Hemning Sternberg (moonshadow) wrote,
Hemning Sternberg

"desktop" innovations

Some of you may recall that a while back, I took about a week out of my life to refurbish my old laptop and turn it into a fake desktop. In the process, I was able to increase the speed of that station and donate my old desktop to charity.

Since that time, I have been using my fake desktop in a few ways. As an alternate computer, as a secondary backup, as a computer that my friends can use, and perhaps with the most interesting results, as a testing ground for new software. If I want to try out a new piece of software or a Firefox extension before deciding whether I like it, whether I want to use it on my regular computer, this is where I do it. This is where, for instance, I tested Panda Cloud Antivirus, to discover that it was in fact much less resource-hogging and maintenance-demanding than McAfee while still being just as secure.

I am seriously considering doing another test of something new on the fake desktop. To be more specific, Ubuntu Linux. I don't actually love Windows Vista. No, that's an understatement - I've actually never even liked Vista. That shit updates itself like it gets off on it. It updates just for fun, like every other day. Plus, there are all these little annoying things bundled into the install - games, but you have to pay to play! Little messages saying "Wouldn't you like to try Lightscribe? Just buy discs four or five times as expensive as the ones you're using, and save two seconds writing on the disc with a Sharpie!" Or, "Thirty days of this is free and then you have to register." Plus, it keeps trying to get me to use Explorer. And don't get me started on the new Windows Media Center.

Many worthy geeks use Linux, it is the OS of choice on my favorite tech blog Lifehacker, ,and I understand it is virtually virus-free. Booting from a Linux disc is also one way to recover Windows data when things have gone south. It's starting to look better and better.

If you have any pros or cons to share, I'd love to hear them. Otherwise, stay tuned for the next installment, which is likely to be "LadyA backed up her fake desktop and made an installation CD."
Tags: tech
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