After a week of upgrade woes getting our Broadcomm wireless chip to work with Karmic Koala, the effort seems to be worthwhile, especially since discovering the builtin Gnome Network Manager applet. We’re sitting at Zaxan Cafe at The Mill in Hamilton, and the wireless connection was a painless click-click. Last time we were here, running Intrepid Ibex (8.10), lots of fiddling required in the old network manager, etc. We tried WiFi-Radar, but it comes with Some Assembly Required, Batteries Not Included: the Gnome applet just plain works.
Linux, and particularly Ubuntu, is becoming a mainstream end-user system, slowly but surely. Unix has always been an “expert friendly system,” and the need for professional system administration services (and some of us have had our own issues with lack of documentation) has kept it out of the “even Grandma can use it” mode. We’re using Google Chrome, which is evolving, but the extensions are almost essential to business-oriented social networking and cloud computing. Firefox is the solid browser, and Opera is attractive.