Ubuntu Here We Come: The OS du jour is served

I may be the last person on the planet to have heard the word "ubuntu," but in the next few weeks I am going to try to make up for it. Just in case there is anyone else out there who doesn't know what ubuntu is--apart from being an African word meaning "humanity to others"--it is an incarnation of the Linux operating system, an alternative to Microsoft Windows or Apple Mac OSX.

For me, Ubuntu, capitalized from hereon to indicate a product rather than a word, is also a feeling of deja vu. Over the years I have installed various versions of Linux starting back in about 1995, including Slackware, Red Hat, Debian, Novell, Knoppix, and Sun. But none of these became my OS of choice for daily computing. So time would pass, during which I was not really paying attention to Linux, and then *boom* some new incarnation, of which I had never heard, would be all the rage, leaving me feeling just a little bit "out of the loop."

And so it was with Ubuntu. Suddenly I am seeing it on magazine covers, in blog postings, magazine articles, news stories, etc. And once again I am tempted to test the waters and see if this thing is worth all the hype. Clearly it would seem to be worth the money as it doesn't cost anything. That's right. You don't even have to pay for the bandwidth to download it. The folks at ubuntu.com will actually mail you a CD. That's right, an entire operating system and suite of applications sent to your door, free of charge. Could that be why it is "The most popular desktop of Linux today" according to Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols' excellent article in desktoplinux.com?

Next up, I will play "Mr. Average User" to test the claim that Ubuntu is a "Linux for the rest of us."

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