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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

My good old Laptop

***Warning: This post is very computer geeky including some computer lingo***

My HP laptop recently celebrated it's 3rd Birth day, and I have to say so far, most of it is working ok. That of course after I had the Motherboard replaced because of a plug issue (it seems that the place where you plug your computer in is directly connected to the Motherboard and fixing it means replacing the entire motherboard - but that's an old story). I recently ran into a new problem, my faithful hard drive decided to give in. I was able to get everything off of it, but I had to get it replaced.

The good news was, since my Motherboard incident last year, HP made a mistake and in return gave me an extra year of warranty - so replacing the hard drive would be free. Well free if I could get it to the U.S. since HP doesn't work it's warranty in Israel(good to know if you ever plan on buying an HP laptop in the U.S. and bring it here)!

So, I had my HD sent to the U.S. (my dad was going and I gave it to him), but I needed something to be able to run my computer int he mean time. I went out and got an external HD, figuring it will be useful in the future to store all sort of thing (movies, songs, ETC.). When I plugged it in and tried to load Windows on to it, I found out that there is no way to run Windows off an External HD. Now I was stuck - I had a hard drive, but no way to run my computer. READ THE REST...

At this point I figured that I might as well see if I can get Linux on my computer - I figured I have nothing to loose from it, after all Linux is free. I started looking around for a Linux version that work for me, it took me a couple of days and I found a version that might work, called Ubuntu. I went ahead and downloaded it using my wife's computer and tried to install it on my computer. Sure enough, everything went smoothly. I had the operating system up and running in a couple of hours, plus a few more to figure out how everything works (thank G-d) for forums). The end result is that I have a running computer. It's no longer a Mobile computer since I have to have the HD connected to it at all times but it works and even works well.

Over the past month, I have to admit I have learned to appreciate what a computer feels like without Windows running on it. and I must say I am very happily surprised. I can do most everything I was able to do on my computer before, plus everything runs really fast a smoothly (no crashes, viruses ETC.).

I should be getting my New (internal) HD in a couple of weeks and I have to decide now what to do with it. Do I put windows XP back on it or do I stay with this Linux OS??

In the mean time - I found this on one of the blogs I came across the other day, thought it was really funny considering where I am today:

    I do have some sympathy for the poster that had problems moving from Windows to Linux. I had the same problem trying Windows.

    I decided to try it after some friends who use it all the time told me it was great.

    I went to the MS site to download it but it wasn't available. I got really frustrated as I couldn't work out how to download it. In the end I had to ask a friend who told me I had to buy it.

    I got in my car, drove to PC World and asked one of the sales guys for a copy of Windows. He asked me which one, I said I want the most complete one please and he said that's £149.99 please.....I said a rude word then I drove home empty handed.

    One of my friends gave me a copy of Windows XP but said I had to be very quiet about it. I thought that was odd because I always burn copies of Ubuntu for anyone that asks me and tell them to pass it on to anyone interested when they've finished. Anyway, I popped it in my CD tray and waited for it to boot into the 'live' CD desktop. It didn't work. It just kept asking me if I wanted to install it. I got on the phone to one of my friends in case I was doing something stupid but he told me, XP cannot run a 'live' desktop from the CD.

    I thought I would try installing it. I followed the prompts but got nervous when it didn't ask me about other operating systems. When I installed Ubuntu it recognized I had Windows on my machine and asked me if I wanted to create then install Ubuntu on another partition. Back on the phone my friend told me that Windows will overwrite any other OS it finds when it installs.

    I backed up all my stuff then took the plunge and installed it. The install was pretty straightforward apart from when I had to enter some letters for a serial code. I had to call my friend again but he got quite flustered came over and entered it himself. He told me to keep quiet again??

    After I powered it up I had a look around.

    I was shocked when it let me changed system configurations without asking for root access. My friend was getting a bit p**sed off when I called him again but came over. He told me that root access was given as default. I immediately made another account as a user and used that. I started getting confused when I tried to make changes but it didn't ask for access but he told me I had to log out as user then log back in as administrator. I started to understand why so many people run as root all the time and it made me shiver.

    Enough of the playing. I had some work to do. I went to start > programs so I could open a spreadsheet I needed to complete but couldn't find any spreadsheet software. My friend told me Windows didn't come with any and I would have to download some. Oh I thought, a barebones distro. I went to add/remove programs in the control panel, (just like Ubuntu) but it didn't have any programs to add. It would only let me remove programs. I couldn't find the button to add applications. My friend told me I had to go and find the applications myself. After much googling I figured it out, downloaded and installed Open Office.

    To be honest I had a torrid time with Windows. I didn't understand a lot of the terminology...why do they have an A drive, then a C drive, where is the B drive? I thought the distro is way too barebones, it ships with no real productive applications and it is very confusing to find any. My friend told me I needed anti-virus and anti-adware software but Windows didn't come with any.

    I think it is difficult, confusing and too much hard work for me. It might be OK if you are a techie like my friend but I'll stick to Ubuntu. Thanks.


At 11:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved it.
I'll be waiting to hear your decision.
I'm still on an XP system but I have vowed to shun MS on my next computer.
Is ubuntu really that good?

At 3:08 PM, Blogger amechad said...

HPs break a lot.

At 1:47 PM, Blogger Oleh Yahshan said...

Is ubuntu that good?? Well, considering I have not really tried any other version of Linux I can't really tell you. What I can say is that If you are looking for a stable working alternative to Windows this OS seems to do the trick.
I was using Firefox, also on Windows so using it now is all the same.
The other big this was using Open Office instead of MS office (I was using 2000). Open Office still has a lot of issues, and although it does work, I must admit that Word is still superior to it in a lot of ways.

most other programs you can find Linux options for them (WMP, instant messengers ETC.)

As far as stability - I must say it is really stable - haven't had it crash on me yet, nor do I feel it slow down after a few hours of working.


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