Mike’s Linux Desktop Experiences

February 29, 2008

I Miss Windows

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mr. Mike @ 3:07 pm

I’m having a moment of weakness. I miss Windows. My video is faster, my Youtube can run full screen, my DVDs play smoothly, my sound… works, I can run video smoothing filters, the clipboard isn’t crap, keystrokes are consistent, fonts are better, the machine doesn’t crash when suspended. Honestly, for my Desktop, there is nothing I can do in Linux that I can’t do in Windows, and there are plenty of things in Windows that I can’t do in Linux.

In the next few months, I’m going to be going on a year-long trip, so this desktop machine I’m working with will be hidden in storage for a while. In the meantime, I have a small X24 notebook which will need a bit of touching up to make it good for travel. The battery is toasted on it, I’m not sure if I’ll replace that. It’s got an honest-to-goodness valid Windows XP license on it.

That said, I’m going to pick up a USB memory key, a 160GB drive and probably load Ubuntu on to a main partition. I’m going to do a dual-boot with probably 100GB of shared ext3 disk (Windows XP can load ext3 drivers). In theory, I should be able to use the Windows drive for video filters and all that.

Given that the machine has less exotic video and less exotic sound hardware, it should work fairly smoothly out-of-box.

Dual-boot is partially to get out of potential airport security issues. For those that don’t know, the airports have been asking people to boot their machines to search them for porn. It will allow me to apply Truecrypt, and the command line will be handy for remote backups. In the event that airport security demands to search my machine, I can help them by booting Windows. Given that I won’t use it for my personal finances, email or MP3s, I won’t have to worry about them freaking out because I won’t give them my banking info, email, MPAA/RIAA/SOCAN/Whatever collusion etc. I figure the worst they should do is confiscate my machine, the worst they might do at a U.S. border is to send me to Guantanamo to get my password.

I might have to set it to use the Windows boot loader and set Linux to boot from a seemingly uninteresting menu item. I’ll have to remember to shut down and not hibernate when crossing the border.

A tech with an iota of knowledge would know something’s not quite right. But the border guards don’t have an iota of knowledge, and the forensic analysis by back-room customs officials should be thwarted by reaonsable encryption… all that and I’m not doing anything wrong.

I guess I’ll be fighting with Linux a bit longer.  Truecrypt might actually be a killer app.


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