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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Like a virgin....

OK, here I am for the first time in a public place with my laptop using a hotspot. I am in the public library of the largest town near my own. My daughter is at church and I just took a bunch of pop cans back for redemption. I always hate doing that; your hands get sticky and the combination of spilled pop and beer on the floor is enough to make your stomach churn.

But I'm here at the library now with about 25 minutes until I have to jump back in the car and head out. It is kind of a cool feeling though knowing that of all of the people here I am using neither MS Windows or Mac. I'm using Linux. [nana nana boo boo] #1 unless there is another geek here in the building who really knows their stuff, I will not be hacked. #2 I don't have anything of value on this laptop whatsoever. [nana nana boo boo]

I got my new laptop for work on Thursday of last week. It is a pretty nice one too. DUDE, I GOT A DELL! Well, I wouldn't get that excited about it. It is unfortunate that I had to get one as beefy and robust as I did, but we are part of a pilot group that will be using MS Vista Enterprise Edition. It has a dual processing unit [both processors clocking 1.6 GHz], has 2 GB of RAM, and uses an onboard video card carrying 256 MB of RAM. When I first got it out of the box I decided to just boot it up to the base Windows XP Pro installation that came by factory default. I guess I wasn't too impressed for it having 2 processors. It is sad to say that the laptop that I am typing on right now using PC Linux OS is about 3 years old now and performs just as well as [with Linux] as my new Dell with Windows XP. But I have now decreased the performance of my new Dell with having to install Windows Vista.

I will say this- The visual experience of Vista is nice. The transitions in opening, closing, maximizing and minimizing windows is nice. It is visually stimulating. Don't be fooled though because the candy don't come free! In order to get all of the perks from their new release you need to make sure that your system can handle it. The sad part is that I was recently consulting with someone who was thinking about upgrading their machine to Vista. When I finished telling him what all he would need to upgrade in hardware on his machine we both agreed that it would just be cheaper for him to go buy a new computer that already came with Vista preloaded on it.

Back to the looks...Microsoft has made some cosmetic changes in how things look. From the window behaviour to the download manager they seem to have decided to borrow some things from Mac OS X. Not surprising though. Microsoft hasn't really had a new idea in about 15 years. I'm still convinced that Windows 98 SE was the best thing they've ever come out with.

Here is my point- If you like what you have for your current computing situation then I advise you stick with it. If you are able to get your hands on something with Vista on it to play with for a while to give it a test drive then, by all means, go for it. See what you think. My vote though is to either keep what you've got or go Mac. I say Mac because of the support issues that a lot of users might need to go along with it....but if you're like me and are willing to bite bullets and learn things the hard way, in the end it will pay off to go Linux. Everything is free; No installation CDs to buy, no software to purchase, no special hardware needed, and there's a wealth of information from fellow travelers all over the web for support.

Anyways, like a virgin, computing wirelessly in public for the very first time.....for me, it ain't all that it's cracked up to be.


Anonymous Cooper said...

keep me updated on vista.

I won't upgrade. I'd hands down buy a mac, which was what I was going to do but I'll wait 'til summer when the kick out the latest os X. I do think that vista is just too similar to what OS X has been in the last 3 or so years and their versions microsoft is just maddening.

Maybe I'll wait for Windows Vista Ultimate Unrated Edition SP4! for 399.95.

Question on the linux? how do they handle keyboard shortcuts? Windows xp to save of course is ctr+s which is rather ergonomically difficult to type physically speaking. on macs it's the apple key and 's' which is easily performed with the thumb and hitting s which is physically more comfy--one of the things that macs got right....

March 31, 2007 at 9:17 PM  
Blogger The Raging Paradoxidation said...

The keyboard shortcuts with Linux are very similar to Windows/Mac....for instance, if I am working in a document and want to save it I just hit Ctrl+F and then A [for save as if I have a specific alternate location to save it]. The trick in any OS/Application that you're using is to get the default save location set initially to wherever you want to be and then your keyboard shortcuts will follow from there.

The world is just not ready for Vista.

I would say that if you're still going to do anything with music that you should probably go with a MAC.

If you can get your hands on a used PC to have as a "back up" to play with, then you could download a flavour of Linux and play with it on it. I was running Ubuntu on a P3 550MHz with only 128MB of RAM pretty smoothly. You can use older machines with Linux without it being an issue. You'll still get decent performance; and not to mention you wont see the words "Your updates are now ready to be installed" with the need to reboot once a month.

Many application and file servers run Linux or Unix and only need to be rebooted for service about every 9 months or so.

March 31, 2007 at 10:10 PM  

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