Tag: ubuntu

Ubuntu deleted my Windows partition!

I installed Ubuntu (a Linux distro) on my Vaio a few months back and loved it. It was fast, it was stable and I felt I was achieving a certain amount of geeky street cred for using it!

Then, more recently there was a new version of Ubuntu released – 7.10. I upgraded to 7.10 and found the experience even better. I booted into the Vista partition on the Vaio less and less.

However, the other day when I booted into Ubuntu my graphics settings were messed up. I couldn’t get the screen to display at full resolution. I eventually decided to re-install Ubuntu.

However, I was unaware that the installer for 7.10 doesn’t seem to recognise Windows partitions the way the previous installer did and sure enough when I re-booted the Vaio after the install my Windows partition was gone 😦

It is not too bad, the only thing I have lost afair is the time it will take to re-install Vista and all the apps I had on the Windows partition. Still, this has put a severe dent in my confidence in Ubuntu.

Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) launched

Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) launched yesterday. Ubuntu is a linux distribution with a focus on desktop systems and usability. It issues major releases at pre-scheduled six monthly intervals.

I installed the previous version of Ubuntu (7.04) on one of my laptops recently and was very impressed with its performance and stability.

The update from 7.04 to 7.10 was completely painless – it was a one button click in the Update Manager!

The new version has lots of tweaks and newer versions of applications but it also has eye candy visual effects built-in (System -> Preferences -> Appearance -> Visual Effects:

http://www.youtube.com/v/iUg19CckiyI

I have had one problem with 7.10 so far and that is that it won’t remember my DNS settings. I’m not sure why that is or if it is only me. I normally use OpenDNS for my DNS – it is annoying to go back to Eircom’s significantly slower DNS servers after using OpenDNS servers for so long now.

Microsoft will Open Source Windows (or die!)

I have said on a number of occasions that Microsoft should Open Source their Windows Operating System (and their Internet Explorer).

However, it bears repeating.

I realise it is unlikely to happen in the near term but, I firmly believe it will happen in the not-too-distant future (when Microsoft realises that they can’t compete with Open Source).

If you take it simply from a numbers perspective, Microsoft has 70,000 employees. If we say 40,000 are actively programming code for Microsoft (the rest being admin, management, marketing, etc.) then you are looking at a maximum of 10,000 who would have contributed to the development of Vista, Microsoft’s current Windows incarnation. I suspect the number is lower.

Vista is estimated to have cost Microsoft $10 billion and six years to develop and they still shipped a fairly shoddy product.

Presumably Microsoft will want to re-coup that investment before it even thinks about Open Sourcing Windows.

Compare that with the various Linux distros. It is estimated that around 100,000 people have contributed to Linux’ development! I recently installed Ubuntu on my laptop and it simply blows Vista away in terms of performance and reliability.

Why are Ubuntu and the other Linux distros so good?
Lots of reasons but a few jump out:

  1. With open source development, you are getting the “Wisdom of Crowds” – the more people involved in the development, the better the end-result
  2. Open-source development is peer reviewed so bugs are caught earlier in the process and any which make it into a release are fixed quickly
  3. In open source projects the code is written by people who self-select for jobs they have an interest/skillset in
  4. Feel free to add more in the comments!

The upsides for Microsoft of open sourcing Windows are myriad, for example:

  1. If/when Microsoft open source Windows, their Windows piracy concerns will suddenly disappear
  2. Microsoft drastically improves its reputation as an anti-competitive bullying monopolist
  3. The next operating system they write would cost a fraction of the $10bn spent on Vista and would be much higher quality

The economics of Open Source are counter-intuitive. IBM spends around $100m a year on Linux development. If the entire Linux community puts in $1 billion worth of effort and even half of that is useful to IBM’s customers, then IBM gets $500m of development for $100m worth of expenditure.

If Microsoft could, in one fell swoop, get rid of their Windows piracy concerns, write better quality software, improve their corporate image, and radically reduce their development costs, do you think they would do it?

Ubuntu first impressions

Using Wubi, I installed Ubuntu onto my Vaio laptop over the weekend (Ubuntu is a Linux distro – an open source operating system).

Apart from some nervousness on my part about losing any info from my Windows partition, the install was completely painless.

Ubuntu Screenshot

The interface is really slick – it is obvious that lots of time and thought went into the look and feel of this OS.

It is also incredibly fast (despite being installed into a single file in the Windows partition as opposed to a normal install). From a standing start to being able to open a web page Vista took four minutes thirty seconds on this machine. Ubuntu took one minute fifty seconds on the same machine.

I’m trying out Evolution now (email client) and I will start trying other apps as well to see how they compare. For now though, I am impressed.

Backup software for Vista?

I want to install a copy of Ubuntu on my laptop.

However, when Vista was installed on it, a single partition was made of the hard drive so if I try to install Ubuntu now, it will overwrite the Vista partition (I assume, anyone knowing better, feel free to jump in!).

I presume that what I need to do is backup my Vista install, partition the drive into one partition for Vista and one for Ubuntu, restore the Vista into its partition and install Ubuntu into its partition.

Can anyone recommend software to allow me to backup my Vista install (including all my installed apps and settings), so that I can restore it again later.

In case it is relevant, I don’t have a floppy drive for the laptop.

Update – since posting this I came across Wubi – an Ubuntu installer which installs Ubuntu into a Windows partition. This could be an easier solution. I’ll try that and see how I get on.