Now that the rant is over, back to the story. All this stuff doesn't mean a thing to my kid sister. She wants to surf the web, use iTunes and do her work in Microsoft Office. She would trade her freedom for compatibility and usability and that's okay because it's her choice. So I setup Windows XP on her new Dell Inspiron 1501 this week. Wow, the difference between installing Ubuntu and Windows is night and day. Below is a picture of all the drivers I had to install to get her Dell 1501 to work.
The Ethernet, audio, smbus, ricoh card reader, touchpad, graphic and wireless drivers had to be installed. Basically nothing worked. During installation of the drivers I had to reboot 6 times. Then I still had to install flash, Microsoft Office and VLC to get the media codecs that Windows didn't come with.
In Ubuntu all you need is an Ethernet cable and a LiveCD. You don't even need to install the Ubuntu on your Dell 1501 to have a pretty functional computer. You can use the Ethernet connection and the LiveCD session to surf the net,listen to audio, use the card reader and touchpads advanced features.
An Ubuntu install isn't perfect, but it's still much easier than Windows. The only drivers you need to install are the wireless and graphic card. Wireless card issue is being worked on and future kernel updates should have support built in and Ubuntu's Restricted Driver Manager helps you install the ATI driver with 3 clicks. An office suite comes installed and media codecs and flash also take three clicks of a mouse button.
Overall I find the Ubuntu install to take half the time and half the headaches.
edited by pHreaksYcle