Automatix kicks Ubuntu into gear
There's been some discussion lately about whether Ubuntu is suitable for Linux beginners. If you raise this issue, someone is sure to tout a script called Automatix as the solution to any perceived notions of the user-unfriendliness of Ubuntu. Automatix automatically installs a laundry list of applications, plugins, and utilities that are supposed to turn a barebones Ubuntu install into desktop perfection. That sounded like something I should try.
I already thought Ubuntu was pretty easy to use. Although it doesn't come out of the box with everything I need, I quickly found out how to get just about everything I needed by pointing and clicking. The Synaptic Package Manager helped me set up extra repositories, and update-notifier made it easy to get the latest version of whatever it told me I needed.
Still, for a rank beginner, Ubuntu might take a little over-the-shoulder help getting plugins and other essential applications installed. Automatix sure sounds like an answer.