For work reasons, I’ve had to acquire a Linux/Windows capable PC. I’m addicted to laptops, so I got the cheapest new laptop I could possibly find — a display model Acer Aspire 3000 from Circuit City. It’s not half bad!

I did a clean install of Windows XP Home Edition, to get rid of the detritus that random Circuit City employees and customers had left upon it. Then I got ready to install Ubuntu on it.

I found some good advice on repartitioning the drive on the Ubuntu Linux forums (I can’t find the exact post right now) — I burned myself a System Rescue CD and used qtparted to resize the windows partition down to 6 megs, then I made several linux partitions (on the theory that I will want to mess around trying different distributions from time to time).

I installed Ubuntu onto one of them, and it went pretty smoothly. The only big challenge was getting the built-in wireless to work; for that I needed to use “ndiswrapper” — and there was lots of good advice on using ndiswrapper on the Ubuntu Linux forums.

What I like about Ubuntu is that, while it’s not necessarily a quantum leap easier to use out of the box than any other linux distribution, the community and culture are very newbie-friendly. Ubuntu users do not have the Linux Attitude. They’re always doing their best to give clear instructions on how to do hard things, to hold people’s hands and empower them.

Nobody on the Ubuntu fora would ever answer a question like “how would I copy this image file to a floppy” with the two word answer: “man dd.” You can’t say that about most Linux users.

It looks like it’s going to be pretty easy to get cool stuff like JACK working on this platform too. Woot!

This might be fun.

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