choosing the right distro at last it has been found

For a long time now (10 years) I’ve been trying hard to get into Linux and there has always been a major obstacle hit along the way to make me put the OS back on the shelf for another day. Over this last year I have been seriously looking into a few distributions and I am very impressed. Whilst everything is not perfect, I have been very surprised how polished everything is begining to look and if I was Microsoft I would be really starting to look over my shoulder.

For instance I have recently been looking at and switching to applications that are either multi-platform or simply exist in the “cloud”, this means that I will sooner or later not be reliant on one particular OS – and that surely must be a good thing.

The other day I thought I’d try out Linux Mint, having previously used Redhat, SUSE, Slackware, Debian and Ubuntu (favouring the Debian based Linuxs). I am seriously impressed how nice looking and speedy this distribution is and I am really looking forward to getting this set up in my working environment to really put it too this test. I am going to blow my Ubuntu Desktop away and give this one a go.

Once my shiny new desktop is in place, another thing I’d really like to put to the test was something that I came across whilst trawling through the web. If I understand this correctly, it sounds as though it is possible for VirtualBox to boot a native partition. For those of you who dont already know, VirtualBox is Sun’s virtualisation product (think Parallels, VMWare or VirtualPC) and I’ve been using this for a little while now. Now if I understand correctly, this would be fantastic for me, since I’m currently working in a multi-OS environment with Linux as my OS of choice. There are times when I simply need to have access to a Windows PC (to use Visual Studio or SQL Server SSMS) and I currently have a PC virtualised which works quite nicely. However if it is possible for me to simply boot up my native XP partition, that would prevent me duplicating this on virtual disks thereby substantially saving space. I have a feeling this might be possible in the VMWare products (and possibly Parallels) too…