Ubuntu makes me work faster in Windows XP

By Max Limpag
Published on April 10, 2007

My computing life has improved exponentially with Ubuntu that I try to spend as little time as possible in Windows XP in my office PC. My office PC needs to run Windows because the newsroom uses InDesign and Pagemaker to lay out pages.

I now work faster on Windows XP—faster because I want to get work I can only do there over with so that I can use Ubuntu for other tasks. I can’t have them on at the same time on my office desk because 1.) I was allotted only one LAN cable, 2) the Wi-Fi signal doesn’t cover my part of the office, and 3) I have to “reuse” (that’s a mild way of putting it) IP addresses to connect to the network.

I recently switched my blogging workhorse, an MSI s260, to an Ubuntu-only system after months of running Windows XP. I said in my post that I haven’t stopped saying “wow” up until I posted the article two days ago. Let me update you: wow, wow, and wow.

I haven’t been gushing this profusely since I met my wife. Ubuntu is such a wonderful operating system to use. As I write this post on AbiWord running full screen, Coldplay sings at the background while the system checks for updates. On my “browsing” virtual desktop, Firefox is downloading two files with more than ten websites opened in tabs.

Once in a while, I’d get the urge to rotate my desktop cube just for the heck of it and the playing of the song isn’t interrupted nor is the rendering of the four desktops jerky.

Looking at me working on my laptop, you’d think I’m using a Core Duo unit with more than a gigabyte of RAM. No.

Ubuntu seems to do much with less hardware power. When this laptop was still running Windows XP, I tried to limit the number of websites opened in Firefox because I’d notice the system slowing down, especially if I’m writing a blog post while listening to music on Songbird.

Now. I get uninterrupted music while writing a blog post, updating or installing applications, downloading files, and opening a lot of websites all at the same time.

And here’s the perplexing—for an Ubuntu newbie—thing. I’ve read about how software crashes in Linux desktops don’t take the operating system with them. Well, a couple of days ago I got a notification that the system “has reported a crash.” In Windows XP, this would have caused the freezing of the system–you can’t move the mouse, you can’t switch windos–to the point that all you can do is restart the computer or switch it off using its buttons. In the incident several days back, after the crash report I opened the tons of applications I had on and found that I could still open them. I rotated the desktop cube and the rotation was as flawless as ever. I minimized windows and they still burned on their way down. Whatever crashed I do not know (I didn’t check the logs) but this I know: the system didn’t crash with it.

Multi-tasking? I never experienced the multi-tasking I’ve been doing these past few days. Not with Windows XP.

Max Limpag

Max is a journalist and blogger based in Cebu. He has written and edited for such publications as The Freeman, The Independent Post, Today, Sun.Star Cebu, and Cebu Daily News. He is also a mobile app and web developer and co-founded InnoPub Media with his wife Marlen, who is also a journalist.


“When this laptop was still running Windows XP, I tried to limit the number of websites opened in Firefox because I’d notice the system slowing down..”
I think this more likely has to do with firefox not with Windows as an operating system. Firefox is simply not really a fast browser – compared to for instance K-Meleon.
For the rest of the article: Full Ack πŸ™‚

Now I’m itching to get the latest Ubuntu. Version 6.06 has been rock-solid on my machine since last year.

Skinning it to look like OS X, just completes the fun.

Off-topic, incoming college student po ako at nagka-canvass po ako ngayon for a laptop. ano po kayang much better bilhin, iBook or a laptop running on Windows Vista?

Get one that fits your needs and your budget. I personally like Linux (Ubuntu user for the last 3 years, and an on-off Linux user for the last 8 years.). If you like tinkering with your computer, Ubuntu’s for you. If you want something all-ready for use, get a Mac.

You could have several OS in your computer as long as you know what you’re doing. I’m still dual-booting Ubuntu with XP because I use software without opensource alternatives.

When I upgrade to Feisty, I’m considering using running XP virtually instead of dual-booting.

I stumbled upon this post after having the same experience. I’m constantly switching desktops just for fun on a desktop that could never run Aero. I used to think all the pretty bells and whistles on an OS were a waste of time (both mine and the processor’s), but Beryl has shown me that it’s not so.

At work, I have to use both a Mac and a PC, and now all I want to do is have an Ubuntu machine with the two other systems virtualized. I just wish Qemu was as easy to use as Parallels Coherence. The only thing that gets me through the day is Desktop Manager running on the Mac.

I also wish ATI would write decent drivers for Linux. My lappy has a 9100 that won’t work with any OS except XP. Ubuntu comes close, but either I have to sacrifice s-video out or 3d acceleration.

Everytime i’ve tried any version of linux, from OpenSUSE to Gentoo, Fedora to Ubuntu, and even Kbuntu, they have all failed misreabily with my network adapaters, not even using the windows drivers for them works.

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