First complicated, then simple
This column often focuses on devices or software that can be popped out of the box and put to work in no time. Be forewarned, the bulk of this week’s installment will be dedicated to something that is nowhere near that simple, but offers great rewards for the adventurous.
The subject is putting Linux, the open-source operating system, on your PC. Results should be more or less the same, regardless of the hardware you use. But some Linux variations are more suited to the unique demands of notebooks than others. Your friendly reviewer – with considerable assistance from his computer-scientist brother – used kubunto (pronounced kay-ubuntu) from Ubuntu on a ThinkPad from Lenovo.
In this reviewer’s testing, it was more stable than Windows. Over a couple weeks, it froze only once. And for many applications such as word-processing and e-mail, it was faster than Windows mainstays Word and Outlook. The biggest surprise to this reviewer was the beauty of the interface. It was nicer than any Windows variation. Moreover, there are all sorts of ways to adjust the look. If you can’t find one you like, there are dozens of others to try.
Linux-users will find no shortage of applications – including a free suite that mirrors the offerings of Microsoft Office and is compatible with most Office documents.