A friend of mine suggested that I might want to try out Ubuntu since a new version came out recently. So here I am with a Dell laptop running Ubuntu 9, connected to the internet, getting my mail and generally doing stuff you do with a laptop. I'm hoping to detail on this blog my experience so that my friends can see what I'm getting up to (and maybe help me out if I get stuck).
The first thing I had to do was get hold of a copy of Ubuntu. Apparently you can get a CD posted to you from Canonical via their Shipit service, or you can download an image of the CD from their website. I'm too impatient to wait for a CD to arrive (and the Shipit service was down when I checked) so I downloaded an iso file on my desktop PC (which still runs Windows for the moment).
After a bit of playing around I managed to find a page which explains how to burn the iso file to a CD, https://help.ubuntu.com/community/BurningIsoHowto and one about checking the validity of the file, https://help.ubuntu.com/community/HowToMD5SUM .
Once burned I transferred the CD to my Dell laptop and booted off it. Feeling brave, I decided to wipe Windows off the laptop completely and installed Ubuntu instead. The install process went pretty smoothly, although being British I was surprised that the installer suggested I use a USA keyboard layout when I'd already told it I was in London. Why does all software assume I am American?
The partitioning step gave me a few options, and I selected to completely wipe the existing Windows partition, replacing it with Ubuntu. The whole process took just over half an hour before the final reboot. I rebooted into Ubuntu and was able to see all the wireless networks nearby, from which I could choose my own and connect just fine. So far so good.
Once I've had more of a play I'll blog some more.