Spending a Day with Ubuntu

I recently got a chance to spend an entire working day with Ubuntu at my employer. This is sad, but I grabbed the wrong laptop on the way into work and when I emerged from standby lo and behold I saw my Ubuntu desktop and not my XP machine. Oops! Well – my commute is too long to go back so here’s how my day unfolded.

Once I got over the initial shock of “oh geeez I’m an idiot” I realized – hey my Ubuntu machine recognized my docking station correctly and mounted all my USB peripherals correctly! I’ve got a mouse, a USB drive, an external monitor, and a hard line ethernet cable. Wow – that’s cool! I was up and running. Next up I took a look at email and calendar…well we use Exchange and we do not use OWA so email and calendar was going to be a problem. That’s ok – I got a b-berry. I quickly configured Pigdin for my gtalk list – that’s the most impt. communication tool for me.

I had a bunch of meetings today – about 6 – so I had to go to standby and come back out a bunch of times going from the dock and to full mobile in several cases. Ubutnu handled this with no issues. I tried to use a projector with the laptop and that was an issue. I could see the image, but it was obvious that something was not quite right. In the mode where the laptop shows nothing and the project shows something the screen was scrambled. In dual mode the screen showed up, but I couldn’t use the mouse or scroll bars and stuff like that. I was using a cheaper Epson projector and my linux laptop was running at its highest resolution so my guess is a synch problem between the two. Dropping into a lower res would probably fix the problem.

I had to edit a bunch of documents (MS Word), checking them in and out of our Alfresco system. No problems with Open Office 2.4. No problems with hard-wire network connections. I didn’t try WiFI since we have a protected VPN installation and I didn’t have access to a linux client on such short notice.

Power management was decent during the day with several meetings over an hour on battery not being a problem.

My only complaint about Ubuntu is the whole heat thing. What is up with the heat and fans? Fedora does not do this and certainly XP does not either. My hands were hot and sweaty all day. Ick.

Other than that a good day with Ubutnu – but I’m still on the edge of blowing away my machine and going for a shot with CentOS.

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