Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thoughtlessly, intuitively, Ubuntu just works

I'm going to be discussing my experience in exploring Ubuntu over the next little while, as I learn new things.
Here's what made me smile just this morning.
For work, I went to check the earnings release for a company we're looking at, which they've posted on their website in pdf. So I click on the link, the pdf downloads, I click on the downloaded link, and the Q3'10 results pop open in Evince Document Viewer. And that's when it hit me - I didn't even think about going to find a viewer, didn't have to install a viewer. Having installed Ubuntu, the OS included this open source software as part of a minimum package the developers decided the average user should have.
I didn't have to think about it. It just works.
Ubuntu is not Windows. It will take some time to learn. Some things will not "just work" with ease. But, even at this early stage, Ubuntu has demonstrated it doesn't want to behave like Windows at all. It wants to be helpful, it really wants to get out of the way and not be a distraction from productivity, but rather offer productivity, stability, reliability - by taking care of its business in a dependable manner, and freeing up my attention to focus on what I'm sitting in front of the computer to do.
As I look out at the next several months, I can see all kinds of accumulated stress melting away. I have this strange sense of hope that I won't spend inordinate amounts of time wrestling with this operating system as I have had to with the incumbent market share leader.
I have a distinct feeling I'm going to be saying this a lot when it comes to Ubuntu - it just works.