A while back the TSA dropped Ifrit, cracking her case and leaving her fully functional, but rather more fragile than I’d like my travelling laptop to be. There was much hand wringing on my part, but I finally settled on a Toshiba NB505 to replace her. It’s thinner, lighter, and I like the keyboard on it quite a lot. The only major problem with the new netbook (named Scarab, for those keeping track) was that when I tried to dual screen at work, it cannot do extended desktop. This was the case even after re-installing the drivers in Windows. The option simply isn’t there. “Well, I got burned on the graphics card,” I said to myself, and dealt with it.
Monday night I discovered a thing of beauty. The burglars got the hardware I generally use for streaming things to the TV, so when it was time for catching a buddy up on Dr. Who, we called on lowly Scarab to put the magical media on the big TV. Don’s trial netbook had just caved under the stress of streaming Netflix to the full screen TV. I assumed we were about to see a similar fail from Scarab.
But we didn’t.
Since I never need more than Scarab’s native 10 inch screen except for consulting work, I’d never hooked it into an external monitor except in Windows. Imagine my delighted surprise when I discover that, not only does my hearty little beastie play the video without collapsing, but in Ubuntu, extended desktop nearly to the full resolution of my 42″ TV is simply a matter of pressing the right hot key. No struggle. No cussing. Just plug in the cable, press the button and viola, functionality Windows convinced me the hardware could not achieve!
Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve blown way past the turning point. Not only does Ubuntu just work, these days, but it works better than Windows. Go Canonical, go!
One thing Windows provides that Ubuntu doesn’t – since I’m only ever in Windows for work, it’s very easy for me to know when to bill. Am I in Windows? If yes, somebody owes me money. That’s fine by me.