The new range of some Dell computers will come pre-installed with Ubuntu Feisty, the latest Linux release in the Ubuntu distribution. In fact there are many huge corps who have shifted from Windoes to Linux.(You'd be surprized who they are.)
With this latest release *-- Feisty Fawn, two weeks ago -- Ubuntu really comes of age and the ease of installation married to so many features--in effect a complete software package(word processing, layout, web, media, networking,etc) -- for FREE is something that it is hard to ignore. And it is more stable than Windoes, very fewer virus and security issues, etc
Here's the real charm I think: Ubuntu requires any old hardware to work on. It adapts to old PCs when Windoes will simply freeze up on the doing. So it doesn't matter if the machines you get are old or oldish -- you can still harness them to a working life.
Now I know that campaigns and branches of this and that are often donated old computers for political purposes --and in my experience you can never have too many computers in a political nerve centre.
So consider the Ubuntu option and really get into recycling:
Send away for the free installation CD.(I think that's preferable to downloading it off the web)
AND THEN follow the great install directions here:
You can also "double boot" with Ubuntu so that you can use it on a Windows machine**, but sooner or later you are just as likely to go all the way and give Win the boot. If you have the CD on hand and someone donates a machine -- you can get it working the way you want in a couple of hours by installing a new operating system from the Ubuntu CD.
Another approach is to you Wubi. Wubi "is an unofficial Ubuntu installer for Windows users that will bring you into the Linux world with a few clicks. Wubi allows you to install and uninstall Ubuntu as any other application. If you heard about Linux and Ubuntu, if you wanted to try them but you were afraid, this is for you."
Wubi installs on your Windows desktop as it downloads the latest Ubuntu release: 696.2MB.
Late last week, UbuntuStudio was released as a multimedia core for Ubuntu. In sync with each release of Ubuntu such as the latest, Feisty Fawn, UbuntuStudio has three core elements: video, graphic, and audio production -- such that you can tweak your preferences as you require.
Since political needs are often geared toward layout and graphics, the extended GIMP package on UbuntuStudio may warrant a look see. GIMP plus other graphics programs come free with Ubuntu releases --so there's no need to fork out for Adobe Audition or Corel Draw, etc. UbuntuStdudio is an attempt to really develop that feature (and video and audio) on Ubuntu.
Sites on UbuntuStudio:
UnbuntuStudio can be downloaded (and burned to CD) as a fresh install OR it can be installed by upgrading from Feisty Fawn release of Ubuntu. I suggest this latter course perhaps, as UbuntuStudio comes packaged without wordprocessing.
I'd like to hear from anyone who uses Ubuntu for their everyday and political needs or who is thinking of the option.
* New releases of Ubuntu occur every 6 months.The open source Ubuntu surge has be backed by a few millions of donor capital from Mark Shuttleworth, one of those web millionaires --and unlike the other Linux distributions, Ubuntu tries to be "Linux for human beings". With the latest release, Feisty, even I can handle its wherewithall.
** The advantage of a trial double boot would be to compare Ubuntu layout option to the one you may be using for leaflets and the like(eg: Adobe, Photoshop, etc) .