March 1, 2006
So, I tried installing Ubuntu, but didn't get very far. The good news is that once I Burn the ISO to a DVD (which was ridiculously easy with Nero, Burn from Disc Image), I restarted and it booted fine. Then, I noticed it was an install DVD as well as a Live DVD. So I figured I would check out the Live DVD. It boot fine, a little slwo, but what can you expect loading from a DVD. Once loaded, it seemed to be working great. Each app started slowly, but once it was running, it was pretty snappy. I sent an email via gmail in firefox and opened an Excel spreadsheet using open office, both worked great.
I tried to play an mp3, which didn't work with Totem Media Player (which was the default player) or Rhythm Box, didn't work in either one. I checked the help in Rhythm Box, didn't say anything about why MP3s might not work and how to get them to work. In fact, when I started Rhythm Box, it said something about how it "makes mp3s easy to play". I think the reason it doesn't work is that you have to explictly install some extra plug-in to get MP3s to work, due to licensing issues. I understand that, but the help for Rhythm Box should make it pretty clear what I need to do. Totem has associated to mp3s by default, yet it blew up when I tried to play an mp3 with an unhelpful message. It should it least have something saying "You must install XYZ in order to play MP3s".
Despite that, the Live DVD was exciting. This was the closest I seen to having a Linux install that "Just Works". But, I ran into some problems when trying to actually install Ubuntu on one of my extra hard drives. Rather than just give up, I posted a message to the Ubuntu mailing list, so this will be a good test to see how helpful the community is.