Story and Purpose


This page is a bit about my computing history and how I made the switch to Ubuntu.
I have no intention of turning this into a novice guide to Ubuntu.
Most of the information on this wiki will be for competent Windows Users who switch or want to switch.

I was a happy Windows user untill…

I'm what you might a call a very practical engineer. I had known about linux and even tried a few distributions in the past, but overall, Windows worked for me. So why change it?

Yet, I was out of town one day and booted my computer only to find, my Windows XP refused to boot. It was a classic NTDLL.dll not found.
Normally this would not be a problem, I'd just:

  1. Boot from my HP Windows XP CD
  2. Select Recovery Mode
  3. do fixmbr, chkdsk…

That would always fix it. Yet, being out of town, I did not have my Windows CD. I tried borrowing one from a friend at work, but windows complained it was an incorrect version. I didn't bother. Anyways, I remembered I had burned Ubuntu Fiesty (7.04) previously to try it out. Luckily, I had the DVD on hand. I plopped it in and decided to install it to be able to backup my files and have internet access.

The Ubuntu Install

The Ubuntu Fiesty install was a joy. The part that impressed me the most was the partitioning of my Windows NTFS drive. I took a gamble, almost against my instincts and just let the installer allocate some space from the NTFS partition. It worked perfectly.

So, I backed up my files, but internet access was not as easy. I had to 'play' around for quite sometime to get my wireless networking card up. I won't go into that here. Luckily, I had a standard Ethernet cable that I could use as well.

The Decision to Kill Windows

So for a while, I had my main Windows XP partition and this working Ubuntu partition. Eventually, I got home thinking I would repair Windows as normal. Unfortunately, I could not find my Windows XP CD. I thought of downloading one of the net, but I really didn't want to risk testing Windows authentication. Perhaps being simply mad at losing my Windows XP CD, I decided to just forget it all and install ubuntu only.

The Real Ubuntu Install

So, I popped in the Ubuntu Fiesty DVD and installed it over the entire harddrive (killing both previous partitions).
Once installed, I upgraded to Gutsy (7.10) and that is where things stand now.

Overall Ubuntu Experience

Overall, I am quite happy with Ubuntu. It certainly has not been easy. I can't count the number of times I've gotten 'lost' roaming google and forums trying to get something to work or finding out to tweak something. Yet, once setup, it works quite well. On second thought, I think a lot of hassle could have been saved by installing Gutsy from the start. Nonetheless, one thing I have found is that there are a million solutions to any problem in the forums, but there is the 'right solutions' that is often easy and elegant. Look for this one.

I don't know how you tell the easy one from the rest. I think you kind of develop that intuition. This is similar to the intuition I developed with Windows. I think it just takes time. I have not needed to use any Windows programs as I have found Ubuntu alternatives that satisfy me.

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