I have now made a switch – I am a full time Ubuntu user and I love every minute of it. Ubuntu is one of the best Linux releases in my opinion, although I’ve only tried 3-4 other Linux distros. I know that hardcore Linux people may argue, but Ubuntu is the only OS that enabled my sound card and my wireless internet connection without as much as a sweat.
I am all for configuring OS options, digging into the roots and so on, but I want to do this to make it look good, go faster or do some extra stuff, not to make it actually work. I now do not use any illegal software whatsoever and I’m not really missing any of them. What Windows software is there to miss that I used a lot?
I also used Microsoft’s OneNote and as note organizers go, I have never found a really suitable alternative. With Linux I found it after about 5 minutes of searching. Basket Notes is a very capable replacement with possibly less features but the basic idea is the same.
There was also a time I used Evernote, although I didn’t like it very much. If you want to take notes on Ubuntu I don’t think Tomboy is beatable. I don’t think actually any Windows application beats it either, it’s just phenomenal. The interlinking wiki style goodness and simplicity is just awesome. Mackenzie mentioned it earlier as well.
Photoshop was an application I used quite a lot to edit some pics for my own blog, but GIMP has replaced it totally. I always had something against GIMP, but maybe I used an older version because it is easy to use and can do everything I require of it. The navigation differs a bit from Photoshop which took some time to get used to, but the learning curve isn’t steep at all.
I always liked having multiple desktops and I used various ways on Vista to get what I need. I created separate user accounts for different tasks, tried software VirtualWin, but since Windows isn’t really built for a multiple desktop environment all of these methods had problems. Enter Ubuntu 7.10 with all these features virtually built in. With Compiz already installed, all you need is a couple of downloads and you will be off to 3D goodness, with rotating cubes, wobbly windows and all the bells and whistles you need.
Outlook is an industry standard software solution to email and task management and is actually very good at it. It is one of the best apps for Windows and I thought finding a replacement wouldn’t be easy. Well, there are numerous ways to replace your trusty Outlook. One of the best and most complete solutions is Evolution, which is really an Outlook clone with a lot of the same functionality.
I actually switched to a fully online based email management system but I wanted to keep a separate contact manager. Rubrica Address Book was my application of choice. It’s just a simple, but effective task manager with a unique tab-based approach to task management. Another application I used in Windows was Gmail Notifier, which is officially not available for Linux, but clever people have written an application which does exactly the same. Take a look at the Linux based Gmail Notifier.
Stay tuned for the next part of the article where I will be covering media players, torrent clients and other apps.
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