Friday, December 10, 2010

My First Ubuntu Install!

Jason, Novacut's lead developer and my husband, has always taken care of what I consider the dirty work in our household (i.e. computer maintenance).  When Jason's brother offered to let me use his super-fast workstation to edit my documentary about the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Orlando, Jason encouraged me to try installing Ubuntu on my own, only asking for help if I needed it.  Although Jason is a good teacher, I wasn't excited about the chore facing me.  I use the word chore very deliberately because I'm a recovering Windows user.  It took me over two hours to install Windows XP on my Toshiba laptop years ago.  Between the wait time on Microsoft's "help" line for a pin number, and the ridiculous amount of clicking that I had to do to make the install happen, I have been left with an intense dread for the installation of new software.

Over the past two years, I've been using OSX to mainly manage and edit photos.  Poor Jason was the unlucky bloke who was stuck with the task of installing Aperture on my iMac.  He spent about the same time installing Aperture as I did Windows on my Toshiba.  OSX and Windows - they're both end-user torture devices in terms of their stupid installation hoops.  So I was definitely able to sympathize with Jason as the vein down the middle of his forehead became more and more prominent as Aperture's install ran into the wee hours of the night.

Fortunately, history didn't repeat itself during the Ubuntu install on my new workstation.  The install instructions were very easy to follow; no "doh" moments to speak of.  But most importantly, I spent only thirty minutes total on the project of great disdain.  I got to go to bed on time, and I didn't wake-up pissed the next morning because I had wasted all of my free time the night before.  The install went so well, in fact, that I'm almost looking forward to reinstalling for the fun of it next Ubuntu release.


  1. I heard that, for Photographer/Filmmakers like you, Mac OS X is the gold standard for production environments.
    I'd really like your reflections on how Ubuntu shapes up in that regard!

  2. What you've heard is accurate; OSX is the gold standard for photographers and videographers like me. This is why I bought an iMac when I started my photography business. Although I'm a Mac user, I'm a reluctant Mac user. I love how pretty pro Mac hardware is, and I love Aperture's photo management design. However, I almost choke on my tongue when I give too much thought to how much I paid for my iMac, and how little disk space I have left after being in business for two years.

    At this point in my career, I'm all about cheap, fast hardware and free software. Playing with Shotwell since my Ubuntu install, I think making the crossover from Aperture will be pretty easy. Shotwell's UI reminds me a lot of Aperture's. Plus, I love the external editing option that Shotwell offers; GIMP, in my opinion, does a better job than Aperture in terms of doing touch up work to portraits and candids. As for Pitivi, I really like the UI; it reminds me of imovie's UI, which is fairly easy to navigate. Unfortunately, Pitivi is a little buggy; rendering often causes a crash. So I'll probably continue using imovie to do wedding videos.

  3. I forgot to mention in the above comment that I'll be using Novacut's video editor to edit my UDS-N documentary. Novacut's video editor is still in its baby stage, but with the help of some amazing Ubuntu community member developers/designers, I'll soon be using free software to edit my first documentary on my fast and yet cheap workstation.