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LehiNephi's Journal: I switched back to XP...for now 4

Journal by LehiNephi
Back in October of last year, I installed Ubuntu on my main computer at home. I did a few tweaks, and was quite satisfied with the results. Other than a few hiccups, mostly related to sharing a printer, everything went smoothly. I'm now a convert.

But a few weeks ago, I ordered myself some parts for a new build. My intention was to similarly install Ubuntu, get the right drivers set up, and off we go. Unfortunately, it didn't work. Here is what I ordered:
  • Athlon 64 X2 3600 (yes, it's already overclocked)
  • Biostar TForce 7025 uATX mobo
  • 2GB some generic PC2-6400 RAM
  • Radeon HD3850
  • 300GB SATA (either WD or Maxtor, don't remember :eek:)

So nothing unusual. Since I had heard that the new Catalyst 7.12 drivers supported the Radeon 3xxx series under Linux, I thought I was set. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get the drivers to work. Trust me, I tried a lot of things. And I know that plenty of other people have had success doing it. Just not me.

So I bought a copy of XP Home Upgrade from someone who had a Win2k installation and realized only too late that you need either an installation of Win98 or Win98se or Win95 or WinME OR an official CD for one of the above or Win2k. They fell into a corner case--Win2k was installed, but they didn't have the CD. They couldn't install it because of an arbitrary restriction, and they couldn't return the (now-open) box. Even before I started installing XP, I started understanding a bit better the aversion some have for commercial software.

That feeling continued through the next while of setting up and installing things. True, all the drivers and utilities for my hardware were relatively up-to-date and polished. But it seemed to me like many of the things Windows does or wants to do are not for my benefit. Activation, for example. And setting up Windows Media Player and telling it NOT to send any information. And Windows Genuine Advantage, for the naming of which all of MS management ought to be drawn and quartered.

Granted, for the normal user, these things aren't any sort of big deal. I understand that Microsoft want to reduce piracy, and I have no issue with that. Even setting aside the "punish the customers, let the pirates go free" situation that results from WGA, DRM, and similar efforts, I still have issues with Microsoft poking around my hard drive. The necessity of installing anti-virus software is also annoying. Normally, I'd create a limited user account and use that, but so many applications require an administrator account that it's impractical. I miss sudo. I miss being able to update everything on my system at once, without having to download executables and run them individually. I miss compiz (I had problems paying half price for XP--you think I'm gonna spend money for Vista's eye candy?!). I don't have any alternative at the moment, though, so until there is a reliable and easy way to get my video card working under Linux, I'll be using XP. I don't hate it. In fact, I know how to work with XP better than I do with Ubuntu. It's just....less comfortable.

Here's hoping Hardy Heron brings me luck. Three months to go...

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I switched back to XP...for now

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  • Are you using the i386 or x64 build of Ubuntu? If you can get the Live CD and networking up, you can (albeit slowly) try compiling it from source and see if that works.
    • by LehiNephi (695428)
      I'm using the i386 build. I haven't tried building from source, and I'm not sure I want to go through that effort. (personal taste)

      The funny thing is...last night I booted off the 7.10 CD, and it got right to the desktop with no difficulties. Weird. Interestingly enough, the reason I needed to boot off the CD was because XP refused to delete ("Access is Denied") files from the IE cache which had been copied from another XP installation. The system wasn't using them, but somehow, XP decided that I shoul
      • If you're using a 64-bit CPU, you may be better off with a 64-bit build of Ubuntu. Compiling from source may take ages, but push comes to shove you can download the x64 ISO from the Ubuntu site and burn it.

        I've no idea why Ubuntu would boot off the CD, and not the HDD. Maybe it's because of some weird bootloader problem, or a problem with your disk; my brand new 320gB hard drive died after only a few months, with a wrecked boot sector. I wasted around 8 days of my life trying to rescue my XP installation,

        • by LehiNephi (695428)
          I guess I did not make myself clear enough before. I got Ubuntu (32-bit) to install just fine the first time. I ran into problems once I tried to get the Catalyst 7.12 drivers installed. Without the drivers, the desktop, even without compiz, was a pain to use. Without 2D acceleration, just moving windows around the desktop was a pain.

          I've got a few other things on my plate, but I'll be revisiting the issue soon.

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