Thursday, 10 April 2008

The Great Upgrade

On Monday 31st March, I hinted that the great computer upgrade was starting... I promised an update, so here goes.

My PC has for some months been slowing down (a bit like me really). It simply took ages to do anything, especially close down and turn itself off. I am blessed with a son-in-law, Paul who has forgotten more about these devices than I have ever known, and he has looked at my PC on more than one occasion and done what he can. It has made only a marginal difference, and after the last effort, he expressed the view that Windows has cluttered up the disks and registry to such an extent, that the best approach would be to "re-install Windows, or better still Linux".

Paul has a strong aversion to all things Microsoft and argues, very persuasively, that free software is better value than paying money to "that company". I have to say that free software, developed and maintained by a community appeals to my values, as well as to my pocket. So, as a result of his missionary activity, I decided to trust his judgement and go for Linux in the shape of Ubuntu.

I read the web site carefully and downloaded the files and then created the boot CD. Next was to install my new hard disk drive and install Linux on it. This is where things started to go badly. I won't bother with all the symptoms, but my machine kept restarting itself for no apparent reason.

A trip back to PC World today where they exchanged the disk drive without a murmur solved everything. Ubuntu installed and has run as good as gold all day since. I have succeeded in getting e-mail working for both myself and my beloved (and transfer my addresses), and I've burnt some CDs.

I've even registered for the support forums and found how to import MP3 files using something called GStreamer plug-ins which I managed to download and install.

So, at the end of all this, thank you, Paul. You have a convert to the Linux cause.

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