You know that thing that happens on your computer, when you are using Windows? When you ask it to do something, and it thinks about it, and then it keeps thinking, and then you go off and make a cup of tea, and it’s still thinking, and you want to headbutt the wall, again and again, until gets all smeared and red and bloody and bits of your brain are raining down on to your shoes? Yes? Well, there’s a way to stop that happening. Stop using Windows. Use Ubuntu instead.
Ubuntu is an operating system. If you don’t know what one of those is, Google it, and then come back. The latest version comes out today. I’m writing this yesterday (confusingly) and I’m actually quite excited. Pathetic, isn’t it? Look, bear with me. It’s not easy writing in a passionate fashion about an operating system. It feels a bit like having a favourite type of petrol, or mounting a vigorous advocacy of a particular shade of lightbulb. But dammit, if you work on a desk, these are the environs are our worlds. Mine used to be Windows, and now it isn’t. And, as a result my life is better. Sad, but true.
Ubuntu is a Debian-based distribution of Linux. What does that mean? Buggered if I know. If you do, and you are feeling a powerful urge, already, to recommend a different version of Linux, then let me stop you right there. Is it easier to use? Is it prettier? No? Well, not interested. Move along.
I first tried Linux about five years ago, and it was a disaster, for all the reasons that Ubuntu is wonderful. The way it used to work, you see, was that you’d spend hours downloading the thing, and burning it in the right sort of image, and then you’d stick it in your CD drive and the screen would go all doolally, like the stuff Keanu sees in The Matrix. And then, if you were lucky, it would just go “KERNEL PANIC!!!” and do nothing. If you weren’t, it would wipe XP off your actually perfectly respectable PC and sit there having ropey graphics at you and not letting the wi-fi work. It didn’t take me long to realise why Windows was the market leader, and switch back.