Adventures In Computing

August 14, 2007

Never Say Never

Filed under: Uncategorized — Normand Bissonnette @ 10:48 am

Last time I compared the time it took to install Ubuntu and PCLOS. This week I’ve installed XP in a computer for a friend. Am I a traitor to the GNU/Linux movement? I think not, I only did it for one reason: the cash, … and research. OK I did it for two reasons: the cash and research, … and friendship. Lets try that again, I only did it for three reasons: the cash, research and friendship, … and for fun. Four reasons: the cash, research, friendship and for fun.

I’ll state right here and now that I whole hardy support the GNU/Linux movement. I have gotten people to try Ubuntu but most people are like old dogs: you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. From my experience most people want to follow the path of least resistance. A greater number of people will watch The Discovery Channel and watch someone climb mount Everest and say that would be challenge and leave it at that. While a very small percentage would actually do it. I think I have used an overblown analogy because installing and using a GNU/Linux operating system is not as hard as climbing mount Everest. It is a hell of a lot easier and less preparation and it takes less time.

I digress lets get back to the point. I popped in the install disk in the laptop and turn the computer on. It was 6:45 pm. After a few minutes I was asked on which partition I wanted to install I deleted all partition and created one and chose that one. I then chose the NTFS format, not the quick and then I waited, and waited and waited. It took over 50 minutes just to format! I stopped checking the time. The installation took another 35 to 40 minutes since I did not notice when it started. When the computer restarts I install the drivers needed for the chip set, the display, the card reader, the modem, the sound card, the wireless, the web cam and the muse pad. With all the restarts this took between half an hour and 45 minutes, at this point time is flying by.

The next step is the installation of anti virus, anti adware/spyware. I also install firefox and upgrade the windows media to version 11. I install video codecs and ac3 (sound codec for movies). Windows update has been working all along these installation and now it tells me that I have to restart the computer and I need a break. It is now 9:40 pm, I don’t restart the computer I simply turn it off. I decide to continue the installation the following morning.

I wake up at 5:50 am turn on the computer and let window finish it’s automatic updates and go for a walk. I’m back at 6:45 am and the update is done, I have to restart the computer. It take me another hour to download and install Open Office, install plug ins for firefox, install iTunes. I’m almost done. The last thing I install is Nero for burning CDs and DVD’s. I forgot to install Picasa 2, Google Earth and Gimp. They’re now installed. The total time to install Windows XP and accompanying programs and tweaking is 4 hours and 17 minutes whilst it took me an hour and twelve minutes to be at the same point with Ubuntu. Now I did not calculate the Windows update I did this morning and all the drivers and programs I had downloaded before starting the install. With Ubuntu all was calculated. Now the myth that Windows is easier than GNU/Linux is easily dismissed when you install the operating system.

Cost wise, Ubuntu cost 75 cents for the CD it was burned on. Windows XP pro is $249.95, NOD32 is 39.95 and Nero is 69.92. All the other programs I installed are open source therefore free. $359.82 CAN instead of $0.75 my choice is Ubuntu. After looking at the cost of installing windows on a computer, I no longer look for reasons why people use peer to peer sites to avoid paying these ridiculous prices. The same amount of man hours were placed in creating free Open Source programs. The only difference I can see is that one is a labour of love and the other is how much can we get for this.

At the beginning of this post I said that one of the reasons I did this was for fun, I take that reason out, it was not fun it was hard work. I won’t be doing it for another long time. I think I learned my lesson, for now.

I have to go to work now. That is it for this time.

p.s. I would like to state that Windows users are not old dogs, it was only an analogy.

p.p.s I still have not gotten a new laptop. I know that I’ll be going with a Dell Inspiron 1520. I’ll let you know when I order it.

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