Time For a New Computer? With Linux Maybe You Don't Need It.

According to this article on wikipedia.org, "As of the end of August 2010, Windows XP is the most widely used operating system in the world with a 53.1% market share".

Now that's a lot of computers! And as a technology expert, I know my way around computers, and I also know Windows XP. And something else I really know, is how SLOW any Windows computer gets over time. It's like this disease sets into the Windows(often in a matter of just months) that just sucks the life out of it. This is a very nasty, and terribly debilitating disease. It can slow your progress to a stand-still, and it can add excruciating pain to your digital life. Logging in takes forever, programs are slow to start, the task-bar and startup process become riddled with junk, and your system becomes a real dog.

While often this terrible performance is just the rot that Windows suffers over time, in a significant number of cases - the slowness can be caused by other means - like malicious activity. Consider this for a moment... How would you like to find out that your computer has been a spam-spewing email server, controlled by evildoers from the other side of the planet? Sound good? Your Windows computer could be, right at this moment, being controlled remotely as part of a botnet of hundreds, or perhaps thousands of other zombie computers that are used by the world's best crackers to attack other computers all around the world? Or, perhaps the malicious software installed on your machine right now, is recording your every keystroke, passwords, private messages, everything - with a keylogger. Sound nice? Sound like something you bought your computer to be used for? Not to me it doesn't. Not no but HELL NO! I'm not trying fear monger here, really, I'm not. But this nightmare can be true, particularly and statistically and especially if you are using Windows as your operating system.

Now you could go to your nearby computer store, and purchase some type of system utility or anti-malware software to try to fend off the bad guys. But as a computer professional of more than a decade, I don't recommend it. In fact, I believe this software is a wast of your hard-earned money. Especially with the advent of zero-day viruses and rootkits. There is a better way... and guess what? It's FREE!

Ever noticed how windows takes so long to boot up, and so long to login? With GNU/Linux, you will not have that problem anymore. The latest Ubuntu GNU/Linux is built to boot up very fast, and to get you up and running ASAP.

Most people who experience this end up thinking, "well, I guess it's time to buy a new computer". But this can be expensive. And I bet that even if you buy a new computer, it will come preloaded with a bunch of crapware that will slow down your computer, similar to what your last computer started off with.

I'm here to tell you, there's a better way. There's a better way to make your OLD computer faster, to run your computer without having the malware infections and remote hackers controlling it, to get back the speed that you once enjoyed, and to take ownership of your computer back. The better way is GNU/Linux. GNU/Linux is all around us, from Google.com(and most of the web) to your local school library, from TVs to Cars, from Scientific Research to Hollywood (e.g., Shrek (and many more)).

So hold off on buying that new computer. Give GNU/Linux a try first. Go to ubuntu.com or fedoraproject.org and download the latest "LiveCD". Then, download infrarecorder, a FOSS iso buring program, and burn your new Linux distro to a cd disk. If you'd rather start with a USB thumb drive, checkout unetbootin.

Boot your old computer to the Linux LiveCD of your choice, check to see if everything works, and if it does shut it down and start planning your next steps. First of all, take a good backup of your important data to usb drive, or cd disk, or even upload it to Ubuntuone, Dropbox, or other free online storage. At this point, with Ubuntu - you could even install it inside windows - just pop the disk in after you have logged into windows and run the setup. Otherwise, if you are all set to move forward with your regular GNU/Linux install, see my next blog entry for some considerations and an overall plan.

Are you ready to get a faster computer? With GNU/Linux, you're on your way.

Shannon VanWagner

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