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Back on Windows again

Ok, I’m back on Windows, this time it’s Win7 though, the old laptop just went from bad to worse and even Linux couldn’t help it. Now it’s been relegated to the status of a family machine for playing solitaire and other simple games. it’s now running Open Suse and the thing is really slow. Unfortunately it would appear that KDE is a bit too resource heavy in its current incarnation. And that’s really a pity because I still remember the time when it wasn’t

Anyway, I originally planned to install linux on this new laptop too, but none of the distros I got off the internet and tried installing on it were able to get the wireless card up and running. Ubuntu detected it but failed to install the proprietary drivers properly. I tried ubuntu, then mint, then open suse, none of them worked, eventually I gave up and installed Win7. I simply didn’t fell like recompiling the kernel or whatever you’re supposed to do in linux when you hit a wall.

So it’s back to Windows, at least for the time being. I tried to make it a bit more linux-like by creating a separate user with no admin privileges and only working as this limited user when I’m surfing the net and do other stuff which may end in getting viruses and malware. and naturally, this being Windows I’m also running an antivirus – commodo security, it’s got some sort of a rudimentary HIPS so supposedly it should be marginally better than your average run of the mill anti-virus software for mere mortals.

So how does Windows stack up against Linux after going back and forth between the two?

The interface is sleeker in Windows, which is to be expected since Windows, to an extent, is the interface (as in the media is the message, Windows is the interface), and apart from just being sleek it kind of makes sense. The drawback is that it’s just one interface, you’re stuck with it. Well, I hear there are various themes out there and I vaguely remember seeing this really crazy WinXP theme a few years back that made WinXP look and feel like Mac OS, a custom designed theme for die-hard mac fans who found themselves stuck with a windows machine. Whatever.

Linux offers lots of choice as a far as interface is concerned,  but compared to Windows seven all of those choices, and especially KDE are slower, sometimes plain comatose. Well they still beat Vista of course.

Ubuntu comes bundled with all sorts of drivers and software. Sure it couldn’t get my wireless card to work properly but in principle I think they’re on the right track. Installing Windows was a bit of a letdown since after having installed the OS proper I then had to go and install productivity software and before that all the drivers and what not. Plus in Windows there’s no such thing as software repositories so you have to download each package separately and install it separately.

The ubuntu way is more seamless, all applications behave like part of the system. the problem is that a lot of them are still bug ridden and slow and they sometimes crash or worse yet, freeze on you and then to kill it, there’s no handy tool like Windows’ task manager, you’ve got to open the terminal, then enter a command that displays all the processes in memory with their numbers and then you’ve got to enter the kill command, again in the terminal, identifying the process you want killed by its number rather than by its name. Well, I know some people get a kick out of doing everything through the terminal but when a program freezes on you and gets stuck in memory, in Windows you can dispose of it much faster via the task manager.

So what else, – flash kind of sucks in linux, maybe flash is evil or I don’t know but on my old laptop with 3 gigabytes of RAM it showed video in slow motion when in full screen mode, which isn’t cool. Maybe it’s just that the laptop in question is on the verge of death or something but still. It was even worse in KDE in open suse.

Well that’s about it for now, just a rant

  1. DigitalFreedom
    June 16, 2011 at 11:27 am

    Here I have Gentoo Linux with KDE 4.6.4 and dual boot with Windows 7 (mainly only for games) and both desktops use about the same amount of resources and speed is also about the same. Which I think speaks in favour of KDE and GNU/Linux since it offers a lot more features and graphical eyecandy. Couldn’t agree more about Flash, it simply sucks and it sucks everywhere, it only sucks less on Windows. What I hope is that Flash dies as soon as possible and gets replaced by open web technologies and formats like HTML5/Javascript and Ogg Theora/WebM encoded videos. BTW did you try Mandriva for laptop. I also had problems with one of my laptops and almost all Linux distributions failed detecting and setting everything, but Mandriva (PowerPack edition) did it all out of the box.

    • igorfazlyev
      June 16, 2011 at 12:13 pm

      I did try Mandriva, just forgot to mention it, unfortunately it also failed to properly detect my wireless card. It has to be said, though, that from my past experiences with it Mandriva and Mandrake before that, have always put out very decent distros. A few years back (quite a few actually) I had this rather low spec desktop with a Sis chipset and the first gen pentium 4 and I remember Windows simply wouldn’t play videos on it properly – a video would start playing but then it would stop but the sound would go on for a while until the whole system would just freeze up at which point the only way to ‘unfreeze’ it was to ‘force an unexpected reboot’ by pressing the reset button. I was never able to get to the bottom of that problem. And it was then that I decided to give linux a try – of all the distros that were available at the time Mandrake worked best in the sense that it just worked(there was no ubuntu at the time and Debian refused to run the X server), it installed with very few questions asked and then played videos without a hitch so I had dual boot on that desktop where I’d use Windows for games and Mandrake for everything else.
      I think that lately the folks at Mandriva have sort of lost their way, if anything they should have been leaps and bounds ahead of Ubuntu by now in terms of adoption and popularity but somehow they never made it, I really don’t understand why.

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