Fun with Operating Systems

Ever since seeing Ubuntu (a Linux OS based on Debian) running on Ryan’s laptop, I’ve wanted to try installing it on my own machine. I got a Ubuntu 7.04 Live CD and tried that a while back but it kept locking up. A week back my Ubuntu 7.04 alternate install finished downloading. I moved all my data over from the second 80 GB partition on my master HDD to the slave HDD and restarted Hal with the Ubuntu CD in the drive. A while later Ububtu was froze up at the login screen. I did some digging on the Ububtu support forums and added a few extra items to the boot lines. That seemed to clear the freeze problem.

It’s been a while since I’ve enjoyed the experience of racing around a new OS with childish curiosity and glee. It reminds me of staying at a different house (the best I can come up with, since I’ve never moved). You know, like if you’re staying at Grandma’s cottage for three nights while you’re parents are away. The more you explore the place, the more little rooms you come across. It feels unfamiliar but that’s OK ’cause it is so exciting. (Well, until you get home-sick…)

I was a little bummed out that I couldn’t figure out how to connect to the Internet. I thought that would be fairly easy. It seems like updating drivers isn’t quite as similar as it is with Windows. I had some sound issues too. But I love the Desktop Effects, with the jelly windows and cubic desktops. Rachel and I enjoyed the games too. Sadly, a few days later Ubuntu broke. It would keep hanging before it reached the login screen. I waded through the support forums again but ended up more confused than enlightened. In the end I reinstalled.

As though it were taking misbehavior cues from its Open Source rival, Windows XP Professional decided to throw a tantrum on Sunday. All of the sudden when any program tried to authorize a connection with a server, the program would begin eating 100% of the CPU cycles and hang. Firefox, Internet Explorer, Outlook Express, Filezilla — all of them where out of commission. I tried a few things on Sunday and then gave up. This morning I finally backed up a couple things, restarted with the Windows XP Pro CD in the drive, and reinstalled. It was time. The OS was getting slower, especially getting Windows full up and running. It is nice to have a clean system again. I’ve install most of my main software so I’m totally rolling again. I’ll just install the remaining non-critical software (including games) when I find I need them.

During the process of deleting the first partition on the master HDD, I’ve lost GRUB so I can’t boot to Ubuntu anymore. Ah well, I’m going to try a fresh install of the 64bit version and see if that works better. (I’d forgotten that my CPU is an Athlon 64 — my old one was an XP 2600…) Hopefully both Windows XP Professional and Ubuntu 7.04 can peacefully coexist on Hal in the near future.

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