OS Wars on the Home Front

“OS Smackdown: Linux vs. Mac OS X vs. Vista vs. XP”, that’s what the title of an article over at PC World states. It claims that since Windows Vista has been so poorly received, the OS (operating system) wars of days gone by are renewed with more fervour than ever, what with Linux, Mac OSX and diehard Windows XP users defending their choice of OS reminiscent of something akin to the Coke vs. Pepsi or Ford vs. Chevrolet battles.
Well, competition is good for the industry, not to mention the end user, and today computer users have a choice of which OS they want to run, and many even choose to dual-boot (or multi-boot), that is, have two (or more) operating systems installed on one machine. Even Mac users can run Windows now! Even virtual machine software, such as Microsoft’s Virtual PC 2007 is freely available.

Personally, I find operating systems interesting and fun to try out at various times. Over the years I have tried DOS (Disk Operating System), Windows 3.1, OS/2 Warp, Windows 95, 98, Me, 2000, XP and most recently, Vista. I have also tried various distros (builds) of Linux over the years.

Recently, I went through five different operating systems (counting Vista twice, since it ws two different versions): Vista SP1 Business, XP Pro SP3, Ubuntu (‘Hardy Heron’), Mandriva 2008, and finally, Vista SP1 Ultimate.

What prompted all this OS activity was a growing dissatisfaction with my Vista Business installation on my laptop. After applying Service Pack 1 for Vista, my system just seemed slower; not at first, but as time went on. It was slow to boot, slow to establish a wireless connection to my home network, slow to copy files and even slower to open a large directory like Music, for example. So I decided to go back to XP Professional which came preinstalled on my Dell. I used the recovery CD, then applied Service Pack 3 for XP as well as some necessary Dell drivers. Now my speedy laptop was back! I defragmented my Windows partition, installed the programs I regularly used, defragmented again, and all was well with the world again.

To Be Continued…