Windows goes out with a #!

...or a CrunchBang. Yep. I've made the plunge and replaced the outdated and bloated Windows XP on my ancient laptop, a 2003 IBM ThinkPad X31, with CrunchBang 10 Statler, a Linux operating system based on Debian, a very stable and robust OS. So far so good, everything is snappy and streamlined. I timed the boot times from a cold start:

Windows XP: 1min 33 sec
CrunchBang 10 Statler: 32 sec

The choice was clear for me. After downloading the iso and making a LiveCD, all I had to do was run the installer, and there it was. Windows XP gone.

Of course, the only reason I felt comfortable taking this risk was the fact that I have another old laptop, from about 2005 or so, with XP still on it, so if anything went wrong, I would have a failsafe, and still have a laptop to take to college. But as you can see, neither of them stand out as "great paragons of laptop powerhouse performance." :)

Below are a couple of screenshots from my computer. 


  1. You might be surprised about your needs for college. Unless you're doing something *very* Windows-specific (VisualBasic?) there's enough options for software and translations to make living in a Linux environment pretty feasible. I do this in my professional life, being a sea of Linux sanity in a Windows-heavy office, and I exchange files just fine.

    For our home laptop, I set it up as a dual-boot between Windows 7 and Ubuntu. Guess which OS I haven't had to boot into in months (and now am afraid to, due to the countless updates I know it needs.)

  2. Honestly, I think that this computer will work just fine for my needs in college; even though I'm majoring in Mechanical Engineering, all I'll need my own computer for is typing documents and accessing the internet from my dorm room, (which has no wireless internet), since the engineering computer labs on campus are filled with high powered computers that can do all the tasks like CAD and complicated calculations that mine would not have a fighting chance of completing.

    I've tried Ubuntu and this computer is a bit too slow to even run THAT. So I turned to CrunchBang and took a bit of time to steel myself against the shock of losing Windows. But now, I do feel indeed like I'm finally in the eye of the Windows storm. :)

  3. The IT people where I work gave up on any of my company machines long ago. I have most all of mine converted to Linux machines and have no problems with them while the Windoze users cannot say the same. Porting to the expensive software is not difficult and there are many many Linux aps out there that will outperform most all the XP & 7 stuff written. There are a few programs I cannot use with Linux so I run a virtual machine with XP for those.

    Crunch Bang is a nice distro. Xubuntu is good for older machines that may run slow with Ubuntu. Gnome and KDE can slow an older machine.

  4. You will love it. Moving to Linux was one of the smarter things I've done these last ten years. Of course, it helps that I had a family member who'd already made the move and could ease my transition flutters, but just remember, the forums are extremely helpful, and I've never met a Linux user that wasn't happy to help and gracious in doing it.

  5. If you are really interested in speeding up boot time, pick up a solid state hard drive. The latest Windows 7 clocks in at less than 10 seconds. I'd assume any OS would do that or slightly better on such a drive.

    1. Yeah, but it is still Windoze.

      I have installed Linux on Netbooks with SS drives and they fly.