Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Infected, Corroded

Yep. That's right. I installed Vista. Instead of deleting anything off my current disk (and getting rid of my Windows XP/Ubuntu 6.06LTS dual boot), I simply put in the extra hard drive, and installed it. I'll put the other back in later, especially when I need to do my finals this week.

Because most of the computers at Valencia don't have DVDrom drives, we had to burn Vista to 5 CD's. Not a big deal. Took me about 45 minutes. I've learned my lesson about burning Operating Systems to CD: Burn slow, as slow as possible. Some people in my classes had trouble with Vista installation. I didn't I bet they burned fast.

Vista took a long time to install, but not as long as Windows XP -and XP is only on one disc. Once all 5 CD's were loaded in, it when through a setup of about 20 minutes. All in all, it took me 45 minutes to install, not including the Boot and Nuke time on the hard drive. It reminded me of installing and setting up Fedora Core 5. Ubuntu takes about 15-20 minutes. One thing I did like about the Vista installation: I didn't need to install any drivers. In Windows XP, you have to install this-and-that driver to get everything work. Vista, like most Linux distributions, recognized all my hardware.

Once it booted to the desktop, it went through a few updates. I'm glad to see that happens automatically. Many people don't know to do it on XP, and most installations aren't setup for automatic updates after installation. On Ubuntu, the updates are prompted, but not automatic. After installation, they can be set to be automatic. On both Ubuntu and Vista, the updates take longer than the actual installation - almost an hour. When Ubuntu has a fresh release, the updates aren't as long. But, try installing Ubuntu 6.06.1LTS right now. Lots of updates. Vista will have the same, soon enough.

After the updates, a little popup reminded me that I didn't have an anti-virus installed. At first, I wasn't going to bother, since Steve Balmer said he didn't run an anti-virus on his. But, he might be running 64bit Vista, which doesn't really need (or even have) an anti-virus. I went to grisoft, and downloaded their AVG Free Edition. Vista comes with Windows Defender already installed, so I didn't need to bother with an anti-spyware (we'll just see about that, won't we).

At this point, I felt icky. Probably like Luke Skywalker felt when we came close to the cave on Dagobah. I had to have an Open Source fix. I downloaded and installed OpenOffice.org. Mostly, I wanted to make sure it ran on Vista:
I was greatly relieved to see that it did. I rarely use Microsoft Office anymore, since I have Portable OpenOffice.org on a USB Flashdrive. But, I'm going to need to know how to use Office 2007, and I got it free, so:
MS Word 2007 looks and works very different. They have that ribbon thingy, instead of the normal menus. I hear it takes some getting use to, but those who do like it better. If it works, I'm sure OpenOffice.org will implement something similar. That, or they'll come up with something better on their own. I hope the latter happens.

Now, if you had to pay for all this, so far the costs would be (prices from CompUSA website):
  • Vista for Business: $399.99
  • MS Office 2007 Professional: $499.99
  • Just for those two items, you're paying $899.98
  • If you live in Florida, with tax that comes to: $962.98
  • You have to give $63 to the Bush administration, just for the pleasure of buying MS Vista for Business and Office 2007 Professional
Okay, so not all of that $63 goes to George Bush's Skull and Bones administration, but it sounds much more dramatic to make that claim. Much of that money actually goes to local government.

So, let's compare:
  • Ubuntu 6.06.1 LTS (Business Version, you could call it): $Free
  • OpenOffice.org 2.2 (One version, same for business or home): $Free
  • Scribus (Alternative for MS Pubisher): $Free
  • Taxes: NONE!
Does anyone see a trend here?? If anything, the besides the major incentive of using Ubuntu being free, not having to pay taxes on it is a big plus. And I'm not all encouraged to give any money to my local government either; Winter Park or Orange County. Both are over-developers and urban sprawlers.

After all that, I wanted to know what would happen if I got rid of all the Vista eye-candy:
They got rid of the XP Fisher-Price look. Going back to plain-jane made the system run much faster. Maybe I'm destined to be a sysadmin.

After all my efforts, and what little time I spent learning it, Vista actually worked pretty well. Would I recommend it? No. Mostly because of the deep-core DRM issues. If you buy a computer with Vista installed, use it and use it up. But, I still recommend Ubuntu, Fedora, SuSE Linux over Windows or OS X. The only time I'd say use anything different is if you're a content creator -use OS X instead. Open Source content creation programs just aren't as good yet. They will be. Hopefully very soon.


Julie said...

None of your sales tax goes to the federal government. (Some states don't have sales tax at all. See http://www.taxadmin.org/FTA/rate/sales.html.) In Floriday, the first 5.5% goes to the state of FL. Whatever's left - the remaining 0.5% (or more) - goes to local government.

Danny said...

I thought that might be the case. Either way, not even Orange County or the city of Winter Park deserves my tax money. Friggin overdeveloping sprawlers.