I caved in and bought a new PC. The thing that really strikes me is how long it takes to set up a new PC with Windows compared to Ubuntu. In any modern Linux distribution, I just insert the CD, select the software I want from a huge list and let it do the magic while I do something else. And in an hour, everything’s done.
Meanwhile’ I’m in the middle of day two of my Windows installation. Windows itself is a hassle to install: Missing RAID drivers mean I have to bake a new ISO image and can’t use the regular install CD. Which starts by finding a PC with a CD burner, finding the drivers on the net (because Intel only included 32 bit drivers, hooray), finding a floppy drive in the basement because the drivers are distributed as an executable that formats a floppy (oh, how convenient is that?), building the CD, blabla…
When that’s done, the installation isn’t unattended at all, and it comes up with 50 required updates, several of which have to be individually installed and a reboot every time means it’s not unattended either. Then I install the drivers for the mainboard, and they reboot a whooping four times during the process.
And this is only where the fun begins, because from here, I’ve got to surf the ‘net for installations, new versions of software I need, and every single installation is its own wizard and confirmation dialogs and EULAs and a reboot at the end. I’m still finding software that I forgot. How inconvenient is that when compared to the Ubuntu package manager I described earlier?
And 24 hours later, I now have a PC I could maybe work with (still incomplete, but I’m tired), but none of my data is on it, because it’s spread all over the drive on my old PC – it’s not a matter of just copying my home directory, you know. No, some stuff is in my Profile (email, desktop), some is in Program Files (miranda plugins), quite a bit is in mysterious subfolders of C:, and some even in the registry (PuTTY sessions).
And why does folder sharing NEVER work out of the box in Windows?
In case I ever have to do it again, stuff I’ve installed (in no particular order):
- Windows XP x64
- Visual Studio 2005 SP1
- Visual Assist
- OpenOffice 2.3
- Microsoft Word Viewer 2003 SP3
- Microsoft Excel Viewer 2003 SP3
- Microsoft Powerpoint Viewer 2007
- Puzzle Pirates
- Mozilla Firefox
- Mozilla Thunderbird
- Miranda IM
- ProFont, Code2000
- MIRC 6.3
- Tortoise SVN
- Creative Live! Webcam drivers
- Daemon Tools
- Geometry Wars
- DirectX SDK
- Adobe Reader
- Currency Converter 2
See anything I forgot?