After the recent debacle of Ubuntu‘s appearence and relatively firm bashing on BBC breakfast television (as chronicled by Popey), I was pleased today to come across some positive coverage from the online division of The Times newspaper. Journalist Jonathan Richards has posted his guide to installing Ubuntu for beginners. There are some sections of the article that don’t ring 100% accurate to me, but that’s understandable for someone getting to grips with a new platform, and I don’t want to detract from the overall good vibe. The objective is to encourage other newcomers onboard, so perhaps it’s written in a more simplistic manner to communicate with the intended audience.
While I understand the overall undertone that Ubuntu is good for reviving older ailing machines, I think it’s an even better option on fast new hardware, and this really isn’t discussed. Also, most wireless drivers come included with Ubuntu despite the assersion that “One slightly annoying thing about Ubuntu is that it doesn’t come with built-in wireless drivers.”. I think they must have been unlucky with the test machine they got (a Dell XPS M1210 apparently). There have certainly been problems a plenty with wireless cards on Linux over the years (particularly those of the dastardly Broadcom variety); I would never deny that, or even want to, but I haven’t had to install an addition wireless driver in many years.
Anyway, I don’t want to criticise what I think is a very fair article and I hope it encourages more people to try out Ubuntu (other distros are available in all good bookshops) and see that it’s not scary. I’m really glad to see mainstream news outlet having the balls to tell people to try Ubuntu. The Guardian also ran an excellent recent piece comparing Windows 7 to the latest Ubuntu, it’s very well written and fair (Thanks to Laura for pointing this one out to me). I think most people would be shocked by how easy it is to install these days, you don’t need to be Stephen Hawking to do it any more. We wouldn’t have seen this level of interest from the media at large just a couple of years back, I hope it’s a sign of good things to come. Not just for Ubuntu, but for Linux in general and all the great people working so hard out there. Thanks to Jonathan Richards for this write up, I hope you’ll continue your Ubuntu adventure and should you get stuck there’s an army of people willing to help. That goes for anyone reading this, just drop me a line. If I can help, I will. Come and join the party!