Thursday, July 10, 2008

W00T! (No, really!)


Last December, The Creator Susan Hogarth bestowed upon me a dandy gift: A ShuttleX PC with brushed aluminum casing, 1.4GHz Athlon processor, 256K (more or less) RAM, etc. For whatever reason, she didn't need it any more and it was (and is) more than robust enough for my needs. I remain intensely grateful.

Unfortunately, the old Linux distro on it was broken and I couldn't get any of the ones I tried to install to play nice with my ISP, even after some standup help detecting the modem, etc..

So, I've spent the last six-odd months in Windoze XP hell -- I do most of what I do on the 'net, so there was just no reason to muck around in a non-connected Linux installation. It's amazing how quickly one becomes inured to the horrors of Micro$haft's plug'n'pray "operating" systems. I had forgotten how easy, even fun, working on a desktop PC could be.

Anyway, the other day, I switched ISPs, and my first thought was "I wonder ..."

Yep! I'm posting this via Firefox (2.0.0.6 -- gotta upgrade ASAP), running in KDE under OpenSuse 10.3. I'll be moving all my work stuff over to this partition ASAP.

Quick review: As I'm becoming accustomed to with the newer Linux distros, OpenSuse installs easily and runs, so far as I can tell, flawlessly (goodbye, BSOD!). It's fast, it's friendly ... it's home.

I downloaded and installed a couple of games just so I could report to you on ease of use -- and I'm happy to report that OpenSuse's download and installation scheme is fantastic. It's easy to locate, access and get software from numerous repositories in a manner that I've previously associated with more overtly proprietary distros like Xandros.

Not to be overly evangelistic, but if you're still futzing with Windoze, do yourself a favor and make the move to Linux. The time is now. Any good Linux distribution is available on CD or DVD for a tiny fraction of the price of the latest Redmond Wreck. It will be easier to install than any version of Windoze since at least 98 and probably 95. It will come bundled with software for everyday computing -- word processing, web surfing, etc. -- that's as good or better than what you're used to using. You'll be amazed at how much easier life becomes with Linux.

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