I am beginning an experiment that will help me decide whether an open source operating system (OS) can replace a Windows operating system in the workplace. I believe open source software will be better than commercial software simply because the people that develop and maintain open source software do it because they love it, not because they are paid.
To give a brief explanation of my computer experience, I have a BS in Computer Science and I have been working in the software engineering and IT fields for the past six years. I have about three years of experience with a UNIX environment, so this is not new to me.
I have a computer that I purchased in 2006 through one of the big computer distributors. The computer came with Windows XP Home edition. Except for a new 160GB hard drive, I have not modified the computer in any way. The computer came standard with 2GB of memory and a dual core processor.
I downloaded and installed Ubuntu 10.10 onto the new hard drive. After performing the initial setup, audio, video, and networking worked correctly. The flash plug-in allowed me to watch video online. I could also remote desktop although for some reason it did not work right away. I enabled remote desktop and for a few minutes Ubuntu told me that only local connections could access remote desktop. This issue resolved itself.
I attempted to set up email but I do not remember my email settings from my ISP. A quick message to my buddy the network administrator should provide the settings I need.
At some point I will need to access the music on the second hard drive. I also need to test VPN connectivity to my workplace's network. It would also be nice to have a VNC client that will scale the desktop to fit automatically.
So we will see how it goes