Tag Archives: Microsoft Windows

The Jackalope has arrived… and it’s no myth.

The Jaunty Jackalope has now taken up residence in my computer… and has evicted all other tenants (including Windows Vista)


I received my brand new 640 gig Western Digital black Caviar hard drive by UPS on April 23, the very same day that Ubuntu 9.04 “Jaunty Jackalope” became available for download. What else could I do but download and burn the new operating system to a live-CD, back up my data to an external hard drive, pull out the old 120 gig hard drive, install the new 640, and install the newest Ubuntu?

After retrieving my data from the external hard drive and downloading some of my favorite apps from Ubuntu’s repositories, I’m up and running with little or no hiccups along the way.

One thing that smoothed the transition (for me) was that I got a little bit smarter about what to retrieve from the external hard drive. My pictures, documents, music, of course. But instead of copying the entire /home/les/ directory, which would pull in every last “.this and .that” folder I just pulled in .kde, .kde4, and the .<applicationname> directories of the applications for which I have made significant configuration changes, such as Gimp and Blender. Pulling in the .kde and .kde4 directories brought in all of my mail, calendar, and contacts, so I had ZERO configuration work to do for Kmail, Korganizer, and Kontact!

Compiz Fusion is working nicely. Songbird is working nicely. I’m liking the Jackalope!

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Posted by on May 2, 2009 in Uncategorized


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Rationalizing My Discontent – Part 2

Let’s face it: Microsoft Windows carries an enormous amount of excess baggage, no matter what version you are running. Just look at the system tray after a normal startup: you have your “normal” Windows system security programs running, a third party security suite running, quite possibly a file indexer running, and who knows what else.

I work the night shift at a large county agency, and their XP computers are almost useless at times because of all the indexing and security scanning that happens at night. I’ll grant you that they are not the latest whiz-bang machines, but wouldn’t it be nice to side-step a good portion of the minefield of viruses, and all the scanning that goes with it, so you can just do your work?

While I am not implying that there are absolutely no security threats with a Linux system, I have experienced none of them. There are several reasons that I can think of why this is so:

  1. I generally avoid the more hazardous areas of the internet.
  2. I use Gmail, which catches the great majority of spam before it gets to my machine
  3. Linux is simply more secure, because it requires an administrator’s password to install or change system software or files.
  4. Face it: most viruses are written for Windows systems!

I’ve never met a Linux that was slower than Windows XP, let alone Vista.

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Posted by on October 8, 2008 in Uncategorized


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Rationalizing my discontent

The first computer I ever owned had an 8086 processor, a 5 1/2″ floppy drive (back when floppy disks were floppy), and a 32 mega-byte hard drive. I think the OS was DOS 6 or 7. I worked for a large church at the time, and when they upgraded, I was the beneficiary of their cast-off. I was delighted… for a while. Someone even gave me a stack of floppy disks that enabled me to upgrade it to Windows 3.0. I think it worked.

In the spring or early summer of 1995 the church planted a computer on my desk at work. This time, the OS was Windows 95! Now we’re really cooking! I got a lot of work done with that machine, and subsequent ones… but experienced my share of headaches, too. I learned what the blue screen of death meant. I learned how to reinstall Windows. More than once.

Eventually we “moved up” to Windows 98. That was when I really began to move from satisfaction to annoyance and irritation. Windows 98 seemed like a giant step backwards in stability, without much in the way of forward progress. Perhaps the worst thing about Windows 98 was how llloooooooonnnnnggggggg it hung around!

The infections of frustration and discontent began to fester, especially when the brand new $700 dollar system I purchased for our home came with the same blue screen of death I had grown to love on the hand-me-down boxes I had just gotten rid of.

I don’t remember where I first heard of Linux, but my experiences with Windows 98 had created some fertile ground for the seed.

…to be continued…

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Posted by on September 30, 2008 in Uncategorized


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