Most computer geeks have a few choice shiny items they can’t resist spending a little money on whenever there’s a good buy come a’knocking. Something you don’t really have to think about because it’s not expensive and the thought do you really really need it never springs to mind. But because it’s a bargain, it’s like
Pokemon Lay’s Potato Chips, you can’t eat buy just one. Before you know it you have a boatload of ‘em.
For me, it’s flash drives. Any time there’s a good steal/sale I pull the trigger, even if I don’t have a use for them. Find 4 gig thumb drives for $2.50 including shipping, I snap up a couple. See a 4gb microSD card with tiny USB nub adapter for $9, it’s in my shopping cart no questions asked, right alongside those yummy chewy mini Sweet Tarts and Captain Cruch cereal! I have a couple of flash drives still in their packaging. I just can’t help it, gotta collect them all.
So what’s your low-budget geeky vice?
The old PC vs Mac argument is hysterical and quite pointless. Use what you like. Use what you like better. And if by chance the computer you are using is only used by 5% of the world, good luck with convincing the other 95% of the world that they’re the idiots. The same is true for anyone that points to a person using a different computer and telling them they’re stupid. Dig?
So what computer do you use?
[After getting more complaints after posting this entry entirely in Esperanto as when I did it in LOLCAT speak, I have decided to take pity on everyone and NOT post it completely in binary. So here it is - The Only Way to Dual Boot A Computer Finally in English!]
Any geek worth his NaCl doesn’t stop at using only one operating system on his computer. Whether it be a combination of Windows XP + Windows 7, Vista & XP or a Windows and Linux, dual-booting is the way to go. If you’ve never dual-booted before, it can be more than a little confusing. Especially the techniques of which OS to install first or the specific voodoo/ arcane rituals that you have to do to install a specific OS if you have another one already installed. I forget the exact ratio of salt to chicken blood I need in that particular instance…
There are many different opinions on how to configure a dual-boot system and sadly most of them are misleading and unnecessarily complex. The only way in my book to install 2 different OS’s on one computer is to use 2 hard drives. It’s the hands-down best and easiest way to run a dual-boot system with the least problems. Sure you can run more than one OS on a hard drive but that’s pretty much the stupidest way of doing it; with the most problems and the highest complexity. Something goes wrong with that one hard drive and you have 2 or more OS installations that are screwed up. No way, Jose!
Why not do it the easy way with the least problems? With the price of hard drives these days, using 2 is easy. You don’t have to have 2 large hard drives either. Use a smaller one for the OS you’re going to use the least.
With that “use the same hard drive” craziness kicked to the curb, let’s go through the steps of setting up the best and easiest dual-boot system in record time, OK?
The 10 Best and Easy Steps to Dual Booting A Computer:
1. Hard Drive A has your current OS, or the one you will mainly use.
2. Hard Drive B will have your second OS, the one you will use the least.
3. If you don’t already have an OS, connect the first hard drive to your computer. DO NOT CONNECT the other hard drive. Install your main operating system. Tweak, update and patch your main OS to your liking.
4. When done, remove the hard drive.
5. Install Hard Drive B, which will have the secondary OS and install your second operating system of choice on the drive. Tweak and patch to your heart’s content.
6. Remove Hard Drive B.
7. Install your main OS Hard Drive A to your computer.
8. Install your secondary OS Hard Drive B to your computer.
9. Start your computer. Go to the BIOS screen. Configure the boot sequence to go to Hard Drive A.
10. Boot your computer.
Now when your computer turns on, it will always boot to your main OS by default. If you want to switch to your secondary operating system, all you have to do reboot your computer and hit the proper key to change your boot order in BIOS (F12 or whatever, depends on your system) and tell the computer to boot using Hard Drive B.
It’s that’s simple. It’s that easy. Dual-booting using 2 hard drives assures you that if anything happens to one OS or drive it won’t screw the other one up. You’ll still have a way to boot your computer and do what you need to do while you fix the problem with the other OS/drive. It’s the maximum in flexibility and reliability using a dual-boot configuration.
So how do you dual-boot? Triple? Quadruple? What methods do you use?
If you’ve ever wanted to be MacGyver, let alone kick his wimpy little bum then you need to start hanging out at Hackaday.com.
Hackaday is a great site where actual, real-life people scoff at MacGyver as being a dimwitted, slow wuss. These people can show you how to build your own digital projector on the cheap, show you how to create a remote control submarine (ROV) using PVC and bilge pumps, convert your Mazda Miata into a full electric car or better yet how about turning your kids toy pedal car to a 9 mph powered vehicle using a cordless drill?
Hackaday is another site I visit daily. It is an aggregate site, meaning they link to stories all over the web. Stories about very creative people who do amazingly brilliant hardware or software hacks (that is modifying or making stuff do other stuff). Hackaday summarizes what clever bit someone’s come up with next, showcases it and then sends you over to that person’s site for more details. It’s endlessly entertaining and eye-opening to see how many truly creative people are out there turning something old into something new or making something brilliant from scratch.
Even if you’re not handy a bit you can live vicariously through the people that grace Hackaday’s pages. Go there today and let your eyes fill with wonder all over again! And enjoy the ride!
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