About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

January 25, 2011

Power of the Broom, Part 1

According to the Internet, "Ubuntu" is an African word from the Bantu language "which has imageno direct translation into English, but is used to describe a particular African world-view in which people can only find fulfillment through interacting with other people…" Desmond Tutu has a good definition of it if you wish to take a quick read, He says, "A single straw of a broom can be broken easily, but the straws together are not easily broken."

However, for us geeks Ubuntu is something a little different.  Ubuntu ( is an operating system based off of Linux.   It was created as a hobby by a young college student named Linus Torvalds while attending the University of Helsinki in Finland in 1991.  The operating system that you are most likely acquainted with is Microsoft Windows.  Windows operating systems are found on the majority of computers today.  Linux is found on…well, not many but it is gaining presence worldwide.

Ubuntu, differs from Linux in that it is much more user-friendly and windows-like.  This means that it has a nice user interface (looks good), is easy to use and closely resembles Microsoft Windows.

Oh, one very significant thing I forgot to mention; Ubuntu is free.  Yes, absolutely no cost.  Ubuntu also comes with many other free items that you must pay significant amounts for with other systems.  Ubuntu is sponsored by Mark Shuttleworth, a South African billionaire.

imageWhen you install Ubuntu you also get the Firefox browser, a quite useful email program named "Evolution."  It works quite well and has many games for free.  Oh yes, I almost forgot to mention you also get Open Office ( which is free.  Open Office, in my opinion, compares very favorably with Microsoft Office (  That was hard for me to say since I am a staunch supporter of Microsoft but this works very well – for free.

Ubuntu gained one new user and supporter about a month ago when I installed it on an old notebook. It is now all I run on that computer.  Ubuntu will run on new computers and old low-end computers alike.  I tried it on a very old computer several years ago that wouldn’t run Windows XP but ran Ubuntu like it was brand new.

Ubuntu doesn’t need all the power of the newer Windows machines.  If you have an older computer and aren’t totally tied to the MS systems you may want to try Ubuntu before you toss it out. 

Before you run out and install it make sure you read my next column where I will cover a few more interesting things about Ubuntu.  By-the-way, this column was written entirely on my Ubuntu system using OpenOffice and worked wonderfully.


  1. […] wrote several columns last year about Ubuntu, so if you want to find out more visit my site and check them out.  But for now here is a much […]

    Pingback by Brittany, Octavius and Ubuntu » — October 23, 2012 @ 4:37 am

  2. […] in that you need to be going from a Windows to a Windows computer and could not link with a Mac or Ubuntu (Linux) system.  Today we will look at "Join […]

    Pingback by Get Help, Join Me » — October 29, 2013 @ 4:59 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Powered by WordPress

%d bloggers like this: