Wednesday, December 30, 2009

From Linux to Windows

Picture of Windows 7 Ultimate boxwell.. not really.

I've used Linux for a while, and my home computer systems are running Linux most of the time, and Windows only as needed (Skype, my son's Digital Camera, etc.).  In approximately 1 week, though, I will have my Windows 7 DVD and Christmas has been good for me as my brother got me enough RAM for a system to be able to run it (1 GB min requires) as well as XP Mode ( 2 GB min required for system)!  Thanks J.!

Picture of Windows 7 Home Premium box
Yes, I am pretty excited.

For the past 7 + years I have been installing and re-installing Linux distributions on just about any computer I can get my hands on.  Each time I am trying to see what works, what doesn't work and pursuing my experiment to find out if I can completely replace Windows with Linux in my home life. 

I used to run into a lot of roadblocks, but 2 things have changed which has led to this experiment to success;
  1. Linux has been getting better this whole time (Red Hat 8 -> Ubuntu 9.10/Fedora 12/openSUSE 11.2 = "you've come a long way baby")
  2. I am being more realistic as to what am I going to do with the darn computer! (Like why install Eclipse since I am not actually going to be doing any programming while at home. If I do, THEN install it, but no sense killing myself I am not actually going to USE it.)
Picture of Windows 7 Professional boxFor me, trying and testing Windows 7 is going to be like testing another distribution, except it is another operating system.

Windows 7 is going to be compared to some very tough competition; Linux.  I will be dual-booting Windows with Linux so that if Windows cannot hack it, I will be able to keep using Linux. Since the system is able to hold 2 hard drives I am planning on making it dual boot with each hard drive running a different OS. That way, if I remove one hard drive (or in case it fails) then the other system will purr along as if nothing has happened.  Plus, both OSes will enjoy the advantage of the 2.5 GB of RAM!

Meanwhile at work, I am looking forward to re-imaging my laptop and seeing if that will help to improve the performance that it really should have.

It will still be running XP, but when a system with less than 1/2 the power of it can boot up, install a DV Edit program (Kino) and start capturing video from a camcorder before the Windows system is booted and ready to go (not including connecting ot the network) then something is terribly wrong.

So this too will be an experiment of sorts, as I not only try being productive with approved applications and nothing else (well, maybe Paint.NET because I do need to manipulate images once-in-a-while).  Having come from open source and Linux I have gotten pretty used to having choices of multiple applications for a purpose.  This time around, though, I am going to try and hold off the best I can.

This means such things as using Internet Explorer ONLY; no Firefox, Opera or Chrome.  This alone will be an adjustment, but a  good experiment.  It also means only one image editing program but anything that I don't need, I am not going to get.

Only applications that are an extension of Microsoft official applications such as OGG Vorbis codecs so Windows Media Player can play OGG files, or applications (.NET) and scripts (.bat, .vbs) which I develop myself will be acceptable.

I think this will be an exciting experiment, and it does not mean I am leaving Linux. As I said, the home computer will be dual-boot with Linux as the primary system and my laptop will continue to be running Linux for my own personal uses as well as my home server.  In fact the old desktop may be upgraded and moved into the role of server(s) opening up a whole new range of possibilities such as a personal cloud?

Check back, and see how things go.