Made the jump to Linux

Vista on my budget laptop was the straw that broke the camel’s back. (really, there must be a better and more current saying for that, but I’m pre-coffee today).

I was losing an untold amount of time clicking links and x’s and waiting for Vista to do something (anything!). I was watching as Vista crashed — loading Flash. And most disturbingly I was spending a half hour a night shutting down my system, navigating a complex maze of hung processes and nonsense prompts (and yes, even “shutdown -f” did not solve it). I ended up leaving my laptop on all night, because I simply did not have time to shut it down. This, of course, further exacerbated the slowness.

So I tried to downgrade to XP, but it was a disaster. I mean, it didn’t even recognize my CD drive. I actually installed XP onto the laptop from the CD, and once it was installed, it didn’t recognize it.

I know I was installing a 2002 version of XP onto a 2007 laptop. But still, that’s capital-C crazy.

Plus, to get the pleasure of a broken installation I had to run around the house for 4 hours trying to find the key to the legal disk I bought 4 years ago. And I was not a pleasant person during those four hours.

Things like that can really damage a marriage. So I finally decided, since the XP (contrary to my instructions) had already cleared my hard drive, to try and install Linux. I’d tried this before on a laptop four years ago. I steeled myself for the worst.

I got Mandriva, because my research showed its installation was the best out of the box fit with my hardware. I popped it in.

And in 30 minutes my sytem was working.
And not just working — flying. I mean, I’m writing this post and you know what I did? I started my laptop (up in 60 seconds). I clicked the firefox icon, and firefox started in under 5 seconds. I sent it to my wordpress page — instantaneous!

That’s less than 90 seconds to get here and start doing something productive. With Vista under my laptop specs I couldn’t get here in under 10 minutes.

It’s hard to fully explain what that means to a person who steals what moments they can to blog — but I think some of my readers will get it.

The fact I waited so long to do this can only mean I was suffering from some sort of battered OS user syndrome. Life with my new OS isn’t perfect — the wifi card ain’t working, so I may have to get something external. But I’m spending so much more time doing things rather than watching my system think. I’m loving it.

More as this develops…

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2 Comments on “Made the jump to Linux”

  1. I think the modern version of “the straw that broke the camel’s back” is “I installed Vista on my laptop”

  2. Mike says:

    Ha! Thanks for my biggest laugh (guffaw, actually) of the day.

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