On Sun, 07 Oct 2007 20:26:15 +0200, Hadron wrote:
> I really would love to know what a lot of you do to your Windows Xp
> installations to have so many issues. Used it for ages with no issues -
> easy to find drivers for, free anti virus and trojan packages available.
> Yeah, I prefer Ubuntu/Debian, but what do you guys do to make Windows XP
> so bad? It's used in over 90% of PC Installations on desktops worldwide
> without all these "issues" that get regaled in here. I think some people
> are telling lies to curry favour.

Actually, no.

Let's compare an installation of Ubuntu, compared to an installation of
Windows XP Professional. Given a piece of hardware, and nothing but the
install media for Ubuntu 7.04 and Windows XP Professional, let's step
through the Ubuntu installation first.

Ubuntu 7.04
1. Insert CD, boot from it, and run the operating system installer.
2. Reboot.
3. A fully functional system with application software and no need for
wasted CPU cycles on things like AV software or malware checkers
is present.
4. Optionally install some firewall utilities if you expose yourself
directly to the 'net and don't have everything disabled.
5. Open Synaptic and select whatever software you want to install,
click "Apply Changes", and be happy with the things you've just
added to your system. Repeat if you forget something or want
something else later.

Microsoft Windows XP Professional

1. Insert CD, boot from it, and run the operating system installer.
2. Reboot.
3. (Depending on circumstances) Reboot.
3a. Install updates. Reboot an indeterminate number of times.
3b. Install drivers. Reboot for each one you install.
4. Install Firefox. Reboot (because you are prompted to do so, and
because some software that is extremely broken will detect a system
that has not rebooted since the last software installation).
5. Install AVG. Reboot.
6. Install Adaware or whatever is used these days for that purpose.
7. Install Microsoft Office or OpenOffice.org. Reboot.[1]
8. If you use the office suite that you didn't install in #7, install
it. Then reboot.[1]
9. Install Pidgin. Reboot.
9a. Install other commercial or free software, rebooting once for each
piece of installed software that uses Windows Installer and asks
you for a reboot.
10. Go to Control Panel->Administrative Tools->Services and disable all
the cruft.
11. Configure Windows Firewall to allow all the applications you just
installed to communicate with the network so that they function
12. Download PuTTY and put it somewhere convenient if you need to do
SSH work.
13. Download/install WinSCP so that you can perform SCP file transfers
(or, download/install SFTPDrive so that you can just mount the
thing as one of the 36 drives you are permitted to use).
14. Download/purchase/install one of those programs that let you
actually theme Windows the way you want (which may or may not
violate the terms of the Microsoft EULA).
15. Install Cygwin to obtain a reasonable operating environment, if
one is desired.
16. Remember to manage the updates to applications on your own, since
there isn't a central place for it to be done for you.
16a.You probably have to update the software you just installed, too!
17. Ensure that your Windows machine is seated behind a NAT so that
it's not exposed to incoming attacks.
18. Install some form of document searching/indexing software, like
Google Desktop, so that you can find all those documents you save
in c:\ because you run as Administrator and like it that way.

I am sure that I am missing a few, and I am quite sure that I am
representing Windows better than it deserves. This is just the stuff
that I can think of off the top of my head.

You certainly can get away with installing Windows XP Professional
without going through 4-18 and installing even more software that may be
specific to your needs by playing hide and seek (and let's not forget
shelling out a day's worth of labor or more for the stuff you get if it's
not free software *and* you're getting it legally), but I wouldn't
recommend it. Windows just isn't very secure---nor useful---without
going through the extra steps required to install things onto it.

-- Mike

[1] I was recently informed that OOo doesn't use the Windows Installer
anymore and no longer prompts for a reboot. However, the last time that
I installed it on Windows XP, it did require one, much like nearly every
other piece of software out there.

Michael B. Trausch http://www.trausch.us/
Pidgin 2.2.0 and plugins for Ubuntu Feisty!
(And Thunderbird, too!) http://www.trausch.us/pidgin