Wow, so that was a crazy 36 hours or so. I posted that video, went to bed and woke up to find I was a minor media sensation. The video has been seen almost 14,000 times. Cory Doctorow called me an “Internet folk-hero” (which cracks me up). I wrote a bit more about that on my personal website. When people ask about social software and what it’s good for, I can now safely say that it’s good for having someone ship you a few boxes of your favorite open source OS on CD (you can get some too!), a few random marriage proposals from guys with hotmail addresses, and leveraging whatever your position is so that more people can know about it. More knowledge is good. The biggest piece of overall feedback I got was that my little video made installing an operating system look “fun” and when was the last time you had fun installing an operating system?
I do need to come clean and say that I haven’t even gone back to the library to see how the desktops are working out yet. I’m there for 90 min or so every week or every other week. I still haven’t tackled stickier issues like Internet and printer drivers. I have to change the root password now that everyone has seen it. I have installed Ubuntu a grand total of four times, once with an awful lot of help. Both my PC and my Mac laptops run Ubuntu but while it’s my OS of choice on the PC, I like the Mac OS better on the MacBook and I apologize for not being a True Believer. Here are some good Ubuntu links that people sent me either over email or in the comments. If you’re Ubuntu-curious, they will help you.
- The perfect desktop in Ubuntu – nice laundry list of all the apps you need
- How to install anything in Ubuntu – very good howto
- Groovix is an operating system based on Ubuntu that Howard County MD uses on their 300 computers, they have an online FAQ spelling out how it works for patrons. They also presented at code4lib.
- Wikipedia on Ubuntu
- The Easy Ubuntu Linux site has step by step instructions for doing your own install.
- An ogg version (free format) of my video
- The Open Source Software Institute has a mission to “promote the development and implementation of open-source software solutions within U.S. federal, state and municipal government agencies and academic entities.” Is this you? Look them up. Yes that is me on their blog.
- If you’re just never ever going to part with Windows, consider using free and open source software on those machines anyhow. Here are two places to get ready to use CDs chock full of open source goodness: TTCS OSSWIN CD and The Open CD.