The Future is Now: My First Hour Of Linux

swoosh1.jpgI have read a lot about how great Linux is, and even more about how tricky it can be to install it on laptops (although much easier now than in years past). Here is what happened to me. This may be helpful or interesting if you find yourself in the position I was in a few weeks ago trying to decide what laptop to buy for running Ubuntu Linux.

I bought a Lenovo (IBM) Thinkpad R61i with 2GB RAM, 160GB HD, and Intel Core 2 Duo 1.5 GHz processor. I got it a computergeeks.com for a very reasonable price, after reading about how reliable and Linux friendly Thinkpads are.

Upon receipt of the laptop, I started the machine and first uninstalled a number of GB’s of manufacturer installed garbageware. Then I turned off the hibernation function, deleted the page file (set it to ‘none’), and defragmented the drive using the Windows defrag program. Then I ran diskcleaner.exe and ccleaner to get rid of more garbage – mostly temporary files and typical Windows waste, defragged again, and then defragged (more efficiently this time) with wcontig. This still left some fragmented, or rather scattered, system files that unneccessarily clutter your Windows partition which makes it difficult to shrink the partition as much as you’d like (but more so than before defragging). After that I used the Vista partition shrink function to squeeze the Windows partition down to somewhere around 100GB.

Now, it was time to download the Ubuntu ISO file from http://www.ubuntu.com, burn it to CD (or DVD – make sure you’re burning this not as data but as installation CD), pop the freshly minted installation disk into the drive, restart, and follow the very straight forward installation of Ubuntu Linux. A stroll in the park. No hassles at all.

I now have both Vista and Ubuntu running on the same machine. I haven’t noticed any problems with Linux, and Vista is running fine after one, initial disk check upon restarting into Vista. Wow. I am so relieved. Now, the adventure begins.

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