I am Sorry. I don't do Windows!
In our world of consumerism choices are important. When I go shopping I sometimes complain that there are too many choices--especially at Christmas time.
The other day my laptop crashed beyond repair. This was not a hardware problem; but a software one. My boot sector and system files had been corrupted. This is when I realized that to repair my computer I needed the system disc. Simple right? My laptop did not ship with one. I was stuck. I have always been the type of person to find other ways . And quite frankly, I was getting sick and tired of repairing windows. I am also a Call of Duty 4 player. I was concerned about continuing to play if I chose to leave Windows 7 behind. After all Microsoft was making it easy to leave them because I did not have a system disc to reinstall my Windows 7. My relationship with the world's most popular software company was crumbling.
I downloaded Ubuntu live cdrom, burned it to dvd, inserted it then rebooted my laptop. I had to use my other computer to complete download and burn the disk. This is after downloading a Windows 7 repair disc which could not repair my damaged file system. My only choice was to reinstall Windows 7 or Ubuntu Linux. Not having the Windows 7 disc made my choice easy. My laptop came back to life with the whirring sound of my dvd drive. Back in business.
Being a technical person I backed all my data from my corrupted drive by using the live cd and a usb connected hard drive. With of my data safe my finger hovered over the decision to install the alternate operating system. I decided go for it.
My intention for writing this article was not a how to; but a why not? There are plenty of articles written on how to already.Linux comes in many distributions with most of them being free and down loadable. I chose Ubuntu based on the ease of use and the fact that I had already had it working on my laptop without installing. So I know that my hardware is supported.
After installing Ubuntu Linux distribution I had to install software drivers for my video card to make it work better; but that was it. My system was totally working with all the software I needed to do my work. Ubuntu comes complete with numerous applications. Unlike Microsoft Windows which comes with minimal software applications and drivers. Ubuntu comes with applications to do everything. Most are free and easy to install. The best thing about leaving Windows behind is security. Linux is virtually virus proof. Therefore, there is no need for spyware or antivirus programs to be installed.
My next problem was playing my favourite games. I installed a program called Wine. Wine is a compatibility layer to Linux. I was able to install Call of Duty 4. I was amazed. I was playing a windows based game on an alternate operating system. What is an operating system? An operating system is software that controls the allocation and usage of hardware resources such as memory, CPU time, disk space, and input and output devices. The most popular operating systems are Microsoft Windows, Apple's OS X, Linux and other Unix derivatives. Most people do not realize they have choices.
The power of choice is what I am talking about. I was able to make a choice. And it did not cost me an arm and a leg to do it.