… As if you needed any more.
I’ll set the scene. A friend of mine purchased a shiny new Sony Vaio laptop. It came pre-installed with Vista as most computers do nowadays. It quickly became a bit of a running joke – his two favourite wording being ‘fucking’ and ‘Vista’.
Now I took it upon myself to tout the advantages of Ubuntu Linux – free software, easy installation, can easily dual boot with Windows.
Or so I thought.
Apparently Vista doesn’t like it when the partition it resides on is split or resized. I discovered this halfway through partitioning the drive using gParted. This, as you can imagine, caused me quite a bit or worry. I had rendered my friend’s computer unusuable (well, it was running the Ubuntu Live CD fine).
After much googling I found that Vista required me to insert the Vista DVD and perform a system repair which would put everything back to a nice workable state.
This would be easy if it were not for the fact that my friend has a Sony Vaio. I like Sony, I think they make excellent consumer electronics but the fact that they don’t include system disks when you buy a computer is awful. What you get is a ‘Recovery Partition’ that not only steals 9GB from your hard drive but can only be booted from Vista (What the fuck!?!).
So to fix my friends computer (well, I say fix, I mean return it to it’s previous state. To fix it I would have to continue with the Ubuntu installation) I had to illegally download a copy of Vista just to use the system repair utility.
I am now too scared to continue with the Ubuntu installation for fear of destroying everything on the Windows side. I am sure that this is a devilish ploy by Microsoft to stop people exploring the wonder that is Open Source computing and frankly, it will work.
I know I use a Mac, which is probably the most locked down system you can buy, but at least I made a conscious decision to buy one. Most people don’t know about anything outside of Windows and Microsoft is making it impossible for people to enlighten themselves. I’m not saying Windows doesn’t have it’s uses (such as gaming) but a basic Linux installation would be sufficient for 80% of computer users. We just need to move away from the Windows-centric model where everything on the internet is explained as though you are using Internet Explorer.
Anyway, this is probably a subject for a whole other post…