Last week, I turned on my desktop PC… and it didn’t boot.
When you’ve trying to plow through a pile of work, the last thing you want is a blinking dot staring back at you.
I’d drag you through the Seven Stages of PC Grief, but let’s accept I’m a little whiny in the face of computer failure, and just move on.
Turns out my solid state drive (SSD) wouldn’t boot, and it wouldn’t show up when I booted the machine off a flash drive (yes, Linux makes it very easy to flash boot).
Not a happy moment, but hey — I run open source software almost exclusively.
I had a spare SSD on hand; plugging it into the machine took ten minutes (I could have simply booted off the spinning-disk drive, but can’t stomach the performance penalty).
A clean Ubuntu Linux install takes only 15 minutes (a little more if you run all the updates).
Because I run a grand total of one piece of commercial software, I didn’t dig through a pile of CDs to find serial numbers or installation keys or some other hellish way to install software I’ve already paid for.
I just downloaded all my free/open source (FOSS) software via the Ubuntu package manager, which automates the process.
I didn’t even have to restore any backups; all my work data is on Google Drive. As are my font files and default config files.
Bottom line is that I was working again in less than 40 minutes.
I think my wife’s Windows-based laptop — which suffers from a couple years of the dreaded Windoze slowdown, and tries (and often fails) to log into a VPN network — takes longer than that to boot.
(While I’m running victory laps, I’ll spare a cheer for my Markdown text file workflow, which only requires a simple text editor. It really keeps things simple.)
Roaring, unchecked smugness is not always pretty on a writer. But I think I wear it well.
Keep writing (instead of repairing your PC), Tom Chandler.