The grand experiment is over.
About a year ago I bought a laptop and destroyed Vista on it in favor of Ubuntu. Things went very well while I finished my school experience. I found I had no need for windows to be a productive student. I learned to enjoy the interface and tools that are unique to the Gnome GUI.
After school was over, the computer sat at home and was used for other tasks, and mainly used by my wife. She would take advantage of the dual-boot setup to get into windows.
Eventually, the computer was pretty much just left in windows all the time. The partition that I had set aside for windows programs filled to overflowing, till I was installing program files in my ubuntu home directory. It wasn’t really a bad way to operate, but it was a hassle.
We talked it over, and since I haven’t got any specific need for linux, and she has a real need for windows… well… The laptop has been restored to factory standards. (and then stripped of all the cumbersome additional programs that are bundled with the hardware and windows.)
I will miss the elegance of the Linux operating system. Having now spent about 4 hours (and counting) updating and pruning vista, it becomes clear that vista is a system designed by a bunch of unrelated groups. The programs, systems, and interfaces all bang against each other like rocks in a sock monkey. Instead of asking me how I want to operate, these systems try to tell me how I will operate.
Specifically, what I liked about linux:
It’s free. How amazing is that? Here’s an operating system driven by passion instead of paychecks.
Vastly more customizable than other operating systems. The icons, processes, desktops, graphic effects, were all as beautiful or spartan as I wanted them to be. I was never forced to do anything if I didn’t want to be. I was able to organize better.
More beautiful than windows. Say what you will about vista’s new looks. They’re still playing catch up.
Packages. This was probably (in my mind) the most important difference between the two operating systems. I didn’t have to search all over the internet for a free version of some program that does almost what I want it to do. It’s all right there for me to discover, add and delete at my leisure.
Stability. I love that I didn’t have to restart Ubuntu after installing, deleting, or improperly using a program.
Speed. After trimming down vista to its bare needs it actually starts pretty fast, but still not fast enough.
New computer smell. I mean that since 1995 I’ve been staring at start buttons in the corner of my desktop. Even when a new microsoft operating system comes out it’s still the same old thing. With Ubuntu I was able to feel like I was experiencing something really new and unique. It was exciting to just use the computer again.
Well, it’s over for now. And it’s not a bad over, just a change in needs. But I haven’t give up hope that it wont be long before there will be no need for windows at all.