I’m having a play with BabelDisc. It’s a linux operating system, but unlike most Linux systems it is almost entirely preconfigured and pretty much non-tweakable. This means effectively that it can’t be trashed, crashed or smashed. It also boots from a CD which makes it unalterable in normal use. All the data is kept remotely, over the broadband link, making it secure (at a small cost).
If it works out I may use it on miss’s machine. She had a vanilla XP install last Yule which she uses solely for browsing, word processing and msn’ing, but you know how things get twisted… the odd MSN file, the accepted email trojan, the wrong URL… it’s beginning to look like a contender for a reinstallation. Perhaps I won’t need to now. Later versions may run from hard disk, making it a candidate for a dual boot or even a primary machine.
I’m not a Linux geek. I did install a Ubuntu box with some help from a friend, but I’m DOS all through. One day I might grasp the nettle, but for now a Linux advertised as ‘trouble-free computing (you’ll never need a computer expert)’ sounds quote marvellous. But true?
Burning the ISO image to disc was of course no problem. It booted without trouble (apart from some scambling of the screen during launch) but of course when I got to the log-in I realised I’d left the password on the XP partition! Reboot. The next time I plugged in a USB 2GB memory stick first, in order to run ‘BabelBooster’, a local cache. This caused the whole installation to halt without a prompt. Reboot.
Returning to the log-in, I entered my user name (email address) and password from the email received at that address… Not recognised. Unfortunately that’s where I am now, back on XP. If the user name is not my email address then I haven’t been told what it is and can’t guess. I’ll give them a ring tomorrow.
Not so trouble-free so far. It’s still in beta so I suppose I can’t be too miffed. Funny how the credit card transaction worked first time though…