Nick Mudge Ignition Software Consulting & Development

I bought a new computer yesterday. Dell just started selling computers with Ubuntu pre-installed. It's really awesome. Check out http://dell.com/open.

Incidental to Dell's new release I wanted a new computer. I did some shopping and the ones Dell is shipping with Ubuntu look like good computers at a good price. I'm upgrading from a Compaq Presario with a 2.4 GHZ Intel CPU, 512 MB DDR SDRAM, to a Dell with an Intel Core 2 Duo Processor (2.13GHZ,1066FSB) with 4MB cache, 2GB DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz for a little under $700 not including tax. I know I am going overboard, but hopefully I won't have to upgrade for a long time (I'm hoping 5 years.) The CPU runs at a slower speed than my current computer (2.4GHZ) but handles more instructions at once, so actually programs run faster. It has two processors on one chip; a Dell sales person described it to me as "Having one car with two engines." Here are some details about the efficiency of the CPU. Here's news and reviews about Intel's new Core 2 CPU.

Anyway, compared to what I have I feel like I'm getting a super computer.

Recently I was talking to Aaron Parecki about buying the new Dell computer with Ubuntu and I realized that I'm almost no longer dependent upon Windows.

I've been using Ubuntu for awhile now and the only things I find missing are support for online computer games, video capabilities, and Internet Explorer. Besides video capabilities and IE, I find Linux has all the software and applications that I need at no cost.

The technologies for some video/sound formats such as MPEG, MP3, DVD, WMV, Quicktime are proprietary, so don't come with Ubuntu. Can't watch DVDs. Per this blog post Dell is considering adding support for these.

I think I'll write my client-side javascript to work in Internet Explorer and from time to time use someone else's computer to check that it works in IE. Or find a better solution. IE is probably my biggest problem of not having Windows. I know there are ways to get IE running on Linux but I don't like it, and I know it is not the same thing as IE on Windows. As for online gaming, I don't play online games.

Another consideration is programming for Flash. I recently did a little research and I found that Adobe provides Flex (which has the components needed to build Flash applications — compiler and class library) for free and it runs on Linux, and I can use the editor of my own choice to program. Here's how to get Flex running on Ubuntu. Also, according to this webpage from Adobe Labs, Adobe plans to release Flex as open source software this summer.

Comments

Doug
www.straw-dogs.co.uk
4 August 2007

New computers are soooo boring! ;)

I recently got a 'top of the range' Pentium 3 with 128Mb RAM and 10Gb HD.

I'm planning on getting an old Amiga 600 too at some point. There's just something so...comfortable about old PCs.
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