The other day, I got the official Ubuntu book that includes version 7.04. I skimmed through the book and thought that I'd re-partition the Windows machine's drive and try something different. A lot of people have mentioned how Feisty Fawn (version 7.04) is a worthy desktop operating system. I wanted to see if it was as user friendly as Mac OS X and hoped to see that my UNIX background wasn't necessary at all. I restarted the system and booted from the DVD and tried it via the Live CD mode. It seemed good and I started installing it. When it suggested partitioning, I looked for help text to understand what 72 % meant. Was it 72 % for the Windows partition or 72 % for the Ubuntu partition? There was no help text and the book said exactly what the installer said--nothing. I switched it to 48 %, which at worst meant that Windows would get a lot less space. The rest of the installation went smoothly, as it recognised the hardware. When it re-booted and was Ubuntu was running, everything seemed fine but sparse. I suppose that's how Mac OS X was the first time. It was reassuring that the monitor's resolution was correct and that the keyboard, mouse, and speakers were working. Firefox and Evolution are presented on the menu bar for web browsing and e-mail but there are several other applications and games available. Things seem a cross between BeOS and Windows. It felt much different when I tried to start the firewall. System Administration asked me for the password when I started a function. It seemed a little premature compared to Mac OS X but it still kept people from randomly changing the system. Still, the firewall was a problem. It seems that there isn't one. I opened the book and found that I needed to contact the Universe to get a firewall. Uh huh. I tried the instructions they gave me but things must have changed after the book was printed. I still wonder why they didn't include any firewall. It wasn't in danger since the machine is behind the Macintosh's firewall but still, it's a major piece of system software. The Software Update utility found plenty of things to update, including Python and OpenOffice but didn't update GNOME to the latest bug fix release. When something went wrong and one of the servers refused a connection, it didn't give me a retry option, just Quit and Ignore. My first thought was that I'd end up with a non-functional operating system at some point but I had just installed so, it was worth a try. Things seemed fine and apparently, parts of OpenOffice weren't updated. Apparently, a lot of OpenOffice files are used to support the operating system, such as language support. A couple of days later, I finished the updates. It's probably been 2 or 3 of the 5 years that I first said (around 2004-2005) Linux would need to mature to have a decent desktop version for end users and it certainly feels as though they need a few more years for a user to be self-sufficient. Linux still seems that you have to build something and perhaps, build something else, to actually accomplish a lot but it's come a long way.