Tuesday, July 04, 2006

History, or something like it

I started using a computer in school. Back then, the cutting edge PC was a Zenith. I can't even remember who made that line of PCs. We used to boot with a 5.25" disk loaded with DOS, and just used Basic and Logo (arguably the most fun in programming I ever had).

Later on, my family purchased our own unit: a 386-DX Intel machine with:
  • 5.25" disk drive,
  • 3.5" disk drive (which I thought held the "hard disk")
  • 16 Mb RAM
  • 320 Mb hard drive
  • S3 Labs VGA card

I was in heaven. Countless days were spent configuring Windows 3.1 to my (almost) perfect liking. Dune 2, Prince of Persia, Alone in the Dark and The 7th Guest were the games of my youth. (No, I never got to play any of the Leisure Suit Larry games :P )

Later on, upgrades came. First, a 2 Mb SVGA card for SimCity 200. Then the processor conks out. In comes a 486 chip. Wow!

Today, I am the proud user of a 5-year old laptop that has stood the test of time. The Toshiba Satellite has:

  • 800 Mhz processor
  • 128 Mb RAM
  • 20 Gb hard disk
  • USB 2.0 PCMCIA card

Back in 2001, it was cutting-edge. I could do all my tasks for school without any hitches. However, lately I've seemed to dedicate so much time trying to make the thing go faster. Where did the speed go? It went out along with the pre-installed WindowsME. With Windows2000 at the helm, so much processing power is dedicated to running the secure environment that I'm willing to do anything (except shell out money) for more productivity.

Recently, too, I've been in the company of professionals who advocate the use of FOSS (free and open source software) as the way to modernize the Philippines.

Why not bring the two together? In the desire to expand my repertoire of skills and live what I preach, I now submit myself to the powers-that-be. Penguin, my laptop is yours.

With the little reading I've done online, I'll be starting learning Linux with Xubuntu (which I'll probably end up installing due to the minimal requirements). I'll be taking a look at Bayanihan Linux as well.

Anyone willing to come along with me?

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