Monday, December 22, 2008

Switching To Linux

So, I got fed up with Vista recently. Well, if you know me, you know I have always hated Windows. Unfortunately, it often appears to be a necessity for certain situations. Gaming, MSN, school, hobbies, etc. However, as any seasoned Linux user would tell you, these lines of difference are becoming thinner and thinner all the time.

I have been using Ubuntu for BlakeNet ever since its conception, and I am no stranger to the environment. But, personally, Id just hate to convert my Vista laptop to Ubuntu and then not be able to do everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, that I used to be able to do. My plan of action? Well, I got annoyed at Vistas auto-backup mechanism, so I turned it off a while back and set up backups to my server. The 10 gig backup partition on my laptop has since been lonely without any data to store. I have decided to finally put it to good use. While I wont be uninstalling Vista due to the eminent possibility of headache, I will be installing Ubuntu on the backup partition, putting some apps on it, and using it as often as I can.

My setup will consist of Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex with Compiz (I looooove the shiny 3D cube desktop thingy!) and some apps to take the place of my Vista ones. Im not going to list off Vista programs and their Linux counter-parts. There are enough of those sorts of lists on the Internet, including the official one. My biggest questions were "will my games run?" and "will all of my favorite MSN features be available in the replacement messenger?" The first answer is, of course, yes with the help of the Windows emulation layer called Wine. But, I was worried about performance hits. From what Ive heard, the experience can differ, but most people say the performance is surprisingly similar (if not better!). I will have to update when the transfer is complete. The second question is due to my previous experience with Pidgin, the Linux Swiss-Army messenger that allows you to communicate on multiple protocols including MSN, ICQ, Yahoo, AIM, and more. Once, I had logged into MSN using it and found that it was an incredibly dry messenger with most of the features that made me fall in love with MSN gone. After doing some Googling, though, I found out that there are plugins that add those features back, including Messenger Plus! features! Needless to say, I was sold. I will be setting up for the next couple days, and will post my experience after its all done.

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