Longtime Mac User Tries Ubuntu Linux

A self-admitted, long time, pure bred, never owned anything else Mac user took a test drive of Ubuntu Linux and found it to totally cool in some ways, straightforward in others, and was shocked to find that Open Office, which is free, is hardly a watered down version of the equivalent MS Office suite.

"As I clicked around, I found the Ubuntu interface to be intuitive and straight forward. If I didnit know better, I?d have thought I was on a Windows machine. It has the same drop down menu to choose your application, and the menus even have the same corporate-like font as Windows," James Maguire wrote. "Hmmm ...then why are all those companies trooping out and plunking down hefty dollars for Word? For Microsoft?s sake, I hope they never hear about Open Office."

The dyed-in-the-wool Mac user admitted he had some modest expectations for the the experiment, but found otherwise. One thing that concerned him was the dreaded UNIX command line heid heard so much about.

"I had heard that Linux users still use a command line. Instead of pointing and clicking, they actually type in obscure commands ? a series of numbers, letters, and squiggly things. It?s very Russian spy, black hat, deep nerd," the author noted. However, he found out that itis possible to operate a Linux system as an ordinary user, just like Mac OS X, without ever seeing the terminal window.

He also enjoyed the long list of games available for Linux and some of the user interface niceties that heid never seen on a Mac. "In sum, Ubuntu makes the grade," Mr. Maguire concluded. "A good laptop running Ubuntu is a fast, fully productive machine that works for home or office. Because it does everything that Windows does ? and does it for free."

The only catch is that market share is driven by advertising. No advertising equals failure. So Linux, with minimal mindshare, has a problem. Heis not planning to switch either. Macs are not just good, theyire beautiful. In the end, even though he could see himself using Linux, Mr. Maguireis heart remains with Apple.