May 23, 2008

At Last : A Microsoft Free Environment

I achieved a major life-goal today when I managed to acquire a new machine which is completely free of Microsoft products ...

Thanks to Financial Express and the Big Idea contest, I am now the proud owner of an HCL Ultraportable Notebook MiLeap .. and it was delivered today ... loaded with Ubuntu, the Linux distribution and the ease with which it became operational is amazing.

I simply pushed the power button and the machine blinked to life. It offered me a choice of Ubuntu and DOS to boot up .. and when I pressed the Ubuntu option it asked me just three questions : my name (and password), my city / country and language. That was it ! Machine was up and operational !!

I connected my Airtel broadband cable into the lan port and the machine sensed the network and hooked on. I fired up the Firefox browser and breezed into my portal. No problems .. not even with the bangla unicode font. I had to only download the Shockwave plugin to see some of my fancy stuff.

Next stop OpenOffice .. which is also inbuilt into the Ubuntu distribution. I am an OpenOffice user on my previous non-Linux machine and tranfered quite a few files using my USB drive. All files worked perfectly.

Next stop, the printshop. I plugged in my HP PSC 1400 printer and for the first time Ubuntu kind of stopped and scratched its head. But not for long ... for very soon it detected the brand (HP) the model (PSC1400) and started searching for the driver .. and found it. I shot off a test print and it printed perfectly, both Roman fonts and my strange unicode bangla fonts ... which I am yet to install in the machine.

Last stop, image editing ... of the picture you see in this post. I had heard of GIMP and used it for the first time. As easy as my favourite Paintshop. So there ...

There are tons of other software for music, images, games and what not .. and it will take me some time to figure this out. But right now I am in business with Firefox, broadband, OpenOffice and the HP printer. Who could ask for anything more ?

And which idiot would want to pay money for MS Vista, IE and MS Office when you have Ubuntu available free of cost ?

I think that even MS knows the answer ... which is why they have started to support the ODF format of OpenOffice .. because that is where we will finally be.

P.S. The MiLeap Ultraportable seems to be an excellent piece of hardware but for its screen size ! but i suppose that is what an Ultraport is all about !! The software works fine but some of the Ubuntu configuration screens are partially masked and since they are not scrollable, this causes some difficulty


Anonymous said...

I use Open office with Windows XP... It's top... thanks for recommending Ubuntu! I'm gonna try right now to install on a free HD partition... Let's go for freedom !!! thanks!

Sebastian Atar said...

For the Photoshop users who have tried GIMP, but found it too different from what they are used to, try GIMPshop.

"GIMPshop is a modification of the free/open source GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP), intended to replicate the feel of Adobe Photoshop. Its primary purpose is to make users of Photoshop feel comfortable using GIMP."

Thanks to Scott Moschella.

Pradeep Vasudevan said...

Ubuntu-GIMP-Mozilla-Open Office...wonderful combination of course!!! Why not we make Praxis a "Free campus with free software???"

Anonymous said...

Have you tried Mac products? I have an iMac and I just love it (no offense to Linux).

Anonymous said...

except that you have to pay through your nose for Mac products ... and i am not sure why i should