My Journey into the Land of Ubuntu

It's been a while since I've had something to blog about. Well, that's not true, in reality it's been a while since I've really cared to blog. It's just hard to sit at my computer for more than a few minutes and by the time I've checked my email I'm pretty much done for the day.

Hopefully that will change and maybe I can be a little more productive and maybe even find a way to get a job.

My wife's old laptop is dying. I don't believe it's a hardware problem - other than the batteries, I really think it's suffering from what I call Bill's Bloat. It's a Dell Inspiron B120 running Windows XP. It's been working great, but over the last year or so, it seems to be getting slower and slower. Microsoft is still issuing security patches for it and we've noticed that every patch seems to take a little more life out of it. A check of the hard drive confirms that Windows has gone from using less than 1 Gig of hard drive space to around 3 Gig. The more stuff Windows has to sort through just to run itself, the slower it gets. Bill's Bloat.

A friend of mine recently switched his computer from Windows to Linux using the Ubuntu distribution. It sounds like he had great sucess and has no regrets. Rather than fix XP, which is no longer supported by Microsoft anyway and is set for the scrap heap with the release of Windows 7 later this year, I've decided to replace it with Linux.

I've had a little experience with this. I built a server for my church when we lived in Colorado. It was primarily a web server, which is a little different than an installation meant for desktop functions, but I'm fairly optimistic that I can pull this off. In both instances, the computer was/is a Dell. In that case I used Red Hat, in this case I'm using Ubuntu.

I chose Ubuntu for one primary reason: Dell is already offering it as an option on computers you order from them. I know that doesn't translate into good things for older computers from them, but it shows that Dell found enough support for their hardware to go with it. I've done some Googles on installing Ubuntu on Insprion B120s and except for a hiccup with the wireless LAN (which seems to be proprietary Dell hardware) most users have had great success.

So, I've transferred all the old stuff off the laptop, I've got the install disks that came with it in case we need to roll back, and I've got Ubuntu on a CD ready to go.

Wish me luck.