2017-04-07

In Which Ubuntu Leaves A Good Impression On Me

I am only tech savvy in that I understand very well how to be a user of technology. As for creating or hacking technology, you can count me among the other Luddites.

So, you can imagine my dismay when I powered-up my laptop last weekend only to discover that it wouldn't fully boot. It would go through all of the normal booting protocol, and then when it reached my home screen, it spun and spun, never fully loading all the various applications and services that constitute a home computing experience.

I had experienced this before, but only once. In that previous time, my system became unusably slow in response to the fact that I had deactivated Norton software. It couldn't have been a coincidence, I thought, so I uninstalled the software entirely, rebooted, and voila! My computer was up-and-running again.

This time, I didn't have any Norton utilities to worry about, but I searched my mind for recent experiences that seemed similar. The thought occurred to me that perhaps this problem was being caused by Windows. I'm not entirely sure what made me think so, it just seemed to... click.

Well, the laptop was useless. I couldn't boot up, I couldn't back-up my files, I couldn't do anything other than use it as a coaster. So, after some internet research, I started wondering what might happen if I were to load Ubuntu Linux onto a USB drive and boot up from there. If it worked, and my computer was fully functional, then I had proof-positive that Windows was the culprit. And maybe then I'd at least be able to back up my files from within Ubuntu before buying a new laptop.

Best case scenario: Ubuntu might prove so effective that I ditch Windows entirely.

Long story short: It worked. Ubuntu loaded up flawlessly and I was soon surfing the web to learn how to use the graphical interface to solve all my problems. I quickly learned that the Ubuntu world looks a little different from what I was used to. In order to gain access to my files, I first must "mount" the corresponding hard drive partition onto the Linux file system.

Well, I haven't done that yet. That's what the weekend's for. But isn't it encouraging to know that I can salvage all my old files simply by loading a new operating system onto a flash drive and poking around a while?

These Ubuntu folks may have made a Linux man out of me.