View Full Version : Starting College

August 12th, 2007, 06:02 PM
Well starting off college this year and was wondering if there are any other kids in college using Ubuntu and how good is it to use for college. I look at it this way all I will probably be doing is writing reports, essays, projects here and there, research, surfing the web, and email so I felt that instead of wasting $100-$300 for a windows OS...to do the same thing, I am just going to use Ubuntu. Just I am still new to Linux and learning everyday about new things. I screwed up my system a bunch of times from typing in wrong commands or exploring just don't want to be at college when that happens :) Ubuntu is kinda difficult to work out a problem once you caused it. And I would call the University that I will be attending, but half the people there have know clue, never can reach the tech department, and I will not see my Professors till I get to the University. They don't tell us anything till we arrive, it's a Military Academy so just wanted to here from other people's experiences.

Thank you guys a lot.

August 12th, 2007, 07:14 PM
I have been using ubuntu for almost 2 years for my academic work. SO far so good. Probably just some small incompatibility between windows and Linux (e.g. powerpoint slides or some webcast tools).

I have been in the scientific research so Linux offer more benefit than disadvantages. Not sure if that works out the same in a military institute. I suppose they also use alot of *nix code (probably not open source but still based on the same root).

August 12th, 2007, 07:31 PM
i am finishing my degree pretty quickly, i have been using ubuntu almost full time for the past 2 years and my experience, unfortunately, you will HAVE to dual boot windows. if you are in an arts program, you probably will get away just fine with linux (military college im betting your not taking an arts program).

i am in a science program and i cannot survive totally on linux for the following reasons:
-almost all of the course specific software has been developed for windows, and you are much better off spending time doing the assignment than trying to get it work under wine!

-all, and i mean all of your colleges are going to use word... and on group projects / labs etc. using open office is going to %*#$ the formatting, your colleges will not be impressed!

-now, in all reality you are going to have to install a "student edition" software at some point (matlab, ms-office, etc. or some other program), while some may offer a linux version, the version that will be floating around the class will be for windows.

I am able to use ubuntu 99% of the time, but i very much do need windows from time to time...

good luck.

August 12th, 2007, 07:54 PM
Thank you guys for the replies, I think I will dual boot Windows along side of Linux just to be on the safe side. My course is going to be Computer security and assurance so I think it will be alright. Once again thank you guys.

August 12th, 2007, 09:28 PM
It's a good idea to keep a windows partition around . . . especially if you have an old XP license. No reason at this time to upgrade to Vista I have seen.

I've been using Ubuntu for all my college stuff . . . I've found that unless you are doing some really fancy formatting to layered images or something similar OO.org can handle most things you throw at it from MSO, but going backwards can be a little trickier. The only time I've had major problems is with presentations loaded with images/graphics. Sometimes things will get smashed into the background image of the slide and the whole slide will need to be redone to change anything.

Honestly, I the only times I have needed to boot into windows are the times when I've used my lappy for a presentation and didn't have time to check for Linux compatibility with the projector.

Then again, I also plan on writing papers for my humanities courses in LaTeX and when the prof wants a file sending it to them as a PDF with the source as a second attachment. But I might just be evil. :)

August 13th, 2007, 08:56 AM
Wow! Times have changed! When I started college back in 1993, the only thing that mattered was if you had a computer or not. No one cared about the operating system.

If you had a computer, you could work all night from your dorm room eating pizza and drinking coffee and soda. Then you just had to print the paper and run to class (usually late).

If you didn't have a computer, you had to wait for hours for one to open up in the computer lab and then you had to type like crazy to make room for the next person. No food or drink. No trips to the bathroom.

For what it's worth ... I used a Macintosh back in those days and never saw MS Windows until after I graduated.

Good Luck and Have Fun!
- Eric