Dual Booting on the Prairie

For quite a while I’ve been interested in Linux as an alternative to Windows. But, like many people, I’m not quite ready to make a blind leap to another OS just yet. For one thing, the Linux world is considerably different than Windows and the the learning curve is steep in some areas. I needed to start out with some training wheels.

On Monday Jan and I were out doing errands and I wanted to go to a local used computer and e-waste recycling place called Midwest Computer Brokers (MCBIA). I found they had some great deals on relatively new PC’s. I ended up buying this little gem for a song.


I got home and checked it out to make sure it was working okay. Then I booted with an Ubuntu live CD to make sure the hardware was compatible (which it was).

Today, I installed software. First I put Windows on it, then I installed Ubuntu on the hard drive. In less than 3 hours I had a working dual boot system. In fact Ubuntu installed easier than Windows. With Windows I had to go searching for additional drivers while Linux had everything needed already in the installer.

So now I’m off on the big adventure. I’ll recommend Ubuntu to anyone who has an old PC and wants to play with Linux. Download Ubuntu or order one of their free CD’s (free shipping too).

6 comments on “Dual Booting on the Prairie

  1. Glad it is working…and I’m glad you had something to do while I was gone today. Now you will have to take some time and show me what Linux looks like….how about tomorrow for a date?

  2. Let us know how things are going! I know that a lot of people talk about the learning curve, forgetting that there is one for Windows as well (granted, that one might have already been overcome). I’ve heard good things about Ubuntu, and it is always nicer when the install goes well – if there are problems there, it is hard to have a good feeling about the rest of it.

  3. Thanks Jeannette – I’m making progress. Got my video card issues solved and half of the network problems solved. One convenient thing is that I can back up and restart any time I want.

    Ubuntu seems to be very easy to install but I need to tweak it beyond what the “standard” install gives me. But even that is good. Makes me learn new stuff. Always good for old geeks like me.

  4. Are you planning on updating to Hardy Heron (Ubuntu 8.04) when it comes out? I’ve now got Ubuntu on an old PIII Dell as the only OS and on a Toshiba laptop dual booted with XP. The 7.10 update on the laptop was a real pain. Many things didn’t work and I had to scour the Ubuntu help sites to find the patches. The old Dell worked fine. It’s been interesting. As you say, it’s good for old geeks to try this stuff.

  5. I’ll probably upgrade but not immediately after the new version comes out. I also had trouble with 7.10 on my dual-boot system but finally figured stuff out. Right now I’m trying to understand how to use Wine and having a bit of hair-pulling there.