Check me out, I made a little video with me in it and I’m putting it here.
I installed Ubuntu on two of the donated PCs at my library yesterday. It took less than an hour. In fact, if I hadn’t been making the little movie at the same time [with my laptop and my little Canon digital Elph; I don't have a video camera] it would have taken me even less time. Ubuntu comes bundled with a lot of the popular Open Source software titles like OpenOffice, Gimp and Firefox. The Calef Library has two Windows PCs already so if people need specific software that doesn’t run on Ubuntu, they can use those. I’d like to get them a Mac as well and then they can be the only library (to my knowledge) that is triple platform in the entire state of Vermont.
Note: I have not connected these machines to the Internet or the printer yet, so I’m sure there may be pitfalls waiting for me along the way, but I think that would be true no matter what platform I was using. Ubuntu is free. My install process went like this: download and burn the Ubuntu disk image to a CD. Turn on the computer with the Ubuntu CD in the CD drive. The computer boots Ubuntu from the CD. You have the option to run it this way or install it to the hard drive. You have the option to install it on a partition (and keep Windows also) or just erase the drive and install Ubuntu as the only operating system. You restart the machine and it runs Ubuntu and it Just Works. For the Ubuntu curious (I just like saying ubuntu over and over ubuntu ubuntu ubuntu…) you might enjoy this website How to install ANYTHING in Ubuntu. If you’re just Linux curious, you might enjoy this article on how Howard County migrated more than 200 PCs to Linux, and this was in 2004. Hope you like the little movie. Please drop a note in the comments if you’re using Ubuntu at your library.