First hurdle, my work laptop does not have a DVD burner, and I don’t have a flash drive I can make bootable. Easy solution: use the Ubuntu Windows Installer
A couple of clicks, the installer downloads a bootable iso for you (no need to download the iso on your own). In a few minutes I had booted into Ubuntu.
Initial configuration customization was to un-mirror my dual displays (why is this ever a default?), change the background to black (I’m a design minimalist, and flashy gradient desktops are not my thing), and adjusted the mouse sensitivity.
Issue #1 – There appears to be some known Linux + wireless Microsoft Mouse Scrollwheel bug where the scrollwheel is hyper-sensitive. The “work around” is to unplug the wireless dongle, wait a few seconds for the driver to detect the change, and plug the dongle back in. This worked. Although, if I have to do this repeatedly during the day the Mac users are going to start giving me a hard time.
With a usable desktop interface I then saw a proprietary driver update notice, which would not install. I also wanted to install Chrome, but that would not install either. I ran the system updates, and afterward the proprietary driver notice disappeared and Chrome was able to install.
Since I can log in, and minimally use the desktop, I’d say this has been the most successful initial install ever.
Now to try some applications.