Recently, I had a much needed, God-sent laptop fall into my… …well… …lap. The only problem with it is that the OS was fraught with disaster. The little Toshiba Satellite was born with the wrong OS in the first place, a well-known bug in Windows called ‘Vista’. The previous owner had compounded this problem with every conceivable Disney shortcut and Yahoo spam app. Suffice it to say the machine was not working all that well.
It had been a few years since I last did anything in the way of software wrenching. Several years ago, I was known to take the random old pile of refuse desktop and crank it into something usable. I played with Linux a lot, and actually had quite a bit of fun expanding my horizons. That ended because I wound up getting a slightly fresher computer, installed XP on it, and called it a day. I figured I’d eventually wipe it and reinstall rather than meticulously attempt to keep my XP installation pristine. Much to my surprise, I haven’t had any problems with the XP install since then.
Fast forward to now. I had to do something about this notebook. I dusted off my hacker wannabe hat, rolled up my sleeves and dived in. It’s an AMD-based processor, so OSX is out of the question. I just don’t have the cash to shell out for the Windows 7 upgrade right now, but I knew that I didn’t want to rely on Vista alone. I knew that it could be quite the fight to get all the various assundry drivers gathered up to make the machine work well under XP. I’ve used (and enjoyed) Linux in the past, but I also know that getting everything configured to my hardware/software demands can be a pain. So, I figured I’d split the difference and install all three. Well, that didn’t work out so well. I fought long and hard with the Microsoft bootloader. I could get two OS’s playing nicely at the exclusion of the third. I’d already done enough configuring in my installation of XP that I had confirmed my driver fears. So, I thought screw it. I’ll just go with a Vista/Debian dual-boot system.
I had no idea what a hideous monster Vista really is. The recovery disks were on three DVDs. THREE. DVDs. It wouldn’t let me install on any less than a 30 gig partition. When I went to install updates, I got an error message that I shall paraphrase as:
Ohai. U no can haz anymore updateses. LOL! Ur hard drives is FULLLLLLL!!!!!!!1!!! Srsly. Kthxby.
So, I cranked around on my partitioning again, increased the partition to a full 64.4 gigabytes (59.9 as far as Windows knows), reinstalled Debian (had to delete the Linux partition for Vista’s fat butt), and continued with updates. I just got done installing SP2. At this point, the install is sitting close to 40 gigs. In all fairness, that does include Spybot S&D and Firefox. But, I’m not exactly running CAD here.
Seriously, how did the folks at Microsoft think this bloated piece of crap was fit for the market? My installation of it went from a grossly oversized 15 gig install to Tetsuo from Akira in about three sessions of updates in a twenty-four hour period.
Yeah. It was pretty much like that. So, as an illustrious blogger with two readers, surely one or the other of you has a little experience with Seven. Is it big and bloated too, or did they manage to trim it down from Vista? Thanks!
Update: I finally got the wireless working in Vista. What a pile o’ crap OS!