[Ubuntu-US-CA] Newbie asks for help.

Grant Bowman grantbow at gmail.com
Sat May 2 06:05:15 UTC 2009

Hello Neill,

Welcome.  I'd like to amplify some of the comments made earlier and
contribute a few links that might be helpful.  The learning curve may
seem steep but I hope you will find that it's worth the effort!  It
certainly has been for me.

I don't know where you live or work but there are many enthusiastic
people that attend Linux User Groups (LUGs) in California that are
willing and able to help you in getting started with Linux.  We have a
list on our wiki https://wiki.ubuntu.com/CaliforniaTeam available by
clicking on the "Local Meetings" link at the top.  We link to several
overlapping lists of California LUGs including the Linux.org list
mentioned earlier.

My problem solving routine includes using Google with carefully chosen
key words.  You will often find links to the Ubuntu forums among the
results or you can browse them directly.

Regarding Software, I think Pidgin is a nice, simple IRC interface to
get to IRC.  Another benefit of Pidgin is that if you are stuck on a
windows machine either at home or work it runs on Windows too..  Many
people start using more Open Source software packages and data formats
on the Windows platform like Firefox, Open Office, Gimp (instead of
Photoshop), Songbird (http://getsongbird.com/ instead of iTunes), etc.
 All of these Open Source software applications work pretty well on
Windows today depending on your real needs.

For those interested in a Unix-like environment while on Windows the
Cygwin project  http://www.cygwin.com has recompiled many favorites
(like Apache, MySQL, even X Windows) to run on Windows natively though
for trials a virtual machine may make more sense. [1]  To get a full
Windows environment dual-boot without repartitioning (uses a windows
*file* as a hard disk) the WUBI (Windows UBuntu Installer)
installation of the standard Ubuntu desktop CD might be helpful or can
be downloaded. http://wubi-installer.org/  These methods are not "full
LInux installations" and can vary in effectiveness, but they can
provide most of the benefits of both computing worlds when using a
Windows machine.

-- Grant Bowman                                   <grantbow at gmail.com>

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_platform_virtual_machines
and look for Windows as the host OS

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