I had a huge scare recently. My Windows 7 laptop started acting up… Windows itself would slow to a crawl, sometimes wouldn’t shut down, and other times, wouldn’t boot up. I investigated every possibility, from viruses to hardware issues and I think the cause is a mix of both–a piece of malware caused me to have to force shutdowns, which in turn caused bad sectors on my hard drive… you know the drill.
One of my computer-geek friends came to my rescue: he has a hobby of downloading and burning Linux distributions (going so far as to use Taiyo Yuden media to do it… hey, I collect video games, he collects Linux. I won’t complain) and fortunately, you can run Linux right from the disk, and even do things like get online with it.
So I gave several distros (specifically I tried out ArtistX 1.0, TinyCore, Puppy, and one other I can’t recall) before finally choosing Zorin 5.2 as my favorite. Even after getting Windows 7 back up (from rescue disks my laptop’s manufacturer had provided, which basically amounted to a reinstall) I still find I use Zorin more often.
I realize I probably sound like an advertisement now, but I actually am impressed with it. Even when I was running it from a disk, it was fast, and now that its on my hard drive its just zooming along. Sometimes there’s a brief, inexplicable pause, which I think is because I have a 64-bit processor and I’m running the 32-bit version of the OS, but these are brief and never happen while I’m gaming or watching videos (on my hard drive anyway–I haven’t been to Youtube yet), which I demand to be uninterrupted.
In fact, so far my only criticism is that some things are needlessly difficult to do. Like for example, you can’t just “install” Firefox–you have to manually put it in certain directories and configure a few things, and then I still haven’t figured out how to put it in the menu, or get the desktop link to display the proper Firefox icon. I also had problems with MAME, which for some reason installed all its directories as protected, so I had to use a DOS like command terminal to put roms in it… and then it said all of the roms were missing essential files (which I know is malarkey because these exact same roms work fine on Windows).
Just as well, As of now, Windows is never allowed to touch the Internet again. In fact the only things I haven’t yet gotten to work on Linux are my Logitech webcam, and MAME… and I’m working on both. Once that’s done, its likely I’ll just ditch Windows altogether.
This issue has, for a bit, slowed up my plans to start a review show, but hopefully it won’t be long before I’m back on my feet.