lördag 17 oktober 2009

Migration to Windows 7

If you are interesting in migrating to Windows 7, this article in the Financial Times might be of interest.

On the other hand, you might find it so daunting as to conclude it wasn't worth the effort, and you could decide that it was easier to go out and buy a new computer. However, you probably don't need to waste your time and money at all, let alone throw away a perfectly good computer.

If you are running XP, then your present computer will run the latest versions of Linux without trouble, though it helps to put in extra memory. 2GB is good, 512MB can be a strain especially if you are using it to edit photographs.

What to do? First, save your data - photographs, word-processing documents, etc, also your email addresses. These can go on CDs, DVDs or USB memory sticks. Then download a copy of the live-CD version of a Linux distribution and burn a CD. The various versions of SuSE and Ubuntu are good and you can try all them first without altering your computer. In fact, you need never load them on to your computer if you don't want to.

When you have found one you like, install it. Ideally, you will divide the disk into partitions, with separate partitions for swap (a sort of temporary notepad that the programmes use), "/" (which means root, where all the programmes go), and "/home", which is where your own files go. The root partition should be at least 10GB, preferably 25GB. The advantage of doing this is you can regularly do "clean installations" without having to wipe your valuable data, which, being on the /home partition, is undisturbed by any changes. A good option for desktop and tower systems is to fit an extra disk drive and put the Linux system on that instead. That way, your Windows system remains unchanged and you can continue to use it.

The installation process loads the entire operating system and applications at one go, since they are all included on the disk or downloaded from the internet. Installation disks, activation codes, number keys and all the other troublesome things that go with using proprietary software will then become a thing of the past for you.

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