Ubuntu 8.10 kicked me in the ballz.
So let me get this straight....
A distro of linux that automounts ntfs partitions and lets me have full read/write support without having to edit fstab manually and then hoping/praying? Check.
A distro of linux that lets me eject optical media (dvd/cd) from the drive whenever i press the open/close button without having to unmount it first and then hoping/praying? Check
A distro of linux with a wireless config app that works without fiddling with settings manually and then hoping/praying? Check
A distro of linux that makes networking with/accessing windows shares over the network as quick and actually easier than even inside of windows itself without having to setup samba and edit config files and then hoping/praying? Check
A distro of linux that finally makes it easy to add your multimedia support so you can play mp3's and watch dvd's without having to edit your repository source list/keys and then hoping/praying? Check
A distro of linux that makes setting up and installing multimedia driver (especially video cards) a single-click affair (and thus, easier than windows) versus following arcane instructions at the CLI, editing your xorg.conf/x11 settings manually and then hoping/praying? Check
A Distro of linux that not only auto detects my soundcard, but autodetects my speaker arrangement and sets it up for me without me having to tinker with any settings and then hoping/praying? Check
A distro of linux that allows me to download huge amounts of porn without any fear of the wife finding it? Check
It's the small things like that which make all the difference in the world in usability/ease-of-use.
I'm enjoying this. For those here that remember me, you know I'm no Linux 'nub'. I've worked my way around the command line for years. Hell, some of you might even remember a distro a friend an I were working on that we asked some of you to try a couple years back called Borgix (based on clustering/shared computing from a livecd). However, as I get older and my tastes for what I want/need in an OS change, I start looking at Linux in ways now that I never used to before. Ease of use vs. customization is the rule of the day now. Can I get in and tinker at CLI and manually edit configurations with VI? Yes. But I prefer not to. Again, Ease of Use vs. Customization, with Ease of Use winning out. A single click of the mouse is easier than 10-15 minutes tinkering. Satisfaction with a job well done be daggnabbitted... I like quick and easy and painless and a click of the mouse is easier that reading hundreds of lines of text/code.
***side note, while I normally prefer a straight up Debian Install, in the Ease of Use vs. Customizable debate, Debian loses out to Ubuntu as I have to tinker in Debian to get it setup the way I like. Not so with Ubuntu.
This is much closer to what joe-user wants/needs in an OS. I have yet to need to touch CLI to install or setup anything. This is a major improvement, even over 8.04. Don't start your 'but you can do x and y and have so much control over z in CLI" arguments, it doesn't wash. You are a geek. You love control and getting what You want in Your software/hardware. Joe User doesn't care, and Ubuntu 8.10 is pretty frickin' close to what he needs. Also, the extra control/power argument means little to me now as I prefer ease-of-use vs. tinkering. However, that may change in the future once my 1year old daughter learns to do more than pound the keyboard with both hands.....
The only thing I can really put Ubuntu down for, but can't fault them for, is that they don't install Wine automatically for the average joe-user. If Wine were included, I think migration over for joe-user would be 100x easier, as windows programs would just install and work instead of him wondering and getting frustrated about 'program q' not installing/working straight-up.
as an aside, has anyone ever considered doing an 'auto-setup' of common .dll's and other common settings used in wine a lot so people don't have to go and download dozens of .dll's just to get the text looking proper in their programs or getting the vb looking/functioning properly? If this has been done in such a way that is a 'click-yer done' method, that would be wonderful and be another step closer to making linux (with wine) ready for joe-user.
I specially liked the bolded