Saturday, November 25, 2006


For a short period of time I was triple-booting on my laptop with Gentoo Linux, Windows XP, and Windows Vista. I compiled Linux from scratch and got everything working and set up, even the WiFi card, but in the end, it wasn't worth it to have to keep rebooting to switch operating systems, especially since the applications I used most were exactly the same across each platform: Firefox and Gaim. I kept XP around because my printer isn't supported in Vista. After a week of rebooting just to print, and dealing with Windows file permissions hell, and keeping files synchronized across three operating systems, I decided to wipe the hard drive and just go with Vista. If I want to print, I can print from Athena in Linux. The main benefit from the end user perspective of Vista is its pretty interface. There's a lot that's changed under the covers, but chances are most users aren't going to notice that so much, especially in day-to-day use. Mostly I installed Linux to prove to myself that it could be done. My laptop is relatively new hardware, and I wanted to see how the process of getting off the ground worked. I don't think Linux is a good OS choice for a laptop. A desktop or server, yes, but not a laptop. Linux was not meant to be turned on and off all the time and adjust to its environment on the fly. Windows XP Windows Vista Gentoo Linux with GNOME desktop Gentoo Linux with KDE desktop, just for show: this is the default without any customizations, since I didn't really use KDE.