October 25, 2008

Tiresome technology linkfest

The other day, while finishing up what should have been a routine "update" (couldn't find the SNL Weekend Update video I wanted to link here--Quinn was the best Weekend Updater, and that's not open to discussion) my home computer refused to boot. Very irritating. Needless to say I had ALL of my photos and personal documents backed up. Yeah, sure. It helpfully offered to reformat itself and restore itself to its pristine, untouched state (which reminds me of a story, but not now).

I figured my stuff was still on there. So I made a USB drive bootable with Linux and backed up all the vitals onto DVD (and a USB-connected hard drive). Then I left it to reclaiming its retroactive virginity. I'm very pleased at its quieter performance, and I spent a pleasant morning trying to tinker everything back to the way it was before, or better.

So I got to thinking about this underpowered laptop I'm writing on now. It's an XP machine, and it usually runs at a snail's pace ... it will spend a week downloading some update and another day or two trying to install it--this even though under normal circumstances (increasingly few and far between) it runs most day to day applications acceptably. I figured the XP installation was pretty much screwed, but the recovery disks are long gone at this point.

Instead, I installed Linux: Ubuntu to be exact.

Anyhow, this puny Gateway laptop seems to be running a little happier than before. I don't know anything about Linux, but the computer is doing what I want it to do--light document editing, Firefox, reading the occasional PDF--a lot more quietly and happily than it was before. Now if I could just have the first half of my weekend back!

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