Simplify, Simplify…

I started down the PC road with PC-DOS 1.0 — the first version of DOS, distributed by IBM. My mom owned a real IBM PC/XT, and I bought one of the first IBM PC/AT’s (serial number 356).

Over the years, Microsoft has come out with: MS-DOS, Windows 3.1 (I skipped this one), Wndows 3.11, Windows 95, Windows 98 (skipped), Millenium Edition (skipped), Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Vista (skipped).  Windows 7 will be out soon, it’s already in wide-spread beta.  Of course, the required hardware continues to grow exponentially.

I’ve “repurposed” cast-off Windows PC hardware to run Linux, starting with RedHat 5.  Most were HP Vectras dumped by CheckFree Corporation on their annual equipment refresh. The employees and I (I was a consultant) would drag them out of the dumpster and divide the spoils.  I now have a CentOS 5.3 system with 3 TB of storage running on a Dell XPS400.

About a month ago, my primary Windows XP system was freezing every few minutes.  I knew it was time to reinstall Windows and all my applications again.

Since I had to install something, I decided to Install CentOS instead.  I have a tiny Windows XP partition running under vmware because some software isn’t available for Linux, such as Sage Software’s ACT! and its sync software for my Palm phone.  I also have an application to track my time as a pilot for the Civil Air Patrol.

It hasn’t been easy — I still can’t scan on my HP printer from Linux.  And I haven’t found a Linux application that can do a good job editing PDF’s.  But, in all, it’s been a reasonable conversion.

The future?  No more re-installs for me.  Maybe I can eliminate that Windows partition someday…

Author: Stan

I was born in Ohio, and have lived most of my life here. I was into technology from an early age: math, chemistry, physics, electronics, amateur radio, flying, scuba diving. My business is an extension of my techological interests. I love what I do.

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