I finally ran out of patience with computers in my office. Internet Explorer crashed every time I tried to open GMail. Network speeds are horrific. It takes about five minutes for the machine to start up. There are three or four proprietary “photo loader” programs for the office computers that all trigger on bootup. And with all the virus scanners and whatnot in the background, this P4 is at a crawl.
And the boss is talking about buying new computers, because these are old. I don’t know why it peeves me so much, except that I know he’s responsible for loading the bulk of the crudware.
So, with full malice aforethought, I snagged a copy of the SliTaz ISO (25Mb! ), burned it to a rewriteable, and I boot off of that anytime I need to use the machine. Starts in about 40 seconds, I have Firefox and instantaneous network access, and I get the full speed of this machine, without any of the Windows drivel that slows it down. It’s like a brand new computer.
My next step is to get a mini-CD (the 45Mb versions), and burn the ISO on to that. Then I’ll just leave a copy by the computer, and anyone else who wants to use it can drop it in the drive, reboot and surf with speed.
By the way, SliTaz is very cool. Very minimalistic. Comes with a small but useful array of software — just enough to keep you busy, not quite enough to get you into trouble. It’s a nice alternative to DSL, which I still consider a bit too utilitarian at times, or Puppy, which is way too big for what I need. SliTaz is good for getting me online, and giving me a few utilities to boot. Nice work!
P.S.: I ended up using a full size CD for — of all reasons — hardware issues. The computer sits vertically, and the mini CDs fall over sideways when they’re inside the drive. That caused a small panic yesterday, but I managed to get it out before anyone noticed, before damaging the drive and before scratching up my 100 yen mini CD. So the lesson of the story is: Don’t try to use mini CDs if the drive sits vertically.