I am a Linux end user, JUST end user, with no Linux tech skills but have being using different Linux distributions and flavours for the last 6 years. Also attracted by the fact KDE4 is lighter than the old version I decided to install the worshipped new version of Kubuntu (8.04) on my old laptop Presario 14xl250 (but with 184 RAM).
Already at the beginning I had problems, because the software did not recognize my video card and had to repeat the whole process choosing the “safe mode” installation. Once installed, GRUB does not boot the other OS on the laptop, the magnificent Puppy-TMXXINE. I should waste time to understand how to configure GRUB, but I have no skills nor will for doing that, also because I think an user-friendly OS should not give those kind of problems.
I boot Kubuntu. It takes more than three minutes for booting. Aesthetically speaking it is really crap: I wonder if there is some problem with my PC card, because all colours of applications I open seem just different shades of grey. Also in this very text I am writing with OpenOffice letters are blur and grayish, which makes reading unpleasant and difficult.
I start using the different softwares. Dolphin is VERY ugly, but at least it manages to access my NTSF external hard-drives, which is a plus compared to KDE3. I look for softwares I used to use, but they disappeared and there is no trace of any software that can replace them: for instance how can I burn CDs without K3B?
I try to open some of the available applications, and every time I have to wait between 20 and 90 seconds before they start. Moreover I cannot keep open more than a couple of applications per time, because otherwise the PC freezes and have to reboot the system… not talking about the ones that do not even start because for whatever reason crash (is not Linux the champion of robustness?) before attempting to boot.
Already frustrated, I try to listen to some music or watch a film. A nightmare: MP3, WMA and OGG files are not recognized, nor video AVI files, and even when I play a normal CD the sound is distorted. Juk, Dragon and CD Player simply DO NOT WORK. How cool…
Ok, I do not want go give up: I try to see if there is any way to solve the problem, but I do not even understand where to start… I browse through silly things such as how to change the wallpapers and some other useless and sissy options, but no clear indication on how to fix problems.
Last chance: I try my USB wi-fi network card. Dead. Or probably “not recognized”. What to do? Turn off the PC and forget about Kubuntu. I consider a PC a valid tool for working and for doing a lot of things that can help me in my daily life, therefore the last thing I want is to dedicate my days to solve problems such an OS gives me!
So, guys, if this is the masterpiece of Canonical, the version that should defeat the giant of Redmond, well, if it were its only alternative, long life to Micro$oft! Thank god there are dozens of better Linux distribution around (Arklinux, Knoppix, Freespire, Mandriva, Mepis, etc), and still have my fantastic Puppylinux, which does not need any workaround: it is just perfect, and perfectly working per se, user-friendly and extremely frugal in ram consuming, ideal for an old laptop like mine. So, the only thing I can do is erasing this useless Kubuntu and install TMXXINE again.
So my last question is: why is this frustrating Ubuntu so popular? For the very same reasons why MS is, which is a brilliant marketing strategy? And do I have to repay the advantage of having a costless OS with the penalty of buying a new PC or getting expensive consultancy for making mine working? Nope… so farewell harsh and huffy Kubuntu…