Undoing Ubuntu

Back in May I got this idea in my head–why not give Ubuntu a try?  I’d read a couple of articles praising the concept of open source coding, and with the advent of Google apps I found myself thinking, “Hey, why not?  Let’s stick it to the Microsoft man for free!”

So, after partitioning my hard drive into a Windows sector and an Ubuntu sector, I loaded ‘er up and almost loved it.  Great look, good interface, and free!  Take that, evil empire!

The problem: my internal wireless network card wouldn’t work in Ubuntu.  “Not installed.”  I worked for a week trying to find a driver or a way the normal driver would work within a virtual PC machine on top of the Linux kernel, etc., etc., (can you tell I spent way too much time on this little project?) before giving up.  Tonight I’m re-partitioning the disk into one big Windows sector, and reinstalling XP. 

Lesson learned–in order to stick it to the man, people have to have useable sticks.  Ubuntu may become a viable alternative to Microsoft someday, and open source software may bring down the idea of machine licensing for software, but until reasonably competent but not expert people like me can make it work on our machines, it’s not going to make a dent.

Entrenched ways of doing things become entrenched because they are easier than, not better than, the alternatives.  Revolutionaries who want to get people into the street for their cause are faced with a tough task–how can I make this idea easy to adopt so that normal people will step out of the normal line and join me?

Come on, Ubuntu.  Give me a stick I can swing.

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