We've downloaded Ubuntu 9.10 from their web site, downloaded the Infrarecorder program, to burn the Ubuntu iso file to a CD, not a DVD, built a computer from hardware components, and loaded the Ubuntu operating system. Loading Ubuntu takes less time than it takes to load Windows, and you don't have to register the product.
What most people, who have not tried Ubuntu, don't know is that Ubuntu comes with a bunch of free applications that load with the operating system. Let's briefly go over these applications, as a way to show you that you have a complete computer when you load Ubuntu.
Email: Ubuntu has an email program called Evolution. Evolution is more than just an email program though, it is a full fledged Personal Information Manager with email, calendar, contacts, address book, memos, and tasks. It can sync with your PDA, mobile phone, and Microsoft Outlook. It was the easiest email program I have ever set up. Presto, your getting your emails.
Instant Messaging: If your in to chatting with your friends with instant messaging, Ubuntu comes with an instant messaging program, called Empathy that will allow you to integrate Gmail, AIM, Windows LiVe, Jabber, AOL, Yahoo, QQ, etc.
Web Browser: Firefox and if you attach an Ethernet cable to your computer when you initially load Ubuntu, click on the browser, and presto, your on the Internet. Ubuntu sets every thing up for you.
Office Applications: Let's cover these all at once. Open Office.org was developed by Sun, to compete with Microsoft Office, Sun gave the application and source code to the community, and it is now maintained as Open Source software, it's free, and comes loaded with Ubuntu. It can read and save documents in Microsoft format, so other's can read your documents, and you can read the Microsoft documents other's send you. Ubuntu has renamed the Open Office.org program names to make things understandable. Let's go through each program with the Windows equivalent: Word Processor - Microsoft Word, Spreadsheet - Excel, Presentation - Powerpoint, Evolution - Outlook, and Drawing - Paint. Open Office.org also has a database program, you can install.
Ubuntu One gives you an interface and 2 Gb's of storage on the Internet for you to use to transfer files from one computer to another over the Internet.
For graphics, we have F-Spot, a photo manager, you can manage all your photos and pictures. GIMP, a photo editing program that has been around for years and has the functionality of Adobe Photoshop. If you have a scanner, there's Image Scanning software called XSane.
Ubuntu has a music application, called Rythmbox, that resembles Winamp in functionality with a music player and library, but unfortunately is not quite there in the skins department. It does have an internet radio library and an icon for Last.fm. You can download music, buy music, download your Ipod and MP3's, and listen to podcasts. There's an audio and media player, the Totem Movie Player. This will handle a multitude of formats and supports full screen video playback to view your favorite movies.
There are games for you to play: Logic, AisleRiot Solitaire, Blackjack, Chess, Gnometris, Lagno, Mahjongg, Nibbles, Robots, and Tali.
And the "piece de resistance" the Ubuntu Software Center. This is an easy to use catalog laid out in a nice interface that loads other application that run on Ubuntu. The Software Center loads these programs with a click of the mouse. It also removes software you're no longer using. This is all done with a few clicks of the mouse. You don't have to search all over the Internet for software, Ubuntu takes care of all of that for you.