Friday, December 21, 2007


The Tinkering Monster got me. I did the upgrades on my desktop:
  1. Graphics card- from 32 mb ATI to 128 mb Nvidia GeForce4 MX 440. -- I did this upgrade first. When I turned the computer back on, Windows came on, but obviously wasn't using the drivers. Ubuntu 6.06 Dapper Drake didn't work with the Nvidia card. It could have, but I didn't bother to go through the xorg.conf file to fix it. I was already planning more upgrading anyway.
  2. Pentium 4 processor from 1.8 GHz to 2.26 GHz - The major difference isn't necessarily the speed of the processor, rather the speed of the bus. From 400 MHz to 533 MHz. That is where the speed really comes from. Anyway, the computer worked right away. A good bit faster.
  3. Dbanned the hard drive, reinstalled Windows and Ubuntu.
The reinstallation is something I've been wanting to do. I save all my personal data and setting to external hard drives, wiped the disk, then reinstalled my dual boot system. It's REALLY important to install Windows XP first. Not that you couldn't do it another way, but it makes setting up a dual boot much easier. I installed Windows, did all the updates, installed the anti-virus and anti-spyware, the defragged the disk and installed Ubuntu.

Here's the catch: Ubuntu to all of 2 hours to:
  1. Install the system
  2. Do the system updates
  3. Enable all the repositories I want
  4. Load all the software I want
  5. Copy specific personal data to My Home folder.
Done. Actually, in slightly less than 2 hours. Windows, however, was another story.

The installation alone took almost 2 hours, and that was before the updates. 10 hours later, almost all the updates were finally done. I counted seven rounds of restarts. That should have been the justice departments punishment for Microsoft: to restart their entire business seven times a day. I eventually got most of what I need installed. Once again, I've learned what I use and what I don't use. 95% of the software I installed on the Windows side is open source. A few proprietary programs, but not many. I'll go without Microsoft Office as long as I can, and use exclusively. I would love to say that I use Open Source exclusively, but I'm in school for IT, so it's not an option just yet. I'd love to say that I use Ubuntu Linux exclusively, but I have to know how all the other Operating Systems work: Windowx XP/Vista, Mac OSX, Unix, Solaris, FreeBSD. Yes, I know the last four are basically the same thing. I have to know how to use them.

The main advantage to upgrading Ubuntu from 6.06.1 to 7.10 is being able to use the files in the Windows partition. Click on the disk, browse to the folder with the file I want, and use it. I don't even have to drag it to the Ubuntu side. And no extra packages to install to make that happen. 7.10 also comes with the latest packages/programs for Ubuntu.

The only real upgrade left that I really need is the ram. It's 1 GB right now, but 2 GB would work better for me. If I wasn't in school, I'd probably not bother, but many of my classes use Virtualization for learning and practice. For now, 1 GB is fine, but I'll probably have to upgrade the ram with my own money. If I get a job, that is.

I did decide to scavenge the Gateway box for this upgrade. The Gateway isn't dead though, not by a long shot. I had some extra processors, so I put in a 2.8 GHz Celeron in it, and the 32 mb ATI graphics card that was in my Dell to the the Gateway machine. Installed Ubuntu, and it's ready to go to a trusty volunteer. I just hope whoever gets the machine doesn't try to upgrade the ram.

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