## 2011-03-26

### Ubuntu: Even the Computer-Averse Can Use It

Yesterday, I was talking to one of my relatives (whom I shall refer to as $relative) about computers, and I inquired as to whether$relative was still using Ubuntu 10.04 LTS "Lucid Lynx" that I had installed on $relative's laptop shortly before I left for college. Do note that$relative is pretty computer-averse when it comes to anything other than using a browser or using a productivity suite. To my surprise, $relative said yes! I also asked if$relative's printing issues were sorted out, because the printer connected is made by Lexmark, and Lexmark printers play as badly with Linux as Broadcom wireless cards do (i.e. they don't mix). To my further surprise, $relative said yes again! At this point, I figured$relative was switching to Microsoft Windows XP to print documents, printing from another (Microsoft Windows) computer at home, or just printing in school by means of a USB flash drive. To my total and utter shock, $relative countered that all printing was being done in Ubuntu on that connected Lexmark printer and$relative was able to connect and configure the printer alone, without help. Woah!
Not too long ago, $relative was unable to find and set up drivers for the Lexmark printer on Microsoft Windows XP, and I don't know how much has changed since then. Yet, on Ubuntu, it was totally doable. What further surprised me is that$relative's laptop previously had Ubuntu 9.04 "Jaunty Jackalope", with which I struggled long and hard to no avail in order to get it to recognize that printer, yet with an Ubuntu version just one year newer, a previously impossible task became darn easy.
I know now without a doubt that (a) Ubuntu is getting exponentially better with each release and (b) many user-friendly Linux distributions are in fact more user-friendly than Microsoft Windows. Would someone like to try to convince me otherwise?