Weekend Gains

2 min read · Posted on: Sep 14, 2009 · Print this page

This weekend I was pretty productive. Among other things, I was able to perform a much needed upgrade for my laptop after my hard disk crashed and to bring it at par to the prevailing standards, as well. I bought a 320 GB hard disk (up from 100 GB) and added a RAM module bringing the total RAM to 2.5 GB (up from 1 GB). So it’s a Big Deal :D

While purchasing the hard disk, I was sure that I don’t need it to fill it up with lots of data (like movies or songs). I would rather use my external hard disk for that. I had planned to use majority of the space for Linuxes (is that the correct plural form?). Why not Windows, you may ask. Especially with the snazzy Windows 7 being already available for Beta?

Well the reasons are quite simple. Firstly, too many viruses and malware. Especially, if you have removable storage like pendrives or CDs. Next, it’s not very stable. Though Windows XP is a comparatively stable member of the Windows family, I have had more than my share of screen freezes and blue screens. This causes bad sectors and reduces the life of your hard disk. Next, most of the apps I use are open source anyways - Firefox, Open Office, GIMP, Inkscape, Emacs, Foxit etc. Then why not run the same in a better OS like Linux? Lastly, distributions like Ubuntu have become really user-friendly. Vidya and many others who use my laptop really don’t find it difficult or inconvenient to use.

Well, you must have noticed the plural form of Linux I’d used. This weekend I installed the following OSes and they are all working fine:

  • Ubuntu (Jaunty): Perfect for most multimedia and productivity apps
  • Fedora 11: For trying out Java apps and other enterprisey stuff
  • Arch Linux: An ideal hacker’s OS
  • Windows XP: For the necessary evils like movie playback
  • FreeDOS: This is the good ol' DOS. For classic DOS games and simple low level programming

I am planning to add a couple of more varied distributions. I am currently thinking of adding Puppy Linux and Rescue CD. Any suggestions?

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Arun Ravindran

Arun is the author of "Django Design Patterns and Best Practices". Works as a Product Manager at Google. Avid open source enthusiast. Keen on Python. Loves to help people learn technology. Find out more about Arun on the about page.

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