I bought a Dell Inspiron 1520 back in 2007 when my wife and I moved back to Canada. For much of its life it has been a dual boot machine – Windows Vista and whatever the latest version of Ubuntu was. It’s not really an old machine, but it has been around the world. Literally. From here to Kathmandu and many stops in between. Throughout these four years I have paid for virus protection (for Windows). But I don’t use the laptop so much these days, since I’m not on the road now, and because I’ve now got an iMac as my base desktop. And even when I do use the laptop, I tend to use it in Linux. So, with my most recent year’s licence for virus protection (for Windows) running out, and with a new version of my favourite Linux distribution released (Ubuntu 11.10), I finally made the move and turned this laptop into a single boot machine.
That’s no big deal for many Linux users, I’m sure. For me, though, there was always a barrier to such a move. Perhaps if my first Linux machine had not also been a dual-boot machine (with Windows), I might not have developed this psychological dependency on that other operating system. This, despite the fact that I almost never used it. But I knew that I could, if I needed to, right?
It is no surprise to learn that there is a cost to most software decisions. For me the cost of yet another year’s licence for virus protection (for Windows) when it wasn’t really being used was just too much.
And now here I am with a lovely “new” laptop. So far it seems to do everything I’ve always expected my Linux installs to do. (The fact that I can listen to the cricket on Test Match Special whilst typing this post is all the evidence I need.) It has been a long time coming, but I can now finally say that I have a Linux machine. Full stop.