Archive for October 21st, 2007

Fed Up With Windows

Sunday, October 21st, 2007

A few years back, I vowed that I would never use Windows again. For a few years, I managed to accomplish this feat. But about a year ago, I need to have a phone line so that I could be reached. I didn’t want to purchase a cell phone because of the price, and the fact that people always want you to answer the phone if you own a cell phone. I had two choices to set up Astrisk and purchase the needed equipment, or use one of the cheap VoIP alternatives. I decided to try out Skype.

With Skype I was able to get a phone line for next to nothing. I believe it cost $30 or $40 a year to get a incoming Skype number. I ended up purchasing the Linksys CIT200 handset to use with Skype. The main drawback of the CIT200 is that Linksys offers no drivers for the phone for Linux, and I was unable to locate any Linux drivers online. So, I ended up setting up a Window’s box with the sole purpose of answering phone calls.

My experience with Skype and the CIT200 were good. The problem I had was with Windows being unstable. I was never able to get an uptime of over 3 or 4 days before Windows would crash and restart. I’m not sure if the problem is with my hardware or Windows. Some people claim that they are able to keep Windows running for an extended period of time, but this was never the case for me. While this was an annoyance, I was able to put up with it.

The real problem I had was with the registry becoming corrupt. One Friday morning, I woke up and noticed the computer reset and was unable to boot because the registry was corrupt. I fix this problem by restoring the registry, but without having to contact Microsoft because I activated my version of Windows too many times. Then within one week from when I fixed this problem, the registry became corrupt again. At this point I had enough of dealing with Microsoft, I did not want to have to call them again to get my version of Windows activated. So, I did the only sensible thing, I decided to put Linux on this spare computer.

I ended up buying a Logitech headset to use with Skype. So far, it seems to be working fine. I kind of miss having a cordless phone, but it is not worth the hassle of try to keep Windows running. I eventually want to get rid of Skype and buy an IP phone to use with Asterisk. The only problem is I would have to spend sometime becoming familiar with Asterisk before I get rid of Skype.

I ended up trying out PCLinuxOS on my old Windows box. I have heard quite a buzz over this distro, and so far I am pleased with it. I prefer Ubuntu, but PCLinux is a good alternative.