Over the weekend, I finally made the decision to reimage my laptop, which currently runs XP, to Ubuntu 8.04, fondly known as Hardy Heron.
Well, I dragged my feet, and the weekend ended; XP must not have got the memo because it’s being more temperamental than normal. It’s complaining about disk space on C; it’s killing applications without warning; it’s so slow to come back up after a prolonged sit.
And then today, I got an email from IT explaining that I had to clean up the C drive to at least 15% free so they could push me updates. This is fine, except for the fact that I’m in Apps, and we have our own IT department, with their own policies. Chief among them is the policy to ignore updates from the corporate IT department because the Apps division has its own images.
Uh oh. How can I ignore updates when my machine is essentially a zombie? Not to mention the fact that an update requiring 15% of free space (or at least 1 GB) will seriously cripple my cable modem connection. And what if it requires a reboot? Egad.
The final bit of advice in the message was if you can’t clear that much space, you’ll need to reimage.
So, off we go. I’m making a final copy of my files from XP, just in case everything goes South, and I need to reimage to (gasp) XP again.
Then it’s off to Ubuntu. Luckily, like many people, I have most stuff online, and my own trusty Macbook to keep me connected and working.
Wish me luck. I have Rich on speed dial for questions, since he’s a veteran at this.
Update 7/2/08: Decided to wait until the upcoming long weekend because I didn’t burn the CD correctly. Of course, I head into XP to get some work done, and the Norton Antivirus weekly scan starts. I’ve had problems with that for months, unresolved by IT and Symantec. That scan cripples XP, making work impossible. I guess if the drive failed that would be worse.
Ubuntu is your friend.
I recently converted an old laptop to Ubuntu. I'm not a command-line kind of guy, which has complicated earlier excursions into Linux. But I've found Ubuntu to be very easy to use. I haven't had any of the problems I used to have with XP on that same machine. And let's face it, there's a lot of appeal to what amounts to flipping the bird at Windows.
Choice is really nice. Couple that with VMs being so easy and cheap h/w, and you have a great situation as a user. You don't have to pick just one O/S anymore.
Still for most users, reimaging is an alien concept. How many OS X users ever open a terminal? I just realized today that root is disabled by default on OS X.
We're a geeky bunch, and no, I won't fix your computer. OK, maybe if you ask nicely and give me beer.