How to Set Up Your New Windows Computer
A brand-new Windows PC, fully updated and unsullied by crapware, is a wonderful thing. Sadly, very few people ever get to experience it—but you can!
AMD/ATI just released an updated driver, v8.3. And they put out a Linux version, which enabled me (finally!) to use my dual-monitor setup in Ubuntu Linux. And so, today I began an experiment in seeing how long I can go without booting into Windows.
Fair disclosure: I do have Windows XP running in VirtualBox. This works pretty much like running Windows on a Mac using Parallels. I like to have Adobe Acrobat around for editing PDFs, and since Fujitsu does not support Linux and I like their scanner utility, I use Windows XP in VirtualBox for that, as well.
For everything else, I am using Ubuntu Linux and free software. In fact, pretty much my entire business is running on free software right now. Accounting, billing, contact management, e-mail, calendar . . . everything. I do pay for phone service through Skype, although that is a lot cheaper than a regular phone line.
Key software I use:
- Operating system: Ubuntu Linux
- E-mail, calendar, contacts, and tasks: Evolution or Thunderbird with Lightning
- Document editing and billing: OpenOffice.org
- Accounting: GnuCash
- Web browsing: Firefox
- Disk encryption: TrueCrypt
Warning: TrueCrypt is not secure. See this post for details and information on migrating to Bitlocker or FileVault.
So far, so good! There is nothing I need to boot into Windows to use, and my scanner utility is the only thing I use regularly in my virtualized Windows install. And so far, at least, Ubuntu Linux is doing a better job of switching from the laptop to the dual-monitor setup, and going to sleep and waking up, than Windows XP did. I haven’t shut it down in two days!