I need to get work done. I really do. That's my primary concern. I really like the idea of FOSS, community developed tools, openness, ubuntu (the spirit), all of that -- but I really need to get work done.
Here's the kind of work I need to do:
- a lot of web-browsing with plenty of tab opens (e.g. when I need to find research documents)
- reading PDF documents, highlighting things inside of them, making notes inside them (highlight + note)
- write Python/Haskell programs
- write LateX documents
- use Mathematica/Maple/MATLAB (mostly MATLAB)
My computer is really cheap (~$300); I am a poor student, and it was a godsend, so I still love it. However, it really can't even handle point 1) on my list properly.
I have to consciously control stuff like this:
- I can't have a PDF file open while Spyder is running; things would just bog down really fast.
- I can't open more than ~10 tabs.
- I have to force myself to do one thing at one time as much as possible (good for me to a certain extent!)
You get the idea.
I am hoping that switching to Ubuntu (Lubuntu specifically) will help my computer in terms of performance. Is this reasonable to expect?
Here are some of the issues I am aware of:
- UEFI stuff
- various hardware compatibility issues
- time, lots and lots of time to get things working
Here's how my computer would be ideally set up:
- main partition would be some lightweight version of Ubuntu
- secondary (~15 GB) partition with Windows for the stuff that just needs Windows
I have played around with Ubuntu before (2009 - on a better laptop, in happier days when I didn't need to do much apart from making my desktop setup look cool...). I remember eventually becoming tired of it because of little things that just wouldn't work either because I didn't know how to use a GNU/Linux system properly, and to a smaller extent because Ubuntu just had some rough edges.
Should I make the switch?