6 Jalal 168 B.E. (Baha’i Era)
Soundtrack in my head: Zero 7, “In The Waiting Line”
I have been a happy Ubuntu Linux user for two and a half years–ever since I nuked Windows out of frustration and replaced it with Ubuntu on my desktop computer.
But there are a few things that haven’t been exactly accessible to me on Linux that are accessible on Windows. The first thing I really miss is Ocean. It has been a key tool for me for creating Baha’i devotions. For a while, I was able to make the program workable on Ubuntu through the program Wine, but it’s just not working for me anymore. Another Baha’i-related piece of software is the Baha’i calendar app through Yahoo Widgets, which, unfortunately, is not compatible with Ubuntu. I think this is the best Baha’i calendar ever made–whether paper or electronic version.
Shortly after I got accepted into graduate school, I realized that I would need a new laptop. The Asus EeePc that I’d had for nearly three years was one of the first netbooks ever, but it had only 512 MB of RAM and 4 GB of memory. I got frustrated with the Linux system Asus had put on there–it’s a cousin to Ubuntu but not as nice. But I had great difficulty even installing Ubuntu’s netbook version because it still took up too much memory. I explored other Linux operating systems, finally settling for Peppermint, which, while nice, would still be inadequate for my needs as a student.
So I did some research and found that the best buy out there was–believe it or not–the Asus EeePC. But instead of the 700 series model I had, I got something in the 1000 series. For the same price I paid for my original Asus EeePC not even three years ago, I got something with a larger screen and keyboard, 1 GB of RAM upgradable to 2 GB, and 250 GB of storage. Huge difference–it’s even more powerful than my souped up desktop computer.
I got my new laptop a few weeks ago, and it came with Windows 7 Starter. Logging into Windows 7 first time was, well, an experience. First of all, it took much longer to boot up. I was used to the 1-2 minute boot-ups on Ubuntu. I hadn’t realized just how much Ubuntu had spoiled me. I felt like I’d just walked into McDonald’s after being spoiled for years by Bob’s (Organic) Bad Breath Burger at the Weary Traveler.
First of all, I couldn’t change the wallpaper–I had to settle for the Windows sky blue motif with their logo in the middle. And when going into sleep mode my laptop did exactly the opposite of sleeping–it started playing this rather obnoxious music that would almost certainly embarrass me if I were in a classroom. I’m sure I can change it if I really want to, but it bothered me that this was the default. It also gave me a free trial with some firewall software and anti-virus software, both of which kept on giving me these messages saying that something was wrong and it was because this or that needed updating and I never was quite sure whether it was actually working at all. Java auto-notification kept asking me for permission to do something. There were also icons for apps that I really didn’t want, including the Times Reader and eBay. I tried to log into Microsoft Word and I was informed that I could either download it for x amount of dollars, or I could use a free version that would have ads in it. I downloaded Open Office instead, and ditched the firewall and anti-virus software for AVG.
My intention from day one was to establish a dual boot between Windows and Ubuntu, and I finally had it set up this past weekend. Now I have the dual boot installed so I can have the best of both worlds–use Ubuntu for my regular needs and Windows if I absolutely must.