I’ve been a Mac user since that was possible (in 1984) — first through school and then with every personal computer I’ve ever purchased. (Caveat: My parents purchased my first computer, my beloved Commodore64. The first computer I actually bought myself was a Mac.) Over the years, I’ve also used Windows in various jobs, although I’ve always tried to use Macs and even worked with our tech guys to convert Jazz90.1 to Macs when I was station manager there.
My good friend Kevin Baird, author of Ruby by Example: Concepts and Code, has long been an advocate of open source software and the Free Software movement. And while I’ve wanted to join him in that advocacy, I’ve never really been able to get my head around Linux.
Recently, though, Kevin recommended that I give Ubuntu a try. Ubuntu is a version of Linux that describes itself as “Linux for human beings.” Well, that sounded right to me, so I downloaded a CD version of Ubuntu that I could run on my work laptop without making any changes at all to the laptop. And you know what? It just works.
With that positive experience in hand, and needing to add a second computer to our home in advance of grad school and new jobs, I decided to order a Linux-based laptop. Of course, Linux (and Ubuntu) can run on whichever laptop you have, but I wanted a laptop that came right out of the box with Ubuntu installed. I Googled around and found System76, a company based in Denver, Colorado, that makes laptops, desktops and servers with Ubuntu installed. I decided on the Pangolin Performance model:
It should arrive sometime this week, so look for updates on my entry in the world of Linux.