Converted! (Windows to Linux, that is)

In November ’08, I converted my laptop & desktop from Windows XP to Ubuntu Linux. Over the¬†preceding¬†weeks, I had become more and more concerned about some security issues in Windows. I finally decided to do something about it.

Look at this screen shot of my NEW desktop:

Pretty AWESOME isn’t it! This on my little Dell laptop. The actual resolution is 3360 x 1056 (unbelievable!)

You may not be able to see the entire photo (click on the image to see the larger image) – When I am using my laptop, I have to scroll to see the right half of the desktop.

Windows XP runs INSIDE Ubuntu Linux:

Update Dec 30, 2009: With the current version of Ubuntu (9.10) and Wine, I can now run my OnlineBible program (newest version 4.02) on my Ubuntu Linux! And, it is FAST!! I no longer need to run Windows at all! See a new post on my site for additional info.

BTW, YES, that IS Microsoft Windows XP running INSIDE of Ubuntu! I used the Sun Microsystems “Virtual Box” program (free for personal use) to create a virtual computer onto which I installed the copy of XP that I was previously using on the laptop.

This virtual machine runs XP at about the same speed as before but since I don’t need very many programs and extra junk installed, it feels very quick (not as quick as Linux, but quick as normal winDOZ.) <grin>

Windows ONLY programs

I didn’t want any MS products running on my computer… but unfortunately, there are a few programs that I use regularly and which do not have an equivalent program (yet) on the Linux platform. Among those is my choice of Bible programs, “Online Bible.” (Although I have spoken with the author, Larry Pierce, who is considering a Linux version.) I also use my HTC “Wizard” PDA/Phone and the sync program is Windows only. Those two programs seemed to require me to have Windows available. And, the VirtualBox program is great! When I don’t need Windows, I don’t need to load it up so it does not hog resources.

Here is a real screen shot of what the display actually looks like (no scrolling) and includes a shot of the Online Bible running in Windows as a virtual machine (read, just another window) on the Linux desktop:

General review

I have been using the system for several days and I am COMPLETELY satisfied! My laptop feels like it is running at TWICE the speed of the old XP days. Graphics seem to be much sharper & higher resolution and it has not crashed even once in the week or so that I have been testing it out.

One of the FANTASTIC things about Linux (& Ubuntu) is that the operating system & practically all of the software (including a full-fledged MS Office replacement) are all available from the Internet – for FREE DOWNLOAD. It is not even shareware – no nag screens and no begging you to send cash. It is all “Open Source” software so there are thousands of individuals (all over the world) who work together to develop, maintain & expand the software. And, since there is no single company (or individual) who writes the program, there are no “backdoors” that can be exploited by the owner, some virus writer or others with evil intentions.

Windows is NOT secure!

I have discovered software that can be installed on one of the cheap USB “thumb drives” which will enable one to boot up and see any “secure” data loaded on a Windows based computer. There is even software that will discover the users’ password, although it is not necessary for the hacker to have your password in order to see, copy, revise or delete the “secure” files on a Windows system. But I have not seen a similar program that would enable a hacker to get into a Linux system.

Total conversion is difficult

This conversion is not for the faint of heart. It requires a lot of time, a lot of patience, and a reasonable amount of computer savvy. The result is worth the effort – at least for me. If there is any interest from our readers here, leave a comment and I will try to provide some more complete instruction on the process.

My main reason for writing this article was to EXPLAIN MY ABSENCE from the site over the past week or so. I will try to get back into publishing ministry resources as soon as I can.

8/30/09: See the update to my Ubuntu experience here.

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About Ray

Ray Waldo is a retired pastor with a passion for sharing knowledge, understanding and (if possible), wisdom with everyone he meets. Prior to his retirement, Ray served as a local pastor and teacher to five different churches in two states. He also served as a short-term missionary, teacher, and crusade speaker to groups in Mexico, Kenya, Uganda & the Democratic Republic of Congo (while Congo was still in conflict). Ray is also a widely recognized teacher, writer and public speaker. He was the top-billed speaker to groups of over 10,000 people when he visited Africa. He is currently writing two books (online) that he expects to be published within the next two years.

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  1. Pingback: Ubuntu Linux | Bishop of Technology

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