either figure it out on their own or not at all. That’s the bottom line, sorry to step on your toes folks but this is how it really works with us dummy’s. –Whew, I needed to get that off my chest! (Score – 2)
3) Listening To Music – I have no time for players that don’t play mp3s. I could not find a single player that would play my mp3s. I have over 5,000 mp3s and I am not about to change my format now. Nor do I have the knowhow to â€œjust install this, it’s easy as pieâ€. –Yes, I am getting bitter, let’s just say it’s a good thing we are at the close of this experiment. (Score – 1)
4) Download Music/Files – Again, no programs by default and again I am not advanced enough to download the programs on my own. (Score – 0)
5) Burning CDs – Wow, this is a first, no burner comes with Ubuntu. WHY? How is this new user friendly? Editors Note: Ubuntu does come with the Gnome burner, but it is not easy to find. Also, when Mrs.Devnet put in a CD it did not pop open like so many of you keep telling Linux Blog it does. Nothing happened. This being said, the burner will still score 0 because it is no use to Mrs.D if she can’t find it and if it doesn’t work. (Score – 0)
So I have asked the question, how can a distro that looks absolutely fantastic be so useless? Well, the answer I sort of half understood, it had something to do with the fact that it was Gnome based and there is some sort of space issue. So okay, you want it to be compact and all but how is this attractive to a new user or a Linux convert? Um, it’s not. There has got to be a way to have both, to some extent. I really wanted this to be an awesome distro, but while it held up to standard expectations, it obviously fell short of mine.
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