The past week or so has seen me take an interest in Linux, decide which version (distribution) of this free, open source, operating system I wanted to install (Ubuntu 6.06), which technologies (My-SQL, Apache, Perl, Python, Ruby, etc) I wanted to run, and actually go about it by using Dawn's machine (with her permission of course!)

A week or so later, I finally have it installed and the wireless working. Linux is normally as the preserve of geeks, and after the last 5 days I can see why. It takes a lot of cocking about with downloads, burning CDs, running commands, reading countless forums, wikis, documentation etc. I tell you, without a working Windows machine with internet access I would have been stumped. Anyway, suffice to say I've got it installed (that was actually the easy bit once I had an iso that wasn't corrupt), and have finally got the wireless network card working (which wasn't so easy, but this forum thread proved very useful).

So now its all working, what do I think? Well, I have to say I'm very impressed. Its a pretty slick, easy to use operating system, it comes with a load of useful software ready to install or installed, and best of all its all free! It makes the ideal machine for Dawn to browse the web on and do some word processing, etc. And it does some things Windows can't - like the network, Ubuntu can quite happily see my Windows machine, shared drives, and access the files, but Windows XP hasn't got a clue there is another server on the network, crappo!

The plan is, as well as Dawn using it, to get it all set up as a development web/database server so I can get my head around these programming languages I haven't used (despite Anthony saying they're a dying breed because of .net, not likely I say, .net ain't free to set up, get can't get a decent development environment for it for free, and its not easy to learn, but that's by the by!) I'll let you know how I get on with getting the server side set up at a later date.

So in summary, OKish to install and configure, but a pain if you're using a wireless card, but for a free operating system, with a load of free decent software, you can't complain. I'm quite fond of Ubuntu already!