A week without Windows…


Recently a friend of mine who writes for ZDNet went 48 hours on Ubuntu Linux.  Aside from problems that he had in getting his VPN working and drivers, he seemed to have a favorable impression of Linux and Open Source.  One of the biggest arguments was that 48 hours is not long enough to really get a feel for it.

I think 7 days would be a good start—especially for a college student.  So, I plan on attempting it in a couple of weeks.  I have a couple of caveats though… 

One is that my e-mail addresses are almost all based on Windows Live—and Microsoft will not allow third-party clients to access their Live mail accounts (at least not easily).  So, I may have to use Outlook (in Windows) for that.  Otherwise, I will end up with around 500 to 1,000 e-mails at the end of the week.

The second caveat is that I’m a tutor in Visual Basic. So, I may have to fire up the laptop in Windows to look at a VB program (unless Eclipse or NetBeans has a VB integrated development environment that’s compatible with Visual Studio).

The third caveat is that right now, I cannot get into my Kubuntu installation on my laptop (and I have to repair GRUB on my desktop).  This is due to a later kernel upgrade which breaks my laptop.  So, I may have to go back to 9.04 in order to do this.. Unless the latest kernel will work.  This is also one reason why I’m not starting immediately.

***Update of sorts**** I reinstalled Kubuntu last night on the laptop.  Now it’s a matter of getting it to boot up and go.  If I can get it working, then I’ll be ready sooner (maybe).  I’ve also looked into configuring Hotmail as a POP e-mail in Evolution—the only problem being that i have mail in folders on the server (and Microsoft, in their infinite desire to make you use THEIR products, won’t allow the other folders to transfer through POP).

I may even consider using Crossover to utilize my Outlook (and possibly Visual Studio) during the time—if I can get a trial version of it.  Or I may have to run Kubuntu in a VM (unless I can install it using wubi and have it use the existing Kubuntu partitions for it’s location).  If I go the VM/wubi route, then I will limit my Windows to Visual Studio (and maybe Outlook if it’s too much of a hassle to do things through the web).

So I will start this on January 25 and conclude it on February 1.  I’m looking for suggestions on how to overcome the obstacles that I have.  If anyone has any ideas, please comment or e-mail me before January 23 (so I have enough time to implement them).

Have a great day, and stay tuned for more blog posts on this subject. 🙂
Patrick.

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