Installing Windows considered as a literary genre

During a discussion of Charlie Stross's epic tale of Windows installation, a Making Light reader called Ajay worked up this killer formal structure of "the well-established genre, the tale of godawful Windows-installation woes":
I. Exordium. The narrator introduces himself, establishes his experience in computing (ethos) and exhorts the listeners to gather round.

II. Prolegomenon. Customarily, the hardware spec of the machine is outlined here.

III. Praeinstallatio. The narrator describes his initial attempt to install Windows.

IV. Contrainstallatio. The installation goes wrong.

V. Descendo. The narrator describes his increasingly desperate attempts to get things to go right.

VI. Depilatio. The narrator is reduced to despair and frustration.

VII. Inertio. The narrator sinks into a horrified stupor as his machine gurgles and clunks to itself for anything up to three days.

VIII. Peroratio. The narrator rises into fury as he describes how long and painful an experience the install was;

which may be followed by

IX. Aptenodytes forsteri, the narrator switches to Linux.

Chkdsk red in tooth and claw

(Image: Frustration!, a Creative Commons Attribution photo from basykes' photostream)



  1. I dont know, but the idea that installing Windows is some how challenging seems to be a myth created by the anti-MS and pro-Linux crowds.

    Installing Windows is about as simple and straightforward as can be, unless of course youre a complete tech-idiot, in which case youre probably incapable of installing any OS.

    The irony is that Linux is infinitely more complicated to install, good luck finding drivers.

  2. @1, Well, as a factual matter, you’re just wrong (reading Charlie’s post, linked to in the FA, has ample evidence of this).

    Here’s another example: I own a lot of X-series Thinkpad tablets, and I’ve never run anything on them except Ubuntu Linux. The installation process for every one of them has worked like this: insert Linux disk, tell the installer which WiFi was mine, go away for an hour, come back, use Linux.

    When I tried to install XP on the X61 tablet (I was giving it to our babysitter, who was going off to university and needed a Windows machine), I took the XP disk that a friend at Microsoft bought for me at the MSFT store — shrinkwrapped, full version — and found that it couldn’t see the hard-drive. I called up Lenovo and they confirmed that the full XP disks from Microsoft don’t have the drivers to see the SATA bus in the Thinkpads.

    Instead, I had to send away for a set of 8 CDs that had to be installed, one after the other, on the machine. And when it was done, there was still 2+ hours’ worth of patching that had to be done before it was in a usable state.

    So here we have two factual accounts involving two entire, major lines of laptops (Thinkpads and Vaios) where Linux installers are easy, and come with all necessary drivers, and where Windows installers are hard and don’t have the necessary drivers.

    Would you care to visit with us here in reality-land for a time? I promise it’s not as bad as it seems.

    1. But what of when Linux DOESN’T support your hardware? I’ll just go pick up the gzipped tarballs, go pull up a terminal… Ah, no binaries, ok, I’ll just compile this and throw the extras into this conf file and… hey, are you even listening?! Dude, wake up! What do you mean, on Windows you just double click and hit Next a few times?

      That’s a crucial difference. Perhaps Ubuntu does support more hardware out of the box (which is debatable, I know of at least one friend who has had driver issues with Ubuntu recently), but Windows is much easier to install drivers on if they’re missing, especially if they’re available from Windows Update. For example, I just installed a touchscreen on my netbook, Ubuntu gave me all forms of hell, archives in archives, missing xorg.confs, xorg managed to die – twice – and I still never made it work. Windows, however, was up and working with it in a matter of minutes, run the exe, wait, calibrate, done.

      Besides, XP? Aren’t we a little late to be bashing that? An OS almost a decade old, give or take, which has had 2 (two) radically different versions since, within the last 3 years, which are more likely to have something of a clue as to what SATA (2003), PCIe (2004) and other such newer technologies might be straight out of their boxes. Ubuntu gets rehashed every 6 months, and not necessarily for the better, but don’t you think it’s a little unfair to be comparing an obsolete OS (an elderly OS, by computing standards) with one fresh out of Canonical only recently.

    2. As a previous windows user turned full-time linux user around five years ago, I can say that linux is very nice on the driver front.
      I tried installing windows 7 beta for funsies, and ended up wading thru driver hell. I had 3 NICs installed, and a wifi card. none of them had divers on the cd. There was physically no way I could legally connect to the internet from that machine. I ended up having to boot linux, google a dozen times for windows drivers (do not attempt this with a less than secure browser. 99% of the ‘driver’ sites are just spam sites), transfer them to a usb key. all of this just to connect to the internet.
      In linux, (namely ubuntu 9.10) I was actually disappointed a little bit after having installed it. There was nothing to fix. It just worked. The hacker geek in me cried a little.
      The real value with linux comes however in the ability to change the code to suit your own need. If I want, I can usually just so some simple python or C editing and I dont have to break the law to do so. I also dont have to wonder about the uh, ‘trustworthiness’ of the code running on MY machine. If you cant change or inspect the code, then it’s not really yours :P

      kudos to Cory for posting that literary work of art :)

    3. “Wll, s fctl mttr, y’r jst wrng”.

      Ww. Rlly??

      f y sll yr frst brn t Rdmnd thy’ll gv y ccss t th pn-fr-n-sss-mk-yr-pns-bggr vrsn f th Wndws nstllr.

      s w sy n rlty-lnd, “Tl”.

    4. Cory, let me ask you a few questions:

      When were you doing this XP install on the X61?
      What version of XP were you installing (original release, SP1, SP2, or SP3)?
      How recent was the version of Ubuntu you installed?

      I will bet you that the Ubuntu you installed was a much more recent distribution than the XP you were attempting to install. I would like to see how it goes if you try installing with a version of Linux from the same release timeframe as the version of XP you had and then tell us whether the experience is as painless.

      Also, I don’t think it’s fair to extrapolate the installation experience on a laptop to a general installation experience as laptop OEMs regularly customize the drivers to the components that come with their systems. You can’t blame MS for that, the blame for that lies at the feet of the laptop makers.

      I’ve installed many variations of Linux and UNIX, Mac OS X, and Windows (XP through 7). I’m by no means a fanboy or zealot of any stripe.

  3. Realistically, this could be applied to any OS installation. Or even any major computer hardware upgrades.

    /linux user

  4. I’m a satisfied Windows user, but even I admit that installation can take four hours. It’s one of those things that should really be undertaken when drunk.

    1. Whoa, while drunk? That would be a waste of alcohol. I’d say the best time to install Windows would be whilst visiting your in-laws (if you would rather not be there) or at work, waiting for something to happen (if you have that sort of job) or, failing all that, a winter weekend that’s raining rather than snowing.

      Not too long after switching from pc/windows to apple/mac in May of this year, I upgraded from MacOS 10.5 (Leopard) to 10.6 (Snow Leopard). Quite possibly the first error-free, painless and short “major OS change” I have ever had. I’ve also installed a variety of Linux distros, the last being Debian (but that was back in 2003) and I never, ever felt it was anything approaching simple or easy. Debian, at least, always felt quite complicated but I went through it knowing that the end result would be far superior to Windows.

  5. I have three different hard drives, one over five years old on a one year old system running Windows XP, but I’ve cleared a partition on one of my newer hard drives for Windows XP/Windows 7/Ubuntu in case the old drive fails, but when I went to the trouble to preemptively install Ubuntu on the drive, hearing I could run both simultaneously and wanting to see what I was missing, I was a little upset to find this was not the case, both OS had to be on the same drive, and I was unable to use Ubuntu. I’m also in the minority of folks this description doesn’t relate to as I’ve never had any problems installing Windows XP multiple times on several computers over the years except when I tried to use that free program to make my own automatic installation disk, yeah, that didn’t work.

  6. The only surprise here is no gratuitous swipe at Apple on Corey’s part. Still waiting for his 2 years late full report on how hunky dory his (subscription help desk supported) Linux installation is working out.

  7. There is truly an easier way…trust me, I did it and it was almost painless..

    BUY A MAC !!!

    HA!…See ya……

  8. Cory,
    Wow! Two whole factual accounts of how Windows XP was difficult to install!

    Alert Microsoft they have a recall on their hands!

    I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that the reason you hear more about Windows installation problems is because there are about 10 million more windows users than there are Linux users.

    Try installing Ubuntu on an old HP pavilion laptop.. Its great unless you want to use your wireless and sound card.

    1. #readingcomprehensionfail

      This isn’t two *incidents*: this is two major laptop lines — Thinkpads and Vaios — that can’t install regular Windows from regular installer disks, and in both cases, they *can* install Ubuntu Linux from regular installer disks.

      1. “This isn’t two *incidents*: this is two major laptop lines — Thinkpads and Vaios — that can’t install regular Windows from regular installer disks, and in both cases, they *can* install Ubuntu Linux from regular installer disks.”

        Ehh, frankly they may be ‘major’ lines, but they are both POS models that are known to be hard to work with. They both like to change hardware more than you do your underwear, and often don’t have support for the hardware they push. The line of Dell Optiplex machines we use at work all came with Vista 64 Business on them. The Dells had ACPI enabled in the bios which wasn’t supported in Vista yet. So is it Microsoft’s fault that Dell put out a machine that couldn’t even boot because they enabled hardware on it that they knew wasn’t supported and in fact wasn’t even available when the OS was written?

        Keep in mind that you’re expecting a commercial OS that is pressed to a disk to magically update drivers onto itself for hardware that may or may not have been out at the time the code was pressed to the disk. And then you expect it to have the same support as an OS you downloaded that gets updated by a wide, free community. Disappointment usually comes from unrealistic expectations.

        The FACT of it is, if you have enough experience with PCs of all flavors, you come to realize that NONE of them work the way they claim, and everyone is going to claim their favorite flavor is the best one. I say this with the experience of working in comps in retail and network support for over 15 years. I’ve personally built and loaded the OS by hand on tens of thousands of machines, no exaggeration. I’ve seen Macs freak out, crash, etc. I’ve seen Linux boxes shit the bed and never recover. I’ve had Windows do the same thing.

        So all you fanbois who think that because you’ve owned a few machines and tool around as a hobbyist that you know your salt, pshaw. For me, the truth comes from numbers and experience, not anecdotes.

        And frankly, I like Charlie Stross, but that article was epic /fail. He obviously didn’t know what he was doing and was milking the situation. He took 50 hours to do an install that could have taken him two, because he chose to do some stupid shit.

        On another note, why do people expect computers to be a turn-key stupid machine? They’re more complicated than cars, they change rapidly, and have a high learning curve to do more than just email and surf the ‘net effectively. I wouldn’t expect to buy an engine for my car and just slap it in, why in the hell would anyone expect the same thing for software comprised of MILLIONS of lines of code??

    2. Or, y’know, a new HP Pavilion laptop…

      HP Pavilion dv6 notebook, Artist Edition, bought I-don’t-know-when, not too long ago, the Ubuntu 9.10 countdown was already on.

      Ubuntu 8.10? No Wifi. Or any net.connection, for that matter.
      Ubuntu 9.04? All the hardware worked, but there was that stupid thing with not being able to watch youtube videos, and I was too lazy to figure it out. “I’ll wait ’till 9.10″
      9.10? No sound… :(

      Which sucks, ’cause I really /do/ like Ubuntu, I’ve got a bunch of discs, and even a persistent USB install…

  9. if you set the bios to ata compatibility mode, then the install should work fine. you can switch back later when you’ve got the machine up and downloaded the sata drivers. allegedly.

  10. Eh, I’ll toss a little more fuel on this fire. I recently had to do a re-format and re-install on XP on a friend’s machine as it was infested with malware. It took me six hours and two different downloads from my computer, to get XP working again, and only that little time because I said #@*! it, and left it for her son to re-install everything else.

    And then there was my old XP machine. Every time I had to re-install XP, or simply upgraded my hardware, I had to spend two to three hours trying to get XP to recognize my sound card. Or my graphics card. Or both like as not.

    And do you know how bloody hard it is to get Wondows to recognize your NIC when you don’t have the disk, AND you have no other access to the internet?

  11. Why did I get disemvoweled (including the quote from Cory’s original post)? (FYI, I took issue with Cory’s post (#2))

    I will fully admit I was wrong to call him a garden implement but my second post was deleted outright (it was of the exact nature of (SuperDuper27’s post – sorry SD27, don’t mean to drag you into this). Can’t you just alter that part of it?

    Cory was just as rude to SuperDuper27 and yet he was not disemvoweled. He paints everything as black and white and then doesn’t allow us to argue grey.

    I have reviewed the Moderation Policy and I will try not to infringe again. Sorry.

      1. @Antinous: “Why don’t you just start fresh?”

        Hey Antinous, I’m really not trying to be a prick but I’d appreciate an answer to my question (post #16). You took the time to reply (post #17) so you’ve validated my communication.

        Why was my second post deleted (I can understand why my first post was disemvoweled)? My second post was entirely within the tone Cory established with his first (#2), and possibly second (#13), comment.

        I fear this is taking the thread off-topic so if you want to take it to email, no worries. But I’d appreciate you leaving this as is – it’s a valid post.

        1. Raum187,

          Why was my second post deleted

          It was frankly insulting.

          My second post was entirely within the tone Cory established with his first

          Cory’s comment was substantial and informative with a little bit of snark at the end; yours was simply insulting. Cory’s been around here for quite some time now what with being one of the editors and all; you’ve made less than ten comments and are already hurling insults.

  12. More anecdotal evidence coming up: I use Linux Mint on desktops and laptop (an old HP Pavilion, as it happens…); installation was quick and easy, I rebooted once at the end, and everything worked straight away.

    OTOH, I reinstalled Windows XP on a laptop for my neighbours; installation took far longer [I had SP3 on a CD, which speeded things up a bit], I had to reboot multiple times, I went through about six separate update processes [There are nineteen updates available… There are two updates available… There are twelve updates available…], and it took another half hour to get it to recognise my neighbours’ wireless networking again, after I’d gone back home and got a spare Cat5 cable. Not a happy process at all.

    Idea for a new competition: Famous authors installing Windows.

  13. bit more detail:

    “Press F1 when you see the ThinkPad Splash screen. Enter BIOS. Set the following settings in BIOS:

    Config > Serial ATA (SATA) > Set AHCI to Compatibility*
    Hit Esc
    Hit Esc again
    Startup > Boot > Move ATAPI CD0 to the topmost spot (1)

    Hit F10 to save and exit. The computer restarts.

    Upon bootup, hit any key to boot from disc.

    *You are setting it to Compatibility mode because in AHCI, the XP CD will not recognize the HDD. Don’t worry though, we will switch it to back to AHCI later in the guide.

    from how-to thread on doing a clean install on an x61 tablet thinkpad.

    tho tbh, it seems to ship with vista, and it’s not like Crysis is going to magically run at 60fps on it with xp, so not sure anyways.

  14. The way to install XP on that laptop is to google for the sata chipset and “f6″.. You’ll get a couple files, including one called OEMSETUP.INF, which is the same format from windows 3.0.. Now, put these files on a 3.5″ floppy disk. Yes, a floppy disk. That’s right. Now boot windows setup, press F6 when it tells you to, put in the floppy disk, select the sata driver, install windows, figure out exact model numbers for every single piece of hardware in your system, for a laptop this is typically: chipset, video, lan, wifi, bluetooth, sound, card reader, webcam, touchpad, “media” buttons, fingerprint reader, etc, now install them all, reboot a dozen times, download 75 updates, reboot, install zip/rar program, burning program, dvd playback program, codecs, image manipulation program, instant messaging program, etc etc etc.
    With linux this is all there out of the box, about 95% of the time. The other 5% of people are in for a world of pain.

  15. But what of when Linux DOESN’T support your hardware? I’ll just go pick up the gzipped tarballs, go pull up a terminal… Ah, no binaries, ok, I’ll just compile this and throw the extras into this conf file and… hey, are you even listening?!

    Yes, let’s compare that. When Linux doesn’t support it, you can usually get it working with a fair bit of effort. When Windows doesn’t support it… you buy new hardware that it does support, because there’s nothing you can do.

    1. Have to say, don’t think I’ve come across a piece of consumer PC hardware that isn’t supported by Windows (not limiting my comment to XP).

  16. My experiences installing Windows: stick the disc in, start it up, it gives a few prompts. An hour or two later, you have a computer with an OS on it.

    My experiences installing Ubuntu: 2/3 of the way through the installation, arrive at a screen that looks not unlike the schizophrenic offspring of a mosaic and a BSOD giving me an error message. Spend four hours of searching for other people who’ve had this problem only to find that the solution is a three-line-long esoteric console command to tell it to use different drivers for my video card.

  17. Winsky @7: If you read the comment thread at Making Light (I know, not really required, but it’s shortish) you’ll see that the Charlie Stross, the OP in this whole business, does in fact have some number of Macs. People either need or want Windows boxen for multiple reasons, and there’s no good excuse for installs to be as difficult and painful as they can be using Microsoft OSes. (I’ve rarely had a problem with them, but that’s generally because I nuke and pave, rather than upgrading, when I install Windows. That may change with Windows 7, as I have the RC installed on my laptop now, and donwanna reinstall apps.)

  18. Installing windows is so easy that a child can do it. I should know, I had the horribly monotonous task of installing windows on hundreds of systems, and not just dells either, custom shit where you have to track down drivers all over the web and with finicky hardware cards, it also predates google, which let’s face it, is like having a well trained technician on the phone (but better because he won’t hand up on you or forward you to the janitor).

    The job was so easy that you literally needed an hour of training, the rest, anyone can figure out through trial an error.

  19. I do reinstalls all day, still about %95 XP, but I have done them all. Generally speaking any current OS is easy, but Ubuntu is way more likely to just work right out of the gate. There is really no point in discussing Mac as they own both sides of the equation. Most manufacturers make it easy to get the Windows drivers you need, if not Driver Genius Pro can generally find them. And yes, a child can do it, and mine often do. If you guys think this is tough you should try installing OS/2, hell even Win 98/2000 installs seem like brain surgery compared to what we have now.

  20. Not to be a windows fanboy here, but there seems to be way more linux fans here. My experience:

    Ubuntu is easy to install, and “everything” works out of the box. But if I have to get something to work (flash/java etc, especially on 64bit) it is HELL.

    Windows is easy to install, and most things work out of the box. Especially on Windows 7. And if something doesn’t work there are a million support boards with the .exe/.dll file to fix it.

    Bottom line: I have NEVER had to give up on a windows install. I have NEVER gotten a linux install to work like I want it to.

    Getting it to work like i want it to involves playing my windows games (I don’t care if you think that is unfair) and getting flash and java to work – all on a 64bit system.

  21. It’s a shame y’all are missing the real beauty in Ajay’s description of the traditional failed install tale as a form of Operatic/Symphonic notation. Has no one here had anything approaching a classic education?

    Perhaps we need “Ricercar Nerdosity Argumendum” movement in which audiences attending the symphony join in and argue off into spirals of well worn tribal geek-grunting

  22. @jjasper

    Exactly! This isn’t an anti-microsoft or anti-windows post. If anything by reducing this narrative to a genre it provides a reductive explanation of this particular form of anti-microsoft writing.

    The point isn’t how more or less common this experience is with Microsoft vs Linux (given the significantly larger install base, even if Linux were much harder to install you should still expect more Microsoft stories). The point is the common structure to ‘I had trouble installing Windows’ narratives.

  23. I think the counterpart Linux literary genre in has historically been not the frustration-based rant, but the epic tale of ingenuity and triumph over hardship. Generally the accepted style downplays the hardships, much like a good account of exploration or mountaineering, giving credit to the reader to understand what an exploit this truly was.

    Here’s my favourite example:

  24. I wouldn’t say Windows is hard to install, I would say Windows is a nightmare to patch to an acceptable level.

    When I install Debian, it’s “burn a 8MB iso, insert CD, boot, enter my WPA info, hit enter 6 times, come back in 25 minutes, reboot done.”

    When I install Windows XP, it’s “insert CD, boot, wait, click, wait, click, wait, click click wait, click, wait, reboot, open Windows Updater, click click wait wait wait, click wait, reboot, open Windows Updater, click click wait wait wait, click wait, reboot, open Windows Updater, click click wait wait wait, click wait, reboot, done.”

    Hard? No. Needlessly tedious? Yes.

    I’ll grant, if I sprang for an XPSP3 CD instead of the old XPSP0 I got in college, I could cut out a couple of those Windows Updates, but that costs money, and Debian doesn’t.

  25. @#22
    “When Linux doesn’t support it, you can usually get it working with a fair bit of effort. When Windows doesn’t support it… there’s nothing you can do.”

    If there exists hardware documentation that allow you to create a Linux driver then you can write your own driver for any platform. If not then you are screwed in any platform.

    I agree that Microsoft less frequently update their ISOs. But nowadays when you download Windows online they should have more recent builds than when you rely on a plastic disc from a storage. If you want there are always unsanctioned special builds to download online already patched to latest. It would be legal for you because you have a valid license key.

    By the way, don’t ever connect a XPsp0 to the net. It WILL get infected. Straight through every firewall. I know by experience. Have a downloaded SP3 on USB and install it before even attaching the tp cable.

    Microsoft states that you should have any drivers needed for installation before installation begins. I recently installed Windows 7 x64 from a USB stick. It took less than 30 minutes and had hardly any interaction between start and end. It was a barebone notebook.

  26. The last time I upgraded my desktop, XP wouldn’t properly install because of a problem with a driver. I picked up a Linux disk, that was probably a couple of years old, and booted it as a live cd, and lo and behold, everything just worked. About 2 months later, there was a newer driver available, and I needed XP for work, or I would have just stayed with Linux. And I also picked up a soundcard because XP just didn’t work with the onboard sound no matter which reference drivers I threw at it, but Linux (and 98) worked fine with it. I have a stack of printers that worked in 2000 but not in XP, and a couple of TV tuner cards that work in linux and 2000 but not in XP and probably never will because the manufacturer has no interest in porting the drivers. As long as you buy a new computer with all the components certified for Windows 7, it’s almost as easy to install as Linux.

  27. I am not a professional by any means, but my experience over the last five years has been that Ubuntu has gotten much easier to install while Windows has maintained its longstanding wish to have you near the machine to click on this, then click on that. Ubuntu, or at least Linux Mint now I just put the disk in and, once the partitioning is done (and yes I keep the hdd partitioned) I can walk away.

  28. I worked my way through undergrad doing on-site tech support. I can install Windows on just about anything in two hours given the right set of tools; however, anyone who has gone through the pain of installing XP on a machine with a SATA hard drive only to find that you need to somehow download the drivers for pretty much every device (included the network adapters) knows that for most users, installing Windows is a multi-day, multi-beer task.

    Admittedly, Vista and Win7 are much easier to install in comparison.

    Any sensible GNU/Linux distro is still easier to install. People who complain about the “huge problem” of finding drivers in linux compared to Windows simply haven’t experienced the world of pain involved in trying to install Windows on a computer that doesn’t have a nice “drivers CD” provided by the manufacturer. If you aren’t sure of the hardware that is inside, you can easily find yourself downloaded dozens of drivers, sitting through bluescreen after bluescreen until you find one that works.

  29. Fun little discussion we have here… what no one is acknowledging is the variations in individual computer savvy. Everyone is different, Linux is just as challenging to a Windows user as a Mac user. Mac is friggin Greek to Windows Users… and vice versa.

    So while we’re ignoring the fact that everyone loves their OS and everyone that doesn’t use their OS is an idiot, we are left to personal anecdote:

    I have installed linux approximately 10 times. most of which being variations of Ubuntu, Puppy, DSL, Feather or 3MX. Each one of those has their own “issues” and not all of them would be concidered for every application, Puppy was put on as an emergency OS, used in a Libretto laptop (one of the win95 mini laptops) and 3MX is only for the chinese netbooks.

    Ignoring corrupted files (as a case by case variable, 3MX giving me the most problems, my downloads would miss chunks of the ISO.)

    puppy would install in about 20 minutes, while giving me a complete and functional demo of the operating system while it installed, i can watch movies, surf, read boingboing, the whole shebang while the os installs.

    Ubuntu might take 45 minutes to install, then install the non-free’s and restricted drivers, maybe 2 hours to have a completely functional computer with full graphic effects (Compiz, Shiny!) AND run World of Warcraft through Wine.

    Windows…. Windows has never, and i mean NEVER installed properly for me, in my original crossover from win98 to XP, the computer took, and I’m serious here, 8 hours to install XP. the install froze and locked up 3 times, and the last time it took 3 hours just to install off of the disk, fresh out of the package and put into the drive, no online updates included.

    Admittedly, things got better from there. my next personal computer, built by hand, only had XP fail twice before installing properly, and that only took 2 hours to settle in.

    I used that computer until last month, having installed and re-installed XP since 2003, no less than once every 3 months because of complications, bugs, Internet Explorer failures (preventing me from switching to linux right then and there.) 2 years ago, i switched to Ubuntu, at first dual booting, which had some issues with eating my Grub loader, and the first time it had some kinks in the system, updates broke it, and i had to re-install. since that first time, I only re-installed when the next version of Ubuntu arrived.

    Maybe that means Ubuntu would have needed a re-install at 7 months instead of XP’s 3, but i doubt it, and at the very least, the OS could handle me and my computer habits while maintaining stability no less than double what windows could.

    So, it doesn’t matter what OS i’m running, or what you’re running, we’re all wrong to everyone else, but for my 2 cents, Windows has been a thorn in the side of most higher level computer users for a long time. Some switch, some stay and try to fix things, some just suck it up and deal with it, but one way or another, there IS a problem, and Apple and Microsoft are NOT the one’s dealing with it.

    My new computer came with Windows7. (i’ll grant that it’s pretty) I used it for 5 minutes, mostly to get to the disk manager, resize the hard drive, then restart with my girlfriend’s fresh copy of Ubuntu 9.10 in the drive, It installed and was running in 20. completely ready to rock in an hour. I booted WoW and didn’t look back.


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