I’ve been using various flavours of Linux on my personal PC’s for many years. Initially way back in the days of Mandrake the learning curve was steep and sometimes a bit demoralising.
But these days any of the mainstream Linux distributions are VERY well sorted out.
Classic example. A few days ago I was servicing a Windows XP machine for a client. It was stuck in the endless boot-crash-reboot cycle. After a bit of command line work to get past that, I found it needed drivers for the Wireless PCI card. I Installed the drivers from the manufacturers website and hey presto the wireless card is found and ready. Login to the local wireless signal and BSOD-crash-reboot..
Huh? Try again after boot up, same deal, BSOD as soon as the wireless signal is accessed.
Ok something is screwy in this XP install.
I could chase the problem for hours or I could do a quick format/reinstall and start with a fresh system. It would surely be fine after that..
So I format the drive, reinstall WinXP, find drivers for motherboard chipset, video card, sound, etc etc including the wireless card.
As soon as I try to access the wireless, BSOD…
Windows is sooo much fun..
Now I probably shouldn’t tar all versions of Windows with the same brush. I know XP is discontinued and a lot less stable than later versions such as Windows7.
The problem is, this is an old PC and I’m sure the owner doesn’t want to fork out $300+ for a Windows 7 Disk.
He only uses it to surf the net, send emails, play music and video, chat online, store and view his digital photos..
(that description of PC use probably fits 90% of windows users)
Having been thoroughly annoyed at farting around with this XP install and getting nowhere, I put a Lubuntu Linux CD in the machine and installed that.
Thirty minutes later – problem solved. No hunting for any drivers. All hardware present and working.
The wireless works no problem, and he can still do all the things he used to do with Windows XP..
Plus he won’t be worrying about viruses or spyware
Linux, it just works…