So. I've been running Linux on my laptop for the last couple years, but a couple weeks ago I bought a copy of Windows XP to replace it. I know, I know. There's nothing you can say that I haven't already said to myself in fits of self-loathing. But I have two good excuses.
Linux runs fine on my laptop, but power management support is just not there. I've never been able to, for example, suspend the laptop while in Linux. Support for CPU throttling and LCD dimming (both important for battery life) are also sketchy. I finally decided I wanted my laptop to behave like a laptop, with useful little features like an on-screen battery meter and power profiles that switch when I unplug the AC adaptor.
Our growing collection of digital photos is becoming a pain to manage in the few questionable open source programs I've found. I've written my own scripts to do a lot of what I want, but I really need a setup that's pleasant for my wife to use as well. Windows offers such programs; Linux does not.
Having heard great things about XP from almost everyone I'd asked, I'd actually been planning to buy XP for a while, but had kept putting it off for fear of Product Activation. That's the feature of XP that says "If you don't contact our servers soon, this product will stop working, mwahahaha." On principle I refuse to give my personal information to companies who don't really need it, and Microsoft is at the head of that list.
Microsoft insists that Product Activation (unlike registration) doesn't require any personal information--it's just a cryptographic handshake thingy--but I'd read somewhere that reactivation (which is necessary when you change your computer's hardware) does require personal information.
After some more digging, it looks like I was mislead, and reactivation appears to be anonymous as well. At least, I think it is. In the end, I decided that, if Microsoft wants to store an integer in a database saying my CD is being used, that's fine with me.
So I bought a copy, and I'm running it. And what's worse: I'm enjoying it.
There. I've said it. I like XP. 'Course, whenever I want to do programming-type things, I find Windows just gets in the way. That's what telnet and ssh are for. But otherwise, it's nice to have an OS that actually supports all the hardware I own.
I feel so dirty.