One of the things that is often lost in all the well deserved hatred of Microsoft, is that they have spent millions of dollars on studying users and has produced something that, even with all its foibles, is pretty damn easy for most people to use.
As the spoiled beneficiary of all that study and development time I, and every other Windows user, have some pretty high expectations when it comes to having our computers just sort themselves out and do the right thing.
It seems that Mark Shuttleworth and the Ubuntu crew have been paying close attention to the rather expensive lessons that Microsoft has had to learn. I switched to Ubuntu in December and by and large it has lived up to its promise of being easy to use. Case in point; I borrowed a Canon A70 camera so Kathrine and I could take some pictures this weekend. I plugged it in and was greeted with this:
The Import Photos dialogue does exactly what you think it is going to do, and I actually find it faster and less complicated than the Photo import wizard found in Windows.
Ubuntu’s (and Linux in general’s) weak spot is that most companies only create drivers for Windows and leave Linux and Apple users to fend for themselves. This can make it a little dicey when you try connecting exotic things to your Linux system. In this case, it correctly identified the camera, dumped the images onto my desktop and cleaned off the memory card. In other words, everything I was expecting, and nothing I wasn’t. Nice!