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Thursday, June 30, 2011


Today is the thirtieth of June and I have broken my own rule and upgraded my computers Operating System from the Ubuntu 10.04 LTS(Long Term Support) to the 18 month supported version, 11.04, a.k.a. The Natty Narwhal. When 10.04, Lucid, hit the scene, just over a year ago, it was clear that the Canonical people were out to attract more business' to use their OS by the start-up and shut-down times, they are very fast. Now, the South-African owner, Mr. Shuttleworth, is taking aim at a couple of hundred million new desk-top users in the very near future and I believe that he is on target.

I love the Gnome Desk-Top and was a bit miffed at the idea of making the desk-top more ¨Windows¨ User friendly, after all, it isn´t at all difficult to install the Windows-like KDE Desk-Top. But here I am with two Revitalized Computers, dedicated to youth that cannot afford one for their schooling and my wayward son walks back into my life... computer-less! I can´t have that so I take my backup/testbed/emergency unit and I download the new version, reformat the hdd and install. I am so impressed with the system, two months out of release that I upgraded my work unit last night.

I want to say, right up front, that Mark Shuttleworth and his team at Canonical deserve medals of recognition, the Unity interface/Desk-top is just what Windows and Micro Soft never needed to happen to the open-source/free software world! It is completely Icon driven so that the GUI/Graphic User Interface is the best I have ever used. There is only one Task Bar, at the top, that although it never disappears, it does not take up screen territory when an application is in use. The App. Header and the task bar combine, giving the user more screen to operate with, very nice!

The icons are in a single column at the left of the screen but disappear when an app. is opened but, not to worry. Move the cursor to the left of the screen and rest for less than a second and the Icons crawl back into view. Now, if you´re like me you have several hundred applications installed and even a collapsing and expanding single column will never be enough. However, not to worry! At the top left you will find the Ubuntu Logo Icon and when you click on it the screen is overlain with a semi-transparent sheet of icons for the different divisions of programs. Click, say, Internet and all those apps. will appears in icon form for you to select the desired program to run.

If you have never taken an adventurous move before in your life, you need to take this one. Go the the Ubuntu Home page and click get the software and download the 11.04 iso. Then bring up your CD Burner program and burn the iso with the Burn Image choice. If you have a burner that will not burn an image, there are very few, search Google for ¨Image Burner free software¨ and download one. After burning the CD put the disk into the CD Drive and shut the computer down and restart it. If it is one of the newer units it will boot from the CD and if it is an older unit and does not, reboot and from the beginning hit the delete key until it begins to boot the OS or goes into set-up. If it does not go into set-up then reboot pressing, repeatedly the F-2 Key or the F-11 Key until you are in Set-Up. Read the directions on the screen and find the Boot Menu and make the first boot device your CD, then the Floppy, if you still use one and finally the Hdd. Now, hit F-10, Yes and boot into the CD. These directions will work with about 95% of all computers, for the others you need me or some other Geek to vist you and set it up.

Now, play with the Operating System and see if you like it. Nothing is being written to your Hard-Drive and you get to test without changing your system at all. If you are Okay with the Ubuntu, Install it, you can do this. As it installs you will be asked, first choice, to install side by side or use the whole disk. Chose Side by Side and answer the other questions for a dual boot, leaving your Windows in place and useful for future boot up if you fail to adapt to the free software.

God bless and happy computing!