Edit: Unfortunately, the images originally included in this post are gone, because of hosting problems in late 2009. My apologies.
I told you a week or two ago that this was The Year of the Linux Desktop, and as proof I offered the fact that my mother — a non-technophile, average-level computer user with a couple of years of Ubuntu experience — was able to order a laptop with Ubuntu 7.10 preinstalled, without Windows or any stain of DRM or other garbage. It arrived on May 20, and she was kind enough to send pictures and give me permission to share.
This is a Dell Inspiron 1420, with a dual core T2370 rated at 1.73Ghz, 1Mb and 533Mhz for the FSB. Screen is a 14.1-inch glossy at 1440×900, run by an X3100 graphics card. It has 2Gb of 667Mhz DDR2, a 120Gb SATA hard drive and an 8x dual-layer DVD+-RW drive. Networking is courtesy of an Intel 3945 a/g card, integrated NIC and integrated modem.
The login screen.
A smaller photo of the entire machine. The screensaver is starting in this one, which is why the top part looks a little smeared.
Reports from the front line suggest she’s absolutely thrilled with it. She’s already added the software and programs she was used to in Dapper, and things like wireless and her iPod are working great.
As far as making the jump to 8.04, that might happen later — much later, like when 7.10 reaches end-of-life. The rationale is basically that the machine is working perfectly right now, as is. She doesn’t need kernel upgrades for hardware compatibility, or an improved version of GTKPod to get her iPod working. So risking an upgrade that may or may not go wrong just isn’t required.
The only hiccup? An instruction manual written entirely for Microsoft Windows Vista, sent along to introduce her to her new computer. I don’t know if I should call that ironic, or just sad.