26 Jun 2008

Goodbye XP, hello... Ubuntu?

Warning: this one's a tech post.

I like Windows XP. Well, maybe not like but I use it every day and it gets the job done. It's not the prettiest, but it's solid and works fine for me. We have a Mac at home and it's great, and if someone wants to give me a MacBook Air I will be most pleased. But still, 90% of my computer time, I'm on XP.

My day job likes XP, too. Or at least we have a policy of not installing Vista on any machine. So far, nobody has seen a feature in Vista that we really need for getting things done.

I know it's been coming for a while now but still, to read that Microsoft will stop selling XP left me just a little sad. I really can't see Vista in my future. So a few days ago I started playing with Ubuntu.

And I liked it.

And I started wondering if I could use Ubuntu for nearly everything.

This is a bit of a blind spot for me. Although I've written software for many a year now, I've mostly stuck with Windows. Even when I was writing Java code that would end up on Unix servers, all my development has been on Windows machines.

So I repartitioned the laptop and set up an 8GB partition for Ubuntu. I'm keeping my data on the NTFS partition for now and I can always boot back into XP, but the plan is to try and use nothing but Ubuntu for general tasks for a few weeks and see what happens. So far Ubuntu seems a lot faster than XP, but that could just be the new toy effect. I'll post updates as I go, pointing out what works and what doesn't.

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