Skip to main content

A retrospective look on how I started with Lubuntu

How I started with Lubuntu. First of going through my history of computers I had my brother seem more interested when I was in high school actually and he bought a dell that got a discout from my mom's work. At this time it was an old dell with dimesntion 3000 with integrated intel extreme graphics. These were not good for playing games even though they were only as intensive as 2005 games were. I then ended up using this machine in high school and throughout that time. However I got all A's in high school but my handwriting is really bad so I thought I should get a laptop for when I go to UCLA. I ended up doing my first real research into computers and hardware here and ended up choosing an hp pavilaion dv6 1230 us in around september of 2009 that came preloaded with windows vista a core 2 duo 4 GB of ram and a big 12 cell battery and 13666x768 screen. It however came with a free as in beer upgrade to windows 7.

My brother actually installed Kubuntu and ubuntu for some time before me but I have since surpassed him I was worried about voiding the warranty on my laptop at this point. I continued to use Windows not really that happy with the really slow updates long boot times and wierd update process. I was actaully not using many programs exclusive to windows at this point. I was using mainly chrome and openoffice and I think acrobat reader but I didn't know of other alternatives. I did use windows media player but mostly out of ignorance of better ones existing like audicaous or vlc or smplayer. But the thing is windows with all of its updates was slow and not the best. I mean taking several minutes to even to suspend made it a bit hard and have people wait for me to pack up after leaving lecture to type notes. I took 1 C++ programming class in my sophmore year.

I continued to trudge on despite the slowness. I didn't quite think of switching in my sophmeore and junior years. I wasn't really one to care for the fancy effects of windows 7 and ended up turning window transparency and compositing off in windows. I took a class in urban and regional economics that discussed network externalities and other things. I still did not like the way how seeming biggest network is important and brought my mind into network externalites and knowledge spillovers and reading The Economy of Cities by Jane Jacobs. I still slogged on trhough windows 7 and all of the updates and then signed up for a second C++ programming class in my final quarter of my senior year at UCLA. I ended up having to make sure my code compiled in visual studio which were mostly console application using the defualt ugly windows command line font that I really don't care what it was called. My brother had an install of ubuntu on a lapotp left in house and I like that and thought wow this has much better command line fonts and ediotr fonts. I ended up thinking you know what I think I may want to switch. I had enough frustratoins with taking a really long time to supsend boot and upgrade while I was leaving class or setting it up in the library.

The choice of when to switch

Seeing as it was the middle of a 10 week quarter of my last time at UCLA I thought I probably shoudn't do this with midterms and finals as I need uptime and had started using irc some and used kvirc quassel notepad++ anda other things. I also didn't want to have too big of an interface shock either and didn't really like unity at the time. I also had the old dell dimension 3000 sitting around but it had a bad hard drive at this point. I began thinking if I do switch there are different distributions of linux which should I switch too. I didn't really like unity as I thought the launcher would get too crowded but I know now you can reduce icon size but not sure if you could back then in 2013. I ended up spending time looking at distrowatch to see which ones I liked. I ended up looking at screenshots to see what interface I liked and LXDE looked nice to me with how it would not be too hard to switch. I did not think switching oses in the middle would be wise and decided to put it off until after I graduated in June of 2013.

First impressions and early times in the switch

I found the switch to Lubuntu at first a bit daunting in getting my broadcom 4322 to work but everything else seemed fine. I then ended up talking to my brother who told me I needed to plug it in and download the proprietary broadcom driver. I ended up liking how it worked and everything seemed a bit faster. I ended up going on irc early on and actually at first to lurk and learn some things. I quickly ended up learning enough to help people out.

The best regret when switching to Lubuntu

Switching to Lubuntu I had actually set up my laptop to dual boot with windows 7. After a few weeks I found myself very rarely booting into windows and wished I had given lubuntu more space in the partition as I had only allocated 40 GB. I actually got Lubuntu 13.04 raring ringtail installed and working. I did not want to destroy my windows install at this point in case I did not like it. I also had problems at first getting my broadcom 4322 wireless to work until I relaized I needed to plug it into ethernet and then download the unfortanely proprietary driver for this chip. After I got that working I seemed to really like it. I actually wanted to learn the command line but had an approch of thinking of it as a new way of doing things and that I would not instantly master it. Thinking back of a talk from Scale 13x similar now by Jenn Greenway building a better brain https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkD3IMaQL_8. I also took to liking certain things in ncurses and don't want a computer without htop. I would really not like to end up using windows again. I am definetly wanting to stay on something based on linux for the forseeable future.

How I started contributing

I did not know much at the very begining but I started to go onto #lubuntu on freenode. From there I learned and quite a lot and started helping people by December I was ending up testing and filing bugs and reporting problems against 14.04 ealry in its development to try and find bugs. I have done so much testing and like my contributions and am happy I made the switch even if it has not even been 2 years. I started out with just a few bug reports and kept doing more and more testcases while continuing to be on irc a lot. I ended up joining the quality team in Novemember and have conitued to test and report a lot of bugs and I hope find more that get fixed. I like the feeling of getting an email from launchpad that a bug is confirmed or even better gets fixed it is a nice feeling.