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In a freak accident yesterday, I was testing a website for CSS compatibility in IE7. Such a browser only gets fired up for testing, and I normally don’t spend more than five minutes in it at any given time. In this window of five minutes yesterday, IE7 managed to succumb to a malicious site, catch two trojans, and throw my entire system into an insane battle of AVG Antivirus versus the Virii. AVG put up a good fight, but in the end, I decided it was more secure to just do a quick backup, wipe, scan, and restart.

The twist came when I brought out my restore disks. I thought, “Hmm, I could put XP back on, spend the next day and a half doing system updates and re-installing software, or I could have an adventure.” I chose the latter.

I had a copy of Windows 7 RC1, so I tried that first. However, the computer that I was working with isn’t exactly new, and so it couldn’t find drivers for the video or sound cards, but most killer, no network drivers either. So that option was out in about 3 hours.

Then I decided to get even more adventurous! How about Linux? I downloaded Ubuntu 9.04 (because I had 8.04 but wanted the latest and greatest) and popped it on. So far, that has worked out much better, with instant access to sound and network.

It only took 18 hours to get the computer back to a working state, and so I think that I will make it into a mini-experiment. How could one week be without a Windows machine? I usually have a WinXP Pro desktop and a Mac OS 10.5 laptop. I will keep the laptop, but try to spend the next week without a Windows machine, which I usually use as my base development machine. I’ll give updates as the week progresses. Wish me luck in this strange new world!