I finally got so frustrated that I mentioned to Amit that even Linux would be better than this.
Now, to fully appreciate the depths of my frustration, you have to know that Amit is a hardcore Linux loyalist who has spent about 80% of his waking hours trying to persuade me to switch to Linux. I have stoutly remained a Windows loyalist – in the face of much adversity, I must say – claiming that typing gibberish into a black screen and getting gibberish in reply was not my idea of fun. Give me GUI, I said, and turned resolutely back to Windows.
Now, here I was, in complete and utter despair, pleading for Linux!
Hardly had I uttered the magical words, than Amit was on the Net downloading a fantastic amount of data that took about 48 hours to complete. Once done, I had a brand new Linux-based OS – Ubuntu!
When Amit starts messing with my computer, I usually get out of the way real fast. This time, I didn’t really have to. Before I knew what was going on, my OS was up and running – off a CD. I could access all my Windows files, the network connection worked the way it should, the USB hubs worked, even my camera was detected and connected without a hiccup. I had Open Office for documents, GIMP for photo editing, FireFox for surfing the Net, and some other stuff that I don’t need. What’s more – everything worked! The only things that didn’t work were the microphone, and certain Windows-specific applications like Nokia PC Suite.
I have to admit that running an OS off of a CD while accessing files stored on the computers hard disk was a new concept for me. I have never really been able to mentally separate the data from the OS and imagine accessing one without using the other. Apparently, the computer has no such problem – apart from being a bit slow due to the OS being on a CD, there was no apparent difference at all.
Instead of spending days and weeks installing stuff, Amit spent not even a few hours and my computer was a good as new. Better than new, in fact, considering what a pain it was when it was new and loaded with Windows.
I’ve been a staunch Ubuntu convert for a couple of weeks and I have to say that the OS has not troubled me at all. It has a decent Windows-like GUI and is far, far more usable than ruddy Vista. I’ve taken it off the CD and got it running off an external hard drive now, so the speed is pretty good too. It seems that I’m not using SATA on my hard drive any more, but if this set-up works, I really don’t care. I still have Windows on the hard drive and I have the option to boot from Windows any time I want to, but I really really don’t want to.
Ok now, if you’re thinking this reads like an advertorial for Ubuntu or that I’ve been paid to write this (hey, there’s a whole industry that revolves around that concept) – I haven’t. It’s just an honest, genuine user experience – and a good one, for a change.