Linux works

And I'm sticking with it. I made the technical/psychological leap today that makes me feel comfortable sticking with Ubuntu. My printer worked fine "out of the box," without having to install any extra drivers or anything, and Gnome (part of Linux) even had a built-in print manager. Awesome. But, turns out that sharing the printer over the network is something for which there is no easy answer. After three days of wading through /etc/cups/cupsd.conf, I finally got it working. BUT THEN I was only able to print from OTHER COMPUTERS, not from my own! After flailing for an extra hour, a quick visit to /etc/cups/client.conf solved my problem. Now, Yelena won't yell at me because she needs to print study sheets for finals and I'm busy futzing with my new toy (Linux). Now we can have it both ways.

My impression of the "new" Linux and Ubuntu? Out of the box, it does everything a basic user would want. But if you want to get into advanced features like networking and printer sharing, you'd better be prepared to ride the learning curve. Configuring CUPS turned out to be pretty easy once I invested the effort to figure out what was going on. It's that initial learning curve that's a pain.

I saw a lot of discussion on this issue online. Some people contend that Linux will never be a real challenger to M$ as long as stuff like printer sharing is so damn complicated. I saw one good answer to this: people who configure printer sharing in Windoze have been doing it for years. Give yourself a few years with Linux and then see how difficult it seems. This is a good point. "Aunt Tillie" isn't going to set up a network printer share; she's going to ask Techno-Jordy to do it for her. And if Techno-Jordy is willing to ride the learning curve for Windoze, he's willing to do it for Linux.

Still some imperfections in the system, but my success with the printer share has given me the confidence to stick with it. Yay Ubuntu!