Random Computer Nerdery

I’ve mentioned that I’m planning to buy a new laptop in the near future. Obviously that will depend on finding a new contract, but when I do make the purchase, I expect to go in a different direction.

I’ve always used Microsoft’s operating systems. I started on MS-DOS when I first arrived at college. (Yes, I’m that old.) Then I dabbled with a borrowed copy of Windows 3.1, only to abandon it and return to DOS. When I upgraded to a new computer in ’95, Windows 95 came pre-installed. Then I upgraded to a computer with Windows 98, followed by a string of Windows XP machines, in many of its variations. It’s all been very boring and typical.

Now, after a little bit of dabbling in Linux over the last few years, I’m ready to give it a shot at becoming my full-time operating system. The new laptop I buy will inevitably come with Vista. I can’t get away from Windows yet, since my business stuff still requires it to some extent. Still, I can’t help but wonder if I can get better long-term stability out of Linux. I’m tired of the cycle with Windows computers where performance is great out of the box, only to degrade as the machine ages. I understand that some of this is simply using newer, more powerful programs, as well as adding more to the hard drive. But not all of it. With both of my current computers, booting takes longer, and the systems often hang when selecting programs from the Start menu. There has to be a better way.

There might be:

Officially, Dell Inc. hasn’t said a word yet about which Linux it will be preloading on its desktops and laptops. Several sources within Dell, however, have told DesktopLinux.com that Dell’s desktop Linux pick is going to be Ubuntu.

While unable to confirm this through official Dell channels, we have heard the same story now from several internal Dell sources. They tell us that the Austin, Texas, computer giant will be preinstalling the newly released Ubuntu 7.04. These systems will be released in late May 2007.

Ubuntu is the Linux distribution I’m most likely to use. I’ve seen it recommended in several places, and I gave it a try with a live cd. I doubt I’ll get it from Dell, which is where I’ll likely buy my new laptop. I still need Windows, and I don’t expect Dell to offer a dual-boot system any time soon. Still, I can install it myself. I’m not a hardcore nerd, but I’m ready to find out if it works for my everyday use.

Link via Bob Torres, co-host of the excellent VeganFreak Radio.