Tasting Better With Linux

Sunday, 2008-August-03 at 08:42 2 comments

Recently, my traveling laptop’s 512 MB of RAM proved inadequate for my use, so I purchased a replacement. The replacement came with Windows Vista and a load of garbage software–shame on you, HP–that made it almost unusable. In an effort to salvage my investment, I installed Mepis Linux 64-bit on part of the hard drive. However, neither the 64-bit version, nor the 32-bit version was able to pick up the built-in Atheros WiFi card, nor utilize the USB-plugged D-Link WUA-1340 I purchased in an attempt to make it work.

Enter Ubuntu. Using the 32-bit LiveCD, it immediately picked up the external adapter, and was able to connect to the hotel’s WiFi. I flattened Mepis and installed Ubuntu. I will give myself some time using the new system first, but I will probably flatten Vista and rid myself of that headache.

I realize that Microsoft is running taste-test ads in which XP users try Vista and are pleasantly surprised. I also realize that SP1 does fix many of the most pernicious problems with Vista, including many of the built-in drivers that could not be used, because they lacked required security information. As a traveler who spends up to two-thirds of my time using hotel networks, Vista’s continuing wireless weaknesses make it entirely too unreliable for my uses. I cannot recommend Vista to anyone who connects to multiple networks. It is just not good enough.

I think that those taste-testers would have been even more certain that Vista is a flop had they used it for an extended period, for their regular day-to-day uses, on standard hardware. I intentionally bought a computer with extra RAM and found that it really did help speed the system up, but it did little to make it usable.
Grade: D-
Avoid it if you can, resign and find a new employer if you cannot.

Alternatives: Dell, Lenovo.

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Entry filed under: Computers, Open Source, Software. Tags: .

Wave Of Spam Antivirus XP 2008 Malware Wave Continues

2 Comments

  • […] Tasting Better With Linux Enter Ubuntu. Using the 32-bit LiveCD, it immediately picked up the external adapter, and was able to connect to the hotel’s WiFi. I flattened Mepis and installed Ubuntu. I will give myself some time using the new system first, but I will probably flatten Vista and rid myself of that headache. […]

  • 2. Getting Free From Vista « Opportunity Knocks  |  Monday, 2008-August-18 at 21:50

    […] so I burned Vista restore DVDs, deleted the restore partition, then proceeded to resize the existing Windows and Ubuntu partitions to make room for Fedora–from inside Windows. Bad move, because I wound up with an unbootable […]


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