Ubuntu is a distribution of linux based on Debian – it’s Open Source, and great.  I recently installed it onto an IBM t40 thinkpad.  Why you might ask?  The reasons : I needed a cheap laptop to use on a boat, that was sturdy, and had the potential for  a long battery life.  The t40 I bought for £120 off of ebay, and I bought a new battery for it – which now means I get about 5 hours usage.   The installation of ubuntu was seamless, it found all the hardware the laptop had, and worked perfectly first time round.  I’ve had a few teething problems, but nothing serious, and nothing a quick google and a browse on the ubuntu forum hasn’t managed to fix.

The reasons why I went for a Linux OS is quite simple – as a web developer I wanted a system that I could configure to be as compatible as the servers I deploy my projects onto.  Linux was the only option.

I also wanted to use some windows software, so I’ve been using WINE .  And have found it brilliant.  At present I am running Reaper (a DAW) and AudioMulch (another audio manipulation environment) – and both installed under WINE perfectly.

The final test for Ubuntu was the installation of an O2 mobile broadband dongle for internet access – again ubuntu didn’t fail me.  The device was recognised and all I needed to do was enter the details provided on O2 forum for connection.  It was a breeze.

I now have a functioning laptop that has web access on the move, and allows me to do my development work and play around with music creation, all for around £150, considering the battery life and the decent screen size it means I have not only a decent cheap laptop but I also have something I can watch films and videos on.