A new lease on life…

On the Linux front, I’m now running Ubuntu about 80% of the time on my main computer. Using software called VirtualBox, I installed a fresh copy of WindowsXP on the system with a 10gb virtual drive. What this allows me to do is deal with DRM issues, like Apple’s iTunes and Netflix Instant, as well as provide somewhere to go should I actually need Windows – without having to dual-boot. Surprisingly enough, from my ‘seat of the pants sensor’ – Windows XP actually runs better in VirtualBox, under Linux – than it does on its own.

The only thing that really freaked me out early on was that I had configured Evolution email, rebooted, and when I logged back in all the settings and emails were gone. After spending a few hours on Friday and Saturday nights configuring XP, as well as the rest of the o/s, I rebooted to find that my wallpaper had reverted to before I even set up VirtualBox, and the hours of work I completed were gone. It turned out that the Silicon Image 8112 soft RAID controller was a little slow on the uptake, and what had happened was that I rebooted on the mirror drive. Very odd considering I’ve always used the same entry in GRUB to boot to the O/S, but I’ll chalk that up to cosmic rays at this point.

I’m still completely blown away by the speed and performance of this system. I built this machine about… 5 years ago, AMD AthlonXP 3200+, 2gb of PC3200 RAM, a pair of 250gb SATA 3.0gbps, and an NVIDIA 6800GT card. I have been considering upgrading to a Macbook Pro, or just another Wintel box. Previous attempts at using Linux as my desktop (of the Fedora variety) didn’t really impress me much. Right now though, this box is running as good as it did 5 years ago… So whatever direction I take next, I’ll likely be running Linux as my primary and getting even more out of it than if I was depending on Windows XP or *blech* Vista.

I’m guessing that next weekend will be when I take everything off the system, backup what I’ve done with Ubuntu thus far, and rebuild the entire machine with Ubuntu.

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