old laptop on home office desk

As I attempt to get back into the habit of a regular cadence of content here at Keefer Madness, there’s actually a good backlog of ideas I had in drafts or in my digital notes. This is one that was in there as simply a title, but worthy of writing up — a little more on Ubuntu, a flavor of Linux that’s accessible, mature and stable.

Ubuntu logoI’m a full-time user of Macs, but also grew up with knowing my way around command lines on Apple IIs, various DOS and Windows machines, and the current Mac OS. But for many years, all the Linux flavors were intimidating when they were all command line-only.

But likely 15 years ago, maybe longer — I first downloaded and burned Ubuntu onto a bootable CD-R, and with its default GUI, it really unlocked the power of older hardware for me. We have an old Dell laptop lying around that was really sluggish with its installed Windows operating system, but the thing still chugs along and is quite usable with Ubuntu installed on it to do day-to-day tasks — web browsing, email, and applications like Slack.

All Things Open

All Things OpenAs a bit of an aside, I’ve always been a big supporter of open source software, and love the idea of using open source whenever possible. One of the largest open source conferences happens every year in my backyard in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina. It’s a conference surrounding open source technology and those that work and utilize it. I’ve been going for many years, and it’s called All Things Open. I’ve taken teams to this both in-person and virtually for many years, and everyone gets something out of it, albeit different for everyone.

Raspberry Pi

I did most recently try to put an Ubuntu on an old Raspberry Pi we had lying around — sadly that was a little too much for the Pi (maybe a 3) to handle. Looking at the Ubuntu page for Raspberry Pi, they’re recommending at least a Raspberry Pi 4.

While Ubuntu runs on pretty minimal system requirements, older Raspberry Pis are just too minimal. I look forward to trying it out at some point on more up-to-date Raspberry Pis (5 at the time of publishing).

Conclusion

While I’ll likely never completely convert to being an Ubuntu user for my main machines for work or personal, it’s my go to keep older hardware usable and relevant. If you haven’t checked out the operating system, or haven’t recently, I’d highly recommend it. Even if it doesn’t have a use case for you today, keep it in the back of your mind for older hardware down the road.

old desktop computer

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