In July I ranted about Microsoft Vista, sparked by my elderly mother's acquisition of a laptop computer that came infested with it. I vowed to replace it with Linux, and the result was a prominent link on Google searches for "I hate Vista," a steady stream of comments from irritated Vista users, and a couple of angry rants from Microsoft fanboys.
I spent the holiday weekend in Columbia, Mo., where my mother lives, and where I'm speaking Tuesday at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. And I took advantage of the opportunity to make good on my threat.
I discovered that Toshiba had shipped Vista on a dual-core laptop with only 512MB of memory. With that hardware, Vista is unusable. Clicking on any application took three to five minutes just to get a window open. The options were: Spend a hundred or so on additional RAM, or nuke Vista forever. I took the easy option.
Now Ubuntu Linux is installed. Launching Firefox takes three seconds. Opening email is instantaneous. Connect a camera via USB and it's detected automatically. Picasa imports and organizes everything. It all Just Works. And no viruses, or popups, or popups from antivirus programs.