« Previous | Main | Next »

Ubuntu Installfest

Post categories:

George Wright George Wright | 10:51 UK time, Tuesday, 19 February 2008

ashley_installfest03.pngYesterday [as briefly mentioned in a Pic Of The Day], Jono Bacon (Community Manager of Ubuntu GNU/Linux) came to the BBC to meet with Ashley Highfield, the Director of Future Media and Technology for the BBC (and my boss).

We talked about a number of things to do with GNU/Linux, Ubuntu, its parent company (Canonical), its peers (ie, other distros), free/open source software and building communities. Ashley also reminisced on the time (presumably as a very small child) when he used to programme a PDP-11 in assembly language.

Unix and Unix-alike systems have changed since then, and Ashley was keen to see how, so whilst we were chatting, we had a mini-installfest. We put Ubuntu Gutsy (7.10) on a spare laptop that I had in my office. The install was as painless as I'd imagined - and for anyone with a modern distro, relatively sane hardware and a bit of luck, it can be straightforward. We then moved onto the interesting stuff - setting up the system, showing off the features, pointing out the quirks - and filing bugs - easy when you have someone from the distro next to you :) - etc.

We chose Ubuntu for this demo and installfest because it's current, popular, easy to install, and free. These attributes apply to many other GNU/Linux distributions - Ubuntu was just one of our options.


We'll be coming back to Ashley in a week to see how he got on with it at home. This was a useful and interesting hour-or-so for a few reasons. Ashley's going to see some of the benefits and disadvantages to Linux - we haven't held his hand with this, just installed Ubuntu and let him get on with it. It'll also hopefully spark a few questions for him, and us, about how we work with this - and other free OSs - going forward.

We hope to announce some interesting projects over the next few months, e.g. the P2P Next project I posted about previously. More on this later...

George Wright is Executive Producer, Rapid Development Unit, BBC Future Media & Technology. There are more pictures of the installfest here and here.


  1. At 12:47 AM on 26 Feb 2008, Tim Dobson wrote:

    I feel stupid now having posted

    "So can we expect an update at some stage and find out how Ashley is doing with
    ole 'buntu
    as the rest of the comments in this blog highlight, I for one, and many other people as well, would be happy to answer any queries or problems he might have.
    I have been using debian gnu/linux only for about 9 months, having known about it for much longer and always had helpful people to ask for support.
    when i made the switch, initially to ubuntu gnu/linux, I found ubuntuguide.org intensely helpful, with ubuntuforums.org later becoming useful too for questions

    i would be intersted to hear asheley's point of view in relation to ubuntu, especially since he now has a relatively easy way to find out what i experience everyday.

    I wish him good luck and hope he asks for help when he needs it."

    before reading this post.

    oh well, I am glad to hear that he will be having a go with it.

    one point to make in particular though is that if he needs help, it is important he knows where to find it.

    windows/osX to ubuntu without any help or anyone to question is no fun.

    everyone needs to ask newbie questions when they are a newbie.

  2. At 07:46 PM on 29 Feb 2008, Phil wrote:

    19/02/2008 - 29/02/2008 is a week and a half.

    Is Ashley's review sitting in someone's inbox somewhere, did something happen?

    Have I missed it?

  3. At 11:17 PM on 01 Mar 2008, Peter Erskine wrote:

    It's a pity that the BBC's Director of Media and Technology isn't already a fully conversant user. Shame on the BBC for being so Microsoft-led (by the nose). But better late than never. How is Ashley getting on?

  4. At 04:52 PM on 02 Mar 2008, gareth wrote:

    welcome to the fold. i use Ubuntu (ultimate edition), and couldn't be happier. made the move from windoze a few months back. So far everything has just worked. web cam, external hard drive, mobile phone, which all needed drivers in windoze, worked out the box with no installing or downloading from the web. i have tried a few flavours of linux, all good, but i will stick with Ubuntu as it works, very well. runs far faster than XP (which i still like) on the SAME HARDWARE! Stick with it ashley, Ubuntu will make your computer use a joy instead of a chore. Also i was watching a movie while i installed it, try that in windoze. remeber the ubuntu forums "if" you have probs, great people there to help. enjoy ubuntu, i know you will.

  5. At 12:16 AM on 04 Mar 2008, Chris Mckee wrote:

    Funny that when people use Linux they get excited about software creating graphs and a wordprocessing program having some Office features.

  6. At 06:32 PM on 05 Apr 2008, An 800lb Gorilla In The Room wrote:

    Chris @ 5

    Even funnier is people who use Vista who get excited it actually starts in the first place ...

    *already has the taxi booked*

This post is closed to new comments.

More from this blog...

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.