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Playing around with Ubuntu

Posted by Doug on November 22, 2008

I came into the possession of a hand-me-down computer, an ancient Compac Presario 6000.  It wasn’t anything special even when it was new—1.66 GHz processor, 480 MB RAM, 40 GB hard drive, with Windows XP on it.  Just a cheap computer.  But hey, it did work, albeit very, very slowly.  In any case, it was replaced by a significantly better system, and the relic came to be mine.

I had been curious about operating systems other than Windows for a while, but other than a brief segment on Linux at the vo-tech I attended a few years back, I had always used some variant of Windows.  I had obtained a copy of the Live CD of Ubuntu 8.04.1, so I installed it on the old computer, just to tinker around with.  I named this computer Makoto, for Reason #2.

Ubuntu is very…different.  Using it is pretty straightforward, but installing new programs is an interesting exercise.  The distribution came with OpenOffice.org 2.4.1, but I had already been using 3.0.0 on my laptop, so I figured I would just install that.  But on of 3.0.0’s packages has a conflict with one of 2.4.1, so you have to get rid of 2.4.1 first…a process which (for me) required a great deal of referencing online tutorials, given that I am not exactly fluent in Linux yet.  sudo and dpkg and tar are arcane enchantments, mysterious and occult.

Strangely, now that I’ve got everything up and running, it seems like Makoto is running smoother—probably because Ubuntu eats up less system resources than XP.  Or something.  I’m no expert.



2 Responses to “Playing around with Ubuntu”

  1. James D said

    Sounds like you followed some horrible convoluted instructions for installing OO.org 3.0 — here is the easy way of doing it.

  2. Doug said

    Thanks for the link, James. The method described there does seem more straightforward.

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