In between the most enjoyable visits to the dentist and the eye doctor, I’m trying to turn my desktop computer into a dual-boot system. It currently has Windows XP, which I consider the second best — or rather least worst — OS from Redmond to beset the world.
After years of abuse, Micros~1 has lost me to a system whose design is clear, if quirky; what a colleague called “hacker friendly”. As opposed, say, to the two main ones on offer in today’s market, one business model based on incompetence which engenders cheating, and the other on slipping you a drug you can’t kick even though it hurts you.
But what really has me excited is the idea of a computer that doesn’t crash, on which you install new versions — not just new applications, but new versions of the OS — without rebooting.
You might have read that Dell will soon be shipping computers with probably the most popular Linux distribution right now, Ubuntu. It seems to be a pretty conscious endorsement: Michael Dell actually runs Ubuntu 7.04, which the soap operas call Feisty Fawn, on his home laptop.
So far I’ve downloaded the installation package (.iso file), burned it to a CD, and tried to boot with it. That failed; it consistently hung at 91% of the way through loading. An hour or so with the Ubuntu docs convinced me to try the Alternate CD, which can install everything but doesn’t have the live-boot capability. That boots correctly, and may install. We’ll see.
So where are you on the religious issue of operating systems?