Around a month ago my Windows XP Lenovo had a major crash and left me without some of my data for 5 days and I was so angry that I swore never to use Microsoft Operating Systems again. In this video I described my experience using Ubuntu. It was a great one.

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pradyum on April 12, 2007  · 

Very nice demo. I like your presentation style. Thanks.

Look forward to your talk & meeting with you @ web 2.0/SF.


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dema on April 12, 2007  · 

Hi Martin ,
and when you will discover what your desktop might become with the combination of Beryl + a good Nvidia card + Ubuntu you will be amazed.
Check this demo @ youtube

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Martin Varsavsky on April 13, 2007  · 


It looks amazing, how do I install it? Over ubuntu?

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dema on April 13, 2007  · 

Martin , my suggestion is to wait until 19 April when Feisty fawn ubuntu will be released , and then , once your system has been upgraded , to follow this step by step howto
Regards .

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juantomas on April 13, 2007  · 

Good Report. Happy to see you give a chance to Linux too.

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hoblap on April 13, 2007  · 

Of course, you cannot use windows executable files.

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Sp on April 14, 2007  · 

Congratulations for being “open” and trying Mac and Linux and be enthusiastic for both.

Nice presentation.


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Francois Legendre on April 14, 2007  · 

excellent idea

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Luuk on April 14, 2007  · 

A comment from the neighbour of Benjamin Warshavsky…
I would like to say: welcome in the linux world! There’s a lot more to discover from now on. E.g. travelling with a complete OS on an USB stick in your pocket to use in internet cafes or tailoring a distribution to your needs.
I’m a user of linux since many years, from times that one had to struggle with X-terminal settings to get a graphic interface. And indeed Linux distributions have grown into really easy installable packages.
One thing intrigued me in your presentation. You mentioned that you (being a person who is exxtemely well informed about IT) were not earlier attracted to open source OS’s. It might be interesting to analyse why, because it might learn us why the whole IT-world is still so ambivalent towards linux and open source… So don’t forget those earlier cognitions and doubts about Linux and help the world understand why it takes us so long.

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Matteo Scotuzzi on April 14, 2007  · 

First of all, I’m really happy you liked ubuntu. It’s a great operative system and it’s free not only materially (that is not a required feature to be free software) but also in the “freedom” meaning: you can run, study (throught the source code), modify and redistribute the software. Probably you know what I just said, but I think that it can be useful to someone else to know what free software is, opposed to freeware.

I noticed that the version that you installed is Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn, that is a pre-release. The stable release will be on April, 19 as reported by Dema. I have to disagree with dema on beryl. I suggest you Compiz that is officially in ubuntu repositories; let me explain: the original 3d desktop-effects program was called compiz. Some people (into the ubuntu community, if I’m not wrong), after some misunderstandings with the project leader decided to “fork” compiz, to create the beryl project. However, the new team has continued to import code from the original project, working basically only on the effect-plugins quite fast, but using some workarounds to get things done, so quality of code was not so high and beryl is never been a real fork. Some weeks ago, eventually the beryl team, after the ubuntu choice to include compiz in “Feisty Fawn” and having resolved the misunderstandings with compiz, have agreed that a merge of the projects was the best thing to do. I saw compiz running in your video so I think you have already installed video card drivers and the desktop-effects package (that is compiz). The only thing you could want to add is the “extra” package that contains some more effects and to configure them (I have not tried Feisty Fawn yet, so I don’t know if the extra effects are already in the repositories)… In some cases was reported by some users that compiz is not stable while beryl works well; in other situations was the opposite. So if your computer works with compiz, there is no reason to use beryl.

I would like to be honest: ubuntu is simple, works quite well for a lot of uses, but sometimes you could get in a trouble… it could be a piece of hardware, a file format you can’t open… Just remember that asking is usually the key when you have a problem 🙂 If you need some help don’t hesitate to post on ubuntu forums or (if you prefer) feel free to mail me (I have entered my email in this comment form), I’m not a super-expert but I’ll try to help you at my best…

Responding to hoblap (comment #6), I think that not being able to run windows executable files could only be a plus 😉 (hey, no viruses/spywares/badware!). However you CAN run some Windows-only software on GNU/Linux using a “magical” software called “Wine” that is a free (as in free speech) implementation of the Windows system calls. Some software will run well, other could simply not work… as an example you can run World of Warcraft on your Linux box thanks to Wine.

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Stephen G on April 15, 2007  · 

What is amazing is how versatile Linux is …, the Fonera runs on a Linux kernel as does Ubuntu, as Google’s server infrastructure, as does my Tivo, as does my handheld, as will my next mobile phone, etc.

Linux has so much momentum right now it might be a bad idea for anyone in the tech industry to ignore it any longer.

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Steven on April 16, 2007  · 

I couldn’t get my Wifi supported by linux right out of the box 🙁
I tried a Linksys WPC11rev3 pcmcia, Level1 54mbit pcmcia and a Topcom 54mbit Usb stick…

There wasn’t even a Wifi manager in the Ubuntu Feisty last month…I had to specify manually the SSID and password settings… which only supported wep? not wpa?

After some internet pages (from a windows machine) and the laptop branched to the internet by cable I got a “internet radar” installed but still…

I’ll wait till 19 april myself to see if the wifi experience got improved…

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steven on April 16, 2007  · 

And many friends were bothered that mp3/avi weren’t supported right out of the box…
one needed to get a “dos box” (terminal) and sudo vi some files to get the propretiery codecs supported… 🙁

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oker1 on April 16, 2007  · 

a nice blog with tips

howtos collected for some common tasks

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Martin Varsavsky on April 16, 2007  · 

Hi Luuk,

I also wonder why. What turned me on into open source was and the open source software we use and contribute to

That, combined with a horrible crash on my PC, made me try Mac and Ubuntu.

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Martin Varsavsky on April 16, 2007  · 

Yes Matteo, I am using Compiz.

So far my experience with Ubuntu overall has been very good, only some problems with photos and ipod. That seems to be the weak part, the entertainment.

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malena on April 17, 2007  · 

Martin, es un Ed Ruscha el cuadro colgado en tu estudio?

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Martin Varsavsky on April 17, 2007  · 

Yes, it´s an Ed Ruscha.

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Matteo Scotuzzi on April 18, 2007  · 

@Steven: starting with the wpa issue you need wpasupplicant package; you can find more infos here:
For the hardware problem is possible that you find specific drivers for your hardware; I don’t know the situation with pcmcia hardware, but usb network devices are usually a bad choice: a solution if you can’t find any driver for your hardware is to use NdisWrapper. It allows you to install wireless hardware on your linux box using windows drivers.
The “internet-manager” you have installed could be “wifi-manager”: it is really good, but in order to use it you need to make your hardware work.

Installing the package w32codecs will install video and audio codecs.
For view videos my advice is to install vlc player (it supports out of the box a lot of file types).
I don’t remember any further configuration to do…
Codecs are propretary software so they are not included in the distribution and they can’t work out of the box… 🙁

@Martin: what sort of problems with photos?
and yes, i think that iPod support is not excellent, but with some manual work it can surely be improved.

Everything I’ve just said is based on Ubuntu Edgy, but is surely applicable to Feisty too. If more detailed help is needed just ask me.

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mårten on April 19, 2007  · 

Chicken & Egg problem here…
I consider Ubuntu, but is already on Debian – which means I don’t have the plugin to see you convince me to use Ubuntu.

Frankly, I started installing it a while ago, but I didn’t like the terms. Terms that I never have to agree with if I use a default installed Flash. Strange people.

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