Kevin Kempf's Blog

December 21, 2010

Firing Windows 7 (Again)

Filed under: Linux, Ubuntu, Windows 7 — kkempf @ 10:21 am

It wasn’t my idea

I bought a Dell mini 11 running Windows 7 starter edition about a year ago for home and recently the complaints began rolling in about how slow it was. I witnessed this first hand on vacation, when I tried to use this thing to simply browse the web. For various reasons, it was always frustrating. One time it would insist on restarting to install a security update, or take 10 minutes to shut down because it was “finishing” the update. Another time, it would take minutes to recover from the lid being closed. I believe that on a cold boot after a security patch, from power on to Internet Explorer 8 it would take about 3 days 5 minutes.  This kind of defeats the whole purpose of a lightweight, fast web platform.

Enter Ubuntu Netbook Remix

Ubuntu Unity Desktop

As I sometimes mention, I use Ubuntu as my work platform, so I’m very familiar with it.  Ultra stable, fast bootup, no drama.  It was with some reluctance that I went to install Ubuntu Netbook Edition on the Netbook, as I feared that the inability to install a Windows executable (yes, you can use Wine, but realistically, it’s not a 100% solution) would be a deal breaker.  I’m not the one using this netbook 90% of the time, so it felt like a gamble.  I pulled the install and landed it on a USB stick, kissed Windoze goodbye and ran the installer.  Cake.

Windows 7: You’re Fired

Not My Idea!

After 3 months, I can safely say that Ubuntu is going over great.  It boots in about 30 seconds, and wakes up from sleep unfailingly.  It does exactly what I think a netbook is supposed to do: provide a fast, convenient platform for wireless internet connectivity to do simple tasks like check webmail, IM, and browse the web.  If a netbook can’t do this fast and simple, why not just go get a notebook or a full PC right?  Having fantastic applications available like Chrome, Open Office, Adobe Flash/Reader and Pidgin (IM) makes this experience so much better.  It easily tethers to my Blackberry via Bluetooth, so this makes internet while traveling (or on the road, for that matter, in the passenger seat!) easy.

That Other Notebook in the House

As proof of adoption of Ubuntu, now all I ever hear about is how annoying the Windoze 7 (Home Premium) notebook is.  It’s always wanting to update something (Windows, Acrobat, Java, McAfee, Office) and it runs like molasses.  This is a fresh, 64-bit install on a dual core Dell with 4gb of RAM.  The truth is that Windows 7 is a fine operating system, but really only enjoyable on premium hardware.


1 Comment

  1. Lived through exactly the same path… with exactly the same outcome 🙂

    Comment by prometeo — December 22, 2010 @ 5:25 am

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