Shutting the window and grabbing my hat…

As you may already know, I’ve been at war with a few computers. They all have one common trait, they run a Windows OS. Well, for my desk top I chose the nuclear option. I wiped it’s brains out and installed a Linux OS. I should have done this a long time ago. What a difference.
First, some background though. I’ve been an avid Windows user for my whole life. To say I can work my way around the OS is a bit of an understatement. I’ve defended it against rabid Mac fans (and I do mean Fans, not users), and their smug sense of superiority. I held in there through the NT and 2000 years. I watched XP became a dependable and solid OS. I was rewarded with Vista and a lack of support for XP. I’m one of the few people who have bought copies of Windows.
My biggest problems with Windows was the swiss cheese security, the bloat , and the inability to change much of anything. I didn’t want messenger, or powerpoint, or media player. The onboard fire wall was a joke. The sheer amount of resources Windows consumed was staggering. Basically, it tried to be everything to everyone all at once. I don’t want that.
After the latest viral outbreak on my desktop, I was faced with re-installing for the third time in as many years. Here were my options: buy a Mac (never!), buy Vista (my copy of XP is long gone), or try Linux. Being the cheapest option, I went with Linux. For $60 I got the 3″ thick Linux Bible (2009 edition), 18 flavors of Linux, and 2 recovery/repair programs. The book walks you through the actually very easy process of switching from Windows to Linux.
I just copied all my important stuff over to an external HD, installed (at random) the Mandriva version of Linux, and reloaded my important stuff to desktop. Firefox and open office came with it, so I didn’t even have to go through the process of downloading and installing them. These programs are not bundled and are easily uninstalled. With in twenty minutes, I was updating twitter and browsing facebook. The included software installer connects to the Mandriva home and can find you the Linux version of whatever software you want, or it’s Linux equivalent. I’ve found everything I looked for and haven’t had to try a different program yet. Also, it uses less than half the resources that Windows does.
There is still a learning curve. Installing software is a bit different, as are the customization options. However, after 24 hours I’ve learned quite a bit. My desk top is now entirely open source. This post is the first by a free man.
Am I totally Windows free? No, my laptop is still running Vista (too new and too under warranty to change), and work of course runs Windows. Is Linux perfect? No, the complete freedom to change settings and choose your software can be daunting at times. Particularly if you’re not computer savvy. Why not Mac? Right click, enough said. I’ll be adding Linux related links in the near future. They have live CD’s for free, so you can try out Linux without wiping your computer. Give it a try.



About faultcode113

I'm just a normal thirty something guy. Married with a house, tow cars, and one dog. I enjoy my work, but not always my job. I love to travel abroad, specifically the UK. I swear I was the tallest guy in Tokyo when I was there. I prefer reading to movies and tv. I prefer Sci-fi to most everything else. I feel it fits better as an escapist past time. I'm also a student of history. How can one learn from the past if they don't know anything about it? If this all seems rather random, it is. My life has been a series of free associations. I wouldn't have it any other way. If you like what I post, tell a friend. If you don't, tell a friend anyways. They might like it. FC113 View all posts by faultcode113

10 responses to “Shutting the window and grabbing my hat…

  • mostlylinux

    Welcome to Linux! I hope you continue to enjoy your newfound freedom. It may take a while until you’re fully settled in and have learned enough to feel totally comfortable in your new environment, but remember that you didn’t learn Windows overnight either. I have a feeling you’ll look back on this forevermore as a defining moment in your computing life.

    I can’t decide which is more satisfying – figuring out how to do something new in Linux, or finding out that there are eighty additional ways you can do it. (:

    • faultcode113

      I’m just getting through the “up and running” part. I can’t wait until I get comfortable enough to start tinkering with it. Thanks for the encouragement.

      • mostlylinux

        The most interesting part is that there will probably never be a time when you can say that you’re done learning it – which means you have placed before yourself an endless series of discoveries. If you enjoy that sort of thing, you’re looking at a lifetime of fun. (:

        If you run into any trouble, let me know and I’ll try to help. I’m not familiar with Mandriva, but I enjoy looking up how to do things.

  • faultcode113

    The Mac “Right Click” comment was a bit of an inside joke. Sorry for the confusion. I’ll still never own one.


    • mostlylinux

      I thought I’d check in and see how you’re doing with your Linux exploration these… three weeks later! Are you finding your way around and having fun with it?

      A family member of mine owns an older Mac that has what he refers to as a mouse. It looks sort of mouse-like, but is encased in thick clear plastic so that it’s more visually reminiscent of a paperweight that preserves a mouse rather than the mouse itself. It has no buttons! Apparently to work this thing, you simply push down on the entire thing. Strangest hardware I ever saw. No fingers necessary. (:

      • faultcode113

        The iMac. I remember it well. I was half convinced the mouse was a foot pedal. Linux and I are still doing well. What few issues I’ve managed to cause have been really easy to fix. The community is beyond helpful. I guess that’s what happens when getting a good product out there is more important than making a buck. Thanks,


  • Links 23/07/2009: Sony Ericsson Dumps Windows for Linux, US Free Software Coalition Formed | Boycott Novell

    […] Shutting the window and grabbing my hat… As you may already know, I’ve been at war with a few computers. They all have one common trait, they run a Windows OS. Well, for my desk top I chose the nuclear option. I wiped it’s brains out and installed a Linux OS. I should have done this a long time ago. What a difference. […]

  • mostlylinux

    I’m glad to hear it. It’s always nice to see a happy… (I guess I can’t say ending…) beginning. Since you’re past the introductory period, it should all be pleasantly gentle from here on in. (:

    • faultcode113

      I recently discovered tabbed browsing in the file folders. It’s amazing. Thanks, for the encouragement. The Linux community really is wonderful.


  • The Mad Hatter

    Congratulations. You’ve entered a new and wonderful universe. If I could make a suggestion, download and try Moon OS. It works really well on laptops (run it off the CD, and see what you think). On my Acer it autodetected and ran all of the hardware, including the wireless card.

    Oh, and the previous version ran fine on my old P3 Thinkpad, as well as on the Acer dual core Turion. It’s remarkably flexible that way.

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