After resizing my computer's partitions, I decided to re-install Mandriva 2010 (Adelie), not because Mandriva Linux was giving me any headache, but because I, in my attempt to increase the size of the /home partition, ended up deleting it stupidly.
LINUX UNLEASHES THE POWER OF YOUR COMPUTER--NEVER FORGET THAT!
I started the process at 12PM and finished at 2PM. Two hours to put everything back might seem excessive; however, one must realize that installation time from the Powerpack DVD normally takes less that 25 minutes. It took so long because I am talking about installing + customizing + adding new software.
I customized the desktop and then the work areas to have multiple desktop wallpapers. I then activated the Kwin effects (I love that cube!)
After that, I restored all the documents from the back up DVD.
Finally, I downloaded the programs that I like. Notice I said "I like". Many equivalent programs come bundled with KDE, such as the video/sound players and the image editors. Yet, I feel more comfortable with certain applications. Among the list of add-ons that I wanted on my Mandriva system, I can count:
1. French dictionary for Open Office
2. Templates for Open Office
3. Audacity sound editor
4. Audacious 2 audio player
5. KM player multimedia player
6. Cheese! for webcam
7. Record my desktop for tutorial production
8. Festival for Text-to Speech
11. DeVeDe for DVD production
12. The three security add-ons for Firefox (WOT, Adblock plus, NoScript)
13. The robot for checking my mail in Firefox (Webmail Notifier)
14. Frozen Bubble--a game
15. Supertuxcart--another game ;-)
16. The Zsnes emulator (Famicom games, anyone?)
17. The DOSBox emulator (For playing Heretic and those wonderful DOS games that died with the advent of Windows XP)
18. The Virtual Machine--I catch Linux distros as if they were Pokemons ;-)
This means that, in just a couple hours, I had a system fully equipped to do all the things that I learned to do in Windows in a period of 15 years...back in time, prior to the Windows 95 release.
In April 2009 (when I had to reformat my Windows system due to a virus attack), it took me three days (yes, and that was due to continuous practice & strict organization) to have the system up. Of course, I could not do the whole process in one sitting. Let's compare:
1. Installing Windows XP (my second favorite Win distro--how I miss Windows ME!)
2. Putting in MS Office 2000
3. Loading drivers (tons of the darn things!!) to be able to use the camera, the printer, the sound, etc.
That would take a good 2-4 hours. One would think that the numbers are not that bad for Uncle Billie and his OS. However, the real fun would begin as I had to locate and install the programs to do the sound, video, and picture editing; in sum, all the fun applications that gave sense to my spending so much time in front of the screen.
But that was not the end of the story: since I was concerned with security, I had to install the firewall, the antivirus, the Spybot-Search & Destroy (great application, Windows users!), the cute Zombie monitor, the Hijackthis (for exorcising Internet Explorer),the Malware detector, and ...
And one wonders how on Earth I had to format the HD because of a virus, right?
What's clear is that the process was far from complete: I still had to do the customizing and... The documents, of course! I still had to copy the document backups.
Three days for doing that was a record...Or so I thought. It would take me weeks to restore my Windows system to the state it was before the attack.
So, in retrospective, I think I have an extremely good reason not to switch back to Windows again. Two hours was all it took to have the whole system up and running as it was before... No, you can't beat that, Uncle Billie.