Screw you, Billy Gates

Ok, I know it’s not precisely his fault. But after years of building up a good head of antipathy, I’ve finally lost my rag with Microsoft products.

Mid-way through posting this morning’s Dreaded Press review, the file system on my secondary hard drive collapsed irreparably. I tried accessing the partition from a Ubuntu live CD, but the drive read as being raw and unformatted, so it’s reformatting now.

This could have been much worse. Indeed, it was much worse last time it happened, as I only had one hard drive then – meaning that when it died, the entire machine was DOA and I lost almost all my documents along with the Windows install. To be fair, though, that was caused by we screwing around with settings I should have left well alone.

After that incident, I bought a second HDD, splitting the system so that Wind0ze ran off the c: drive and the My Documents folder lived on the f:. “That way,” I thought, “when Wind0ze dies again my files will be intact and I can rescue them!”

Naturally, it was the (newer) f: drive that went down this morning.

This isn’t a major tragedy, as I take weekly backups every Sunday and have almost all my writing and business data saved to a USB stick; plus the machine still runs, although it’s slow as all hell because it keeps hunting for files that aren’t there any more. It is, however, a major irritation. I now have around 400 CDs worth of music collection to re-rip. Again.

So, it’s time to take the long-threatened plunge. Once I’ve made a list of all the Firefox settings and passwords on this machine, and a list of the programs I have installed (and that I actually use with any regularity), I’m going to completely wipe Wind0ze off of this machine and put Ubuntu on it.

Yup – The Hall Of Mirrors is about to become a 100% open-source household, and f*ck the learning curve. I’m sick of being at the mercy of poor programming and legacy filesystems; I’ll find it easier to accept problems when they’re caused by my own ignorance rather than someone else’s incompetence.

This is a very long way of saying “things may be a little quiet here for a day or two”, though I hope to be up and running pretty swiftly.

3 thoughts on “Screw you, Billy Gates”

  1. You could put your stuff “in the cloud” eg. Google Docs or Amazon S3 then you’re not at the mercy of a harddrive, which can die equally well no matter which OS you’re using.

    Plus, to be pedantic, calling NTFS a legacy filesystem is somewhat misleading. The first release of NTFS was 1993, and the XP version of NTFS (5.1) was 2001. Meanwhile ext3 was released in 2001.

    All which will, I’m sure, not help you feel better in the slightest.

  2. Understood, James – I’m considering using Jungledisk and S3 in future for exactly that reason. But the drive itself seems fine; some software operation just mangled the master file table irreparably. My argument being that I could probably have repaired a mangled ext3 drive and got my files back … and I’ve been threatening to go Linux for about two years now. It’s provided the final push I needed to do it.

  3. Of course what you really need is a Mac 😉

    Weirdly enough, during years of completely trying to knacker windows machines developer style (“I wonder what happens if I delete that registry entry?”), I’ve never had Windows die on me.

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