Should I switch to Linux?

I've been using PC's since I was a kid, and know windows pretty well... I mean I am mostly comfortable with a sort of stripped down version of Windows XP, although I think in my heart I never left windows 95.

I just bought a new laptop (hp core i3) and have had it sitting around for a month because it works like a piece of sh** I can't even get it to run anything, all it does is crash and freeze and not let me run any programs. I want to run the Gimp, make movies, design websites, and maybe do some music editing. Nothing fancy, just functional and clean would be good. I am sick of spending 10 times as much time trying to get my computer to work as I do my actual work. Right now I would be happy if it even let me run a word processer. I feel frustrated and like I just wasted a thousand bucks, which I can't afford.

I can't buy a mac right now, and I'm not happy how they are running their whole iTune's right now anyway so I don't want to join them yet, and I feel like if I had more control over how my computer thought, I might be able to train it to work a bit better.

I'm thinking I should learn install Linux and learn to use it. I'm sick of trying to fight with microsoft all day long to tell them and their robot minions that I don't want to update everything, and protect from everything, and fight crashes all day. Do I have to be a computer genius to use computers productively with out hiring an expert. Might Linux be an answer for me... I'm not stupid, but sometimes I still wish I could still use DOS or even a commodore 64, when all you had to do was know how to ask, and my computer would do what I asked.

I'm a big believer in free culture, free access to information, and openness but I don't want to have to go and do a degree in computer science just to be able to work with my computer. Any help or advice or articles on this subject would be appreciated.
Asked Dec 31, 2010
If all of the programs are crashing there's something unusually wrong, possibly a hardware problem. The way to tell if it's hardware or software is whether the problem willl repeat every time exactly. If you hit the same keys or mouse clicks in the same sequence and it always does the same thing that will be a software/operating system problem 99.99% of the time. Hardware problems are more random.

Are you saying that it doesn't run ANY programs?
Answered Dec 31, 2010
Yeah, the back of the desktop is not loading properly just staying black and my cursor is staying as a waiting symbol. I've only tried running a few progams, without much success.

I am assuming there is a solution, but I am frustrated with the fact that computer's doing this all the time. I suppose I should bring it back to the store and complain about it. It's just the last straw in my never ending frustration with computers never being able to keep up with what I want them to do.

It feels very much like a softwary issue to me... although there could be some sort of hardware basis. I just don't have time to keep up with continually keeping my computer working efficiently and I'm hoping that a paradigm shift in my computer operating system might be a solution.

I've been fixing computer software issues for years, and I'm tired of it. I want to be able to better customize my interface.
One of the best ways to deal with it is to maintain a mirror image system using a program like Symantec Ghost. When you first set the machine up and install all of your software, you make an image of the C Drive on another partition or drive. When the machine screws up you just copy the image back to the C drive and it fixes the problem. I have a number of technically challenged friends and family members that I made them a boot CD. All they have to do is put the CD in, turn the machine off and back on. In about 15 minutes it's back to where it was when set up.
Rob Dec 31, 2010
Hopefully, you have at least a 60-day warranty and this won't be too late. If you're still under warranty, get rid of it if you can.

If not, call tech support if you have it and ask them to help you troubleshoot to see if it's a hardware problem. If it's not a hardware issue and you can't get rid of it, try Linux. Be sure to check to make sure the software you own will run on it. Back everything up, and have all your Microsoft cds handy in case you don't like Linux. I use OpenOffice (free, open source) for word processing, etc. instead of Microsoft Office.

In the future, there's a large selection of refurbished Macs in the $1000 range at You don't have to use iTunes because you have a Mac.

I used to build pcs as a hobby in college. I had to learn to fix/build them because every pc I bought crashed regularly or died completely. I switched to Mac four years ago and LOVE it. I'm a designer (print/web/new media/video/sound) and it works beautifully with many resource-gobbling applications all open at once.

Big love. Good luck.
Answered Feb 18, 2011
Edited Feb 18, 2011
There's no reason we can't get that i3 up and performing as it should unless there is some real bad hardware in that rig.

You CAN use Ghost, but you're better off just putting a stable machine together and doing routine backups. Programs like GParted, Ghost/Backup Exec, and Micro$oft's System Restore are more a crutch than anything else, especially when used as an excuse to neglect doing the backups that any intelligent user does routinely. Rob isn't as smart as he thinks he is and he ain't helpin shit. If you want some real help (i.e. acceptable solutions, good cracked software, live chat walkthru) hit me up whenever. Trust me, if you wish you could go back to DOS, I can help you. ;)
Answered Jan 05, 2011
I didn't suggest neglecting backups or any other preventitive measure however if mirror images are a "crutch," 99 percent of the professionals maintaining critical systems are walking on crutches.
Rob Jan 05, 2011

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