Jul 282008
Logo for Ubuntu

Logo for Ubuntu

It’s mostly sunny, the radio is playing, and I’m writing about Ubuntu, a human-friendly version of Linux, an alternative operating system to Windows.

I have grown increasingly frustrated with Windows, and I’m not alone as I’ve seen people call it Windoze (because you have to wait so long for anything to get done as the bloatware cranks along) or Micr$haft (for its cost). One of my goals before my brain injury was to convert an older computer to Linux and use that Linux computer to power my book marketing efforts. But for the last 8 years, I believed that was on hold, maybe even permanent hold. As I relearnt how to write and saw small improvements in my reading, I continued to have trouble returning to my old computing abilities, to have trouble learning about new developments in programming. I coasted on old knowledge, got used to being out of the loop, occasionally tried to read about Ubuntu, the version of Linux Dell uses, and then one day a few months ago I had it. (My lawsuit grinding to a virtual halt had a lot to do with that; being unable to use an old laptop anymore because Windows had slowed it down to a crawl was another reason.) And so one week, I ignored the rest of my life and spent several days trying to learn about Ubuntu and installing it on the old laptop. It was a wonderful escape from the world. And even better, I succeeded in giving new life to the old computer.

With that eventual success under my belt, I felt emboldened to try and install it on my new laptop last month. (Both the laptop and installing Ubuntu was a reward to myself for seeing the lawsuit to the end.) As I worked through the installation process and figured out how to use the newest version of Ubuntu on a much more powerful machine, I thought that others may find my non-geek approach to Ubuntu useful.

And so I drafted several articles in concert with teaching myself about various aspects of Ubuntu. Since I don’t retain new information for very long if I don’t use it over and over and over, having it all written down would also prove useful to me when I had to go back to change a setting or install a new application. After awhile, I had a nice crop of draft articles, but the question was where to put them. This blog is supposed to be about my writing, about Lifeliner, not about computing stuff. Metblogs is supposed to be about Toronto stuff only. But my personal blog I thought might be the right place, yet I hesitated publishing them to that forum. And then I joined Squidoo.com, and as I thought about how I could keep article ideas flowing and publishing in order to build up a readership there, I realised Squidoo would be the perfect forum for a series on Going Ubuntu. I published my first installment — Going Ubuntu on a Sony Vaio: The Decision — last week.

I aim to publish one new article in this series each week, and already I’ve received positive feedback on my first installment, received confirmation that there is a demand out there for this kind of information. There’s lots on Ubuntu and Linux for techie types, but very little for people who need information and how-tos in regular non-jargony English. It’s a good feeling to know that one’s writings help people and can even resolve a question or a problem for them.

Today, I published the second in this series — Going Ubuntu: The Installation. I invite you to take a look and to subscribe to my Twitter feed for notifications on when lenses get updated or published. Meanwhile, I have other article ideas and will notify you through this blog for when they go live on Squidoo.