There's a nice little three-part video series by John Bradbury ( http://www.johnbradbury.com ), an experienced Windows adminisrator who is looking at Ubuntu for the first time and trying to give his impression of it. The videos pull no punches, describing what he likes, what he thinks is doable for him, and what he thinks would confuse the average user.
The first video, "Ubuntu -- First Impressions," deals with booting the live CD, installing, and trying to figure out the method behind doing daily tasks on the desktop. Most things work fairly well but operate slightly differently than Windows. Please let me answer two of his questions in the video:
- The update manager keeps track of every piece of software that you install through Add/Remove or the Synaptic Package Manager, and
- Using Add/Remove (in the Applications menu) is much easier than using Synaptic. Use Synaptic only for those situations where you require a much more detailed search and know exactly what you want.
The second video, "Ubuntu -- Office Functionality" gets into the ability of Ubuntu to use common types of files. Ubuntu surprises on many points and fails in a few. He didn't, however , get very finicky about the format of MS Word docs in OpenOffice.org Writer, which is a real complaint, but which is also a problem across different versions of MS Word (or sometimes even different machines with the same version). I applaud him for that.
The final installment, "Ubuntu -- Multimedia Support" tries to play the most common formats of multimedia files, with many successes and one not-so-surprising failure. Please visit my codec page on how to get the codecs working once without being nagged for new codes all the time (this also solves the failure in his video).
From the screencast team:
Skype on Ubuntu
Watching Video on Ubuntu
Connecting to Printers
Tour of the Places and System Menus
Tour of the Ubuntu Applications
Files and Folders
Users and Fast User Switching
Installing Applications on Ubuntu
Updating and Upgrading Ubuntu