It’s just data

Gutsy on Dual Boot

In round numbers, it took me an hour to download Ubuntu 7.10 via BitTorrent.  About 15 minutes to burn a CD.  Another 15 minutes to install.

And another 20 hours to give back the bits to BitTorrent, twice over.

I’m not sure why it took me so long to realize this, but the four year old Win XP desktop that I infrequently use to test how things look on IE or to run an occasional $JOB required tool is mostly just taking up desktop space.  Sure I use it as additional screen real estate, but it could do more.

So I plopped a second 40 gig hard drive into that machine and installed Gutsy there.  My plans are to replicate my laptop configuration there, and when I’m happy with it, I will wipe my laptop and install Gutsy and rsync my home directory back.  Then I will wipe my desktop and repeat the process with my server.  Then everything will be running Ruby 1.8.6 and Python 2.5.1, and whenever I want to experiment with something new, or reproduce something from a clean install, I will be ready to do so.  I will also be able to participate in betas of 08.04 when it comes.

I know some people like Virtual Machines for these kind of things.  With machines as cheap as they are these days, I kinda prefer the real thing.