Thursday, July 3, 2008

Goodbye Microsoft

A few months ago the upgrade path for my MCSE in NT and 2000 expired and I'll have to take a bunch of tests if I ever want to upgrade it. However, since it's been about 4 years since a company has given me domain admin rights, I'm not very concerned.

Last year I installed Vista on my home PC because I got the business version for free--or I should say included with the $20,000+ I paid Towson University over the past 3 years in the quest for a Master's degree.

I'm not a Vista hater. It was ok, but more than anything it's just plain slow. With 1GB of ram and a 3GB single core processor it was having a rough time. Like my MCSE, my computer's upgrade path had expired (DDR1 RAM, Socket 478, no PCI Express).

So I could have went back to XP, which has reached end-of-sale status, or give something else a try. I chose the later and went with Ubuntu.

I've always had a linux box on the side, but never ran one full time. Now I'm running two. There are some things I like, and some things I'm not so fond of. But without a doubt the single biggest thing I love is the sheer speed. The install took 20 minutes. My computer takes about 20 seconds to boot up or shut down. Gone are the days of starting it up and getting a cup of coffee. No more hard drive thrashing or blue screens of death.

So far there are only four needed programs I haven't been able to get to work natively. Wine solved two of these by simulating a Windows environment for the program. Unfortunately two other programs (I'm not naming them because they may work and I just haven't quite figured them out yet) don't work and I am stuck with vmware for these two programs for the time being.

I'm liking Ubuntu more and more every day. If you've thought about giving it a try, here are some reasons.

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