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Re: The incident that caused me to stop dual booting and go to Linux

On 2008-11-06, Terry Porter <linux-2@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> claimed:
> Hi All,

> I had bought a new motherboard and cpu, ram etc, (the usual upgrade 
> cycle) and fitted it in the same pc. 
> Everything just continued to work fine when I powered the machine up as 
> it was using the Linux hard drive and *nothing* changed for me, except 
> the machine was a bit faster.
> Then, about 2 weeks later I switched over to the Windows hard disk to do 
> something, (as I had been doing for the last couple of years) only to be 
> greeted by "warning, new hardware detected, Windows has gone into "safe" 
> mode" blah blah.
> All my 8 million Desktop icons were crunched into a tiny horrible, 
> 640x480, 16 color "Toys-r-Us" display.
> POS !!!!!",  and that was the last time I had Windows on my PC.

> What was your defining moment for switching to Linux ?

My journey started in the mid to late summer of 96. I had a Compaq
laptop with 780M drive. It had 95 Winders, no CD drive and no card that
would connect to one. I bought a cheap parallel SCSI emulator to use
with my SCSI CD reader left over from my Amiag days (about 3 months
before I got the laptop). It was too buggy to rely on for much of
anything. I couldn't boot from it because the laptop wouldn't recognize
it at boot. And reading from it would always fail after getting just a
few K into a file.

I also had a SCSI Zip drive that sort of worked OK, but it would get
frequent errors during reads. I absolutely refused to write to it on
the laptop because I couldn't trust it.

However, both media devices worked a lot better on the wife's Windwoes
95 desktop, even if they were still a little bit buggy.

I bought a book with Red Hat 4.2 in it and wanted to try it out. But I
was in a spot. So I decided to try something. I made a couple of
floppies on the wife's machine for booting. Then I was going to
transfer the installation files to my laptop via all of the SCSI
emulation crap. It was a long process. I had to copy what I could to a
95M Zip disk on the wife's machine, move the whole contraption over to
mine and copy it to a directory. As I said, trying to read these sorts
of things directly on the laptop via the SCSU CD reader was worthless.

There were lots of errors. I had to recopy the same files 2 and 3
times. But I persisted. Some files were too big, and I had to split
them on one machine and reassemble them on the other. All told it took
me about 2 days just to move the files. But I got them there.

I had everything installed and running fairly quick. I don't remember
exactly, but it was about an hour and a half. You used to have to make
decisions then you don't have to make now, and answer questions that
the installers can now figure out on their own. (You think Windufii
have trouble with linux /now/ just give them RH 4.2 and tell them come
back when they have it working! We'll never see them again. Unless they
lie, which is highly probable.)

It took me a couple of hours to get a desktop, having to do things
manually, and not having the slightest idea what to do except by
following a book that wasn't the easiest thing in the world to
interpret. Networking was a no-go. I was on dialup, and none of the
dialup doodads worked for me. The situation was made worse by the fact
the book didn't tell much about it, and I had to dual-boot to that
gawdawful Windwoes 95 to look things up. I didn't know about howtos,
and a lot of what was in them when I did run across them didn't make
any sense to me.

But I persisted. And I kept trying. And I kept making progress.

About a month into it, I finally got my first connection. I blame that
length of time on familiarity. I was familiar with Winders. Sor to
flike being familiar with the wart that used to keep coming back on my
finger. It was crap, but I could fall back on it too easily. Once I
fell back on it I could manage to stay there for awhile rather than
jump right back to linux and fight with the things that were giving me
trouble. But I refused to give up, and made a little progress each day.
Sometimes it was recognizable progress and sometimes not. But I was
always moving ahead.

Finally, in late September or early October, I was familiar enough with
linux that I spent nearly 100% of my time in it. In fact, the few times
I used Winders after that always happened on the wife's machine. My
780M drive was getting too cramped to work with any more, even if I did
have Windross down to as little room as I could get away with. So I
made the decision to wipe it and start over. I went out and bought a
PCMCIA SCSI card this time. I still had my floppies. I wiped
everything, and started over. That was it. I haven't used Windross for
my needs personal since.

Then I traded the laptop for a desktop, and started all over. This
time, though, it took me about 45 minutes ot install, and I had
everything important up and running in less than a day.

Let me be fair and honest, though. I continued playing with Windows for
awhile. Not much by choice.

First off, I wanted to make a little money on the side working on
hardware problems and doing hardware upgrades for people. I spent more
than 98% of my time working on Windross problems, though, and
eventually dropped the idea in early 2000.

I had a backup for my wife on a partition from 98 to 99, before she got
her Mac. I set it up so she could use it, but I never bothered with it
myself. She only tested it once herself.

I bought a legal copy of Windwoes 2K. I was building and selling linux
machines. I kept getting questions about whether or not the machines
would run Winders. So I bought a copy to test with. I could certify
that the machines would run that version without a problem, but they
left my possession with linux on them along with a copy of the linux
install CD.

Also, about a year ago my wife wanted to get familar with Windross
again because she was looking at a possible job where she'd be using
it. So I put 2K on a laptop for her to dick around with.

When my son was about 3 I gave him his own computer (not connected to
anything). It was dual-boot. It had 98 and Mandrake on it. I had to use
Winders because of his games since it was difficult to get a number of
them to run under wine. He wanted to spend most of his time in linux.
Mommy, who always knows best, wanted him to spend most of his time in
Winders. Eventually she got sick of the WinDOS troubles she had to put
up with when I wasn't at home. So he got a Mac when he was 5.

Finally, I had a machine for a short time with NT Server on it because
I was looking at a potential job where I'd be stuck with that at least
for awhile. So I played with that for a few months to figure some
things out. I was sure glad to see that mess go away!

I use linux and only linux at home. I'd use it at work if I could get
it to connect to the domain I have to be on. But using it at work is
enough to remind me why I don't want to use it at home.

I'm not one of those who think Bill Gates is the devil. I simply suspect
that if Microsoft ever met up with the devil, it wouldn't need an

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