Monday, 26 September 2011

Returning to Windows: Part I

This series will run through how I've moved from being a full-time Linux desktop user to using Windows full-time. First up, a little about me.

I've been in the IT industry professionally for about 15 years, but I've always had something to do with computers. I started at around 7 learning BASIC and writing a few programs on my Sony Hit-Bit MSX.

(MSX is a whole other topic for another post, so I won't go into detail here.) 

After that I worked in Technical Support for a UK computer manufacturer before moving into R&D and finally into Linux system administration. During my time in R&D I had a lot to do with Microsoft and Windows in particular, developing PC builds and configurations around Windows from ME to Media Centre. I got to know them very well and didn't like the way either Microsoft, or Windows, worked.

So I changed my home desktop computers to Linux. Mandrake Linux at first as it was extremely user-friendly and attractive. It may look a little dated now, but against Windows 98 it was amazing.

I then moved onto Ubuntu as of Breezy Badger (5.10, released April 2005) and continued to make my protest against the Microsoft wheel corruption racket that I'd experienced when dealing with them.

So fast forward until now. Ubuntu was fantastic at the start, it promised so much, but as of Natty Narwhal (11.04) it's delivered so little. When I first started I always needed a decent video editor for my family videos. KDEnlive, Cinellera and later PiTiVi were video editors which were always halfway there, threatening to become the all-purpose easy editing suite that Windows Movie Maker had become. But 5 years later, it hasn't happened for one reason or another. A few weeks ago I simply couldn't hold out any longer, I installed Windows 7 on my main computer, stopped being a martyr and took the easy life again. My experiences since then have been mixed, but now I'm in the position where I can provide the fairly rare insight of an experienced Linux user discovering the pitfalls of being a newbie Windows user. In all honesty, I know what to expect, it's not that different to where I left it, but I still have a fresh view on most of it.

The next part of this series will be how the installation differed to what I'm used to. How easy is Windows 7 to set up and get ready to use compared to Ubuntu?