I know there are lots of Linux distros out there but I chose Ubuntu because I'm a Linux newbie. If you know your way around Windows then it seems to be very easy to pick up. It hasn't all been smooth sailing, but so far I've managed to overcome all my problems with a quick Google search. The advantage of using Ubuntu is that plenty of newbies have gone before me, so no question seems to be too stupid and they've all been answered in places like ubuntuforums.org.
I know I'm late to jump on the Linux bandwagon, but I try to avoid the pain of being an early adopter. When you work for yourself, you don't have time to bang your head again a wall trying to get things to work (unless someone's paying you to do it). Lately it seems I spend a lot of time banging my head with XP.
While I'm late to jump, I've been working towards this moment for a long time. I've been using Firefox since last year and switched to Thunderbird at the start of the year, with the though it would ease my eventual transition into Linux. So far that plan seems to have paid off. I converted my NTFS data partition to FAT32, so now I can boot into XP or Ubuntu and have the same inbox and browser. It makes a huge difference to boot into a new environment and find some familiar friends.
It's early days yet, I'm still using XP during the day but at night I'm tinkering with Ubuntu - slowly putting together an environment that will let me do what I do now in Windows. The difference is that hopefully Ubuntu won't grind to a halt every now and then for no particular reason. I'm sick of fighting with Windows. I need something that just works and, so far, Ubuntu hasn't disappointed me.
As a wordsmith my requirements aren't that high. The only hitch is that I'm still using Outlook as my calendar. I was intending to play around with Lightning and BirdieSync before I tried Linux, but I got a bit ahead of myself. I don't use many of Outlook's advanced features, so I'm hoping Lightning will meet my needs. I'm also trying to recreate the back up system I run using Handy Backup. rsnapshot, a filesystem backup utility based on rsync, looks promising but I'm still tinkering with it.
The thing I'm worried about is getting Ubuntu to work with a 3G wireless modem, such as a 3 MobileConnect USB card or my imate JasJam on Telstra's Next G. I haven't tried yet, but if I can't then I might have to keep using XP when I'm away from the office (which isn't that often). I'm sure I'm not the first person to run into this issue and I'm hoping someone has already solved it or is working on it as we speak. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
As a Linux newbie I have to say the thing that has impressed me the most about Ubuntu so far is Synaptic. For those who don't know, Synaptic is an automatic installer that lets you add new software with the click of a button. It's made it very simple to install and trial various file backup applications. I've only had to access the command line a few times, and it's all been pretty straight forward. If you can drive XP, you can drive Ubuntu.
I can't turn my back on Windows completely, I need XP and Vista machines for work. I also have to admit that my Vista media centre is quite good, but only because I don't ask myuch of it.
It's still early days and I realise that I've probably swapped one set of problems for another, but I'm keen to see if Ubuntu can take away the pain of fighting with Windows and just let me get on with my life.
The Road to Ubuntu - Backup Hell