So it is with most things that go well in the world, it is inevitable that something will come along to trip people up. In my case, it is the dreaded spyware of the hacker’s world that has invaded. Did I really think things would keep going so well for the rest of 8 months? Actually, I did. But this had to happen.

As I sat down and calmly tried to figure things out while getting increasingly frustrated, I realised how conflicted brands are with other brands. This idea of competition fuels the efficiency of the economy – but it also sets out at such a pace that inconveniences clients.

The vista disc that would have restored my reformatted drive would have worked – if not for the LG-Fujitsu compatibility issue that the disc brought along with it. Desmond’s disc would have helped, should my laptop be an LG model, but it was not, and it meant I now had a reformatted piece of technology that essentially was useless, sitting in front of me.

And in the midst of me being either extraordinarily calm or resigned, I don’t know which, I realised I had brought along the Ubuntu Linux distribution disc that Cam Webb had given to me in July at the end of the biodiversity of borneo couse. He had graciously bought a linux magazine and disc and given it to me “to try”. And fresh from the course while packing for Toronto, I had decided to bring the disc along with me to “play”.

Ironically, the OS I had no intention of shifting to in the near future (perhaps distant future) had now landed itself neatly in my lap, as the way out of this black dark hole that I had dug for myself. And so I overwrote the vista OS, and installed Ubuntu 9.04.

It is pretty marvellous revisting this – I had previously tried this system for a short while, booting it into my com just for “fun” – and remembering what fedora was like. Cam uses fedora. He gave me Ubuntu because it is a Linux beginner’s “distribution”.

The most ironic part of this, is that I now have this fantastic opportunity now to try out plugins and installations I had previously wondered about and not wanted to try because I did not want to screw up my OS.

I used to use windows live writer that allowed me to publish and write my blog posts with extreme ease, so what would I do now? What about skype and itunes, my webcam and other document readers?

Well, after a few hours of toggling around last night, I now have: skype for linux, banshee in place of itunes, nano instead of notepad++, pidgin rather than msn, and a whole host of other programmes that have fulfilled what you, a macs or windows user, use in the other parallel universes of computers. That said, I have not settled the problem of the webcam compatibility, and I need to play around with banshee and gtkpod to make sure I can dock my ipod still.

No worries though. It seems I am fortunate enough to be “tech” enough and taught enough that I am not freaking out with this new OS, and that I can figure out enough commands to run ubuntu sufficiently, at least for the time being until when I have more time to look at things with scrutiny. This, and that the internet has now made numerous forums and help guides accessible and understandable for someone like me.

So yes, this is what has happened in the past 24 hours. Spyware ravaged and opened the way for compatibility war, and after the ground has been seared, razed and cleared, linux has emerged triumphant and proud, waving their banner, shouting: open source programmes rule!


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