This is going to be a long post, so here are the topics covered:
nVidia GeForce Go 7900 GS with Windows Vista
Linux (Xandros, SuSE, Mandriva, Linspire, Freespire, Ubuntu)
I was playing around with trying to install Mac OSX on my Toshiba laptop. I was not successful. I tried 4 different versions. All failed. I eventually corrupted my MBR (master boot record). And yes… I backed up everything before I started. I took the opportunity to install Windows Vista. I thought I found recent nVidia drivers for my Toshiba with a GeForce Go 7900 GS chip set on Toshiba’s web site. Unfortunately the install did not see my chip set as one it could install for.
I suspect I should blame Toshiba. I wrote in the past that nVidia provides updated drivers for the mobile series of video chip sets to the manufacturers, so they can add there own features. Yet Toshiba has not put anthing new on its web site for my laptop since January. Oops! Those drivers give lousy gaming performance. I think Toshiba does care about its customers, or they would put those drivers out there for us to download and use.
Out of desperation I took more recent nVidia drivers on Toshiba’s web site that were listed for a different laptop, but they would not install. So I can not play games on my laptop if I install Vista. That is a shame.
Since I already reformatted my hard drive I took the opportunity to install some flavors of Linux. My goal was to get Linux up and running with my wireless adapter and have the resolution be correct. Once I got that far I would try installing VMware Player for Linux and get a Windows XP virtual machine working.
Well, I tried 6 distros of Linux. All failed. All of them failed on the wireless part, and a couple failed the screen resolution. I tried Xandros OC 3.02, Mandriva Spring 2007, Open SuSE 10.2, Linspire 5.0, Freespire 1.0, Ubuntu 7.04. SuSE wanted me to upgrade to a paid version to work with my wireless adapter. Most of the others just failed. Ubuntu would only go as high as 1280×800 on my 1440×900 screen.
Overall I was disappointed. But the wireless thing is actual understandable. My Windows XP and Windows Vista install disc don’t recognize my wireless adapter. But Toshiba provides drivers for them that I can easy download, burn to disc and install.
I may try this experiment again in the near future after researching what it would take to get wireless drivers for Linux and burning them to CD before I start.
In the mean time the best operating system is still Windows XP. Windows Vista is an eye-candy operating system. I have not seen anything in it that is necessary. I do like its photo handling much better than Windows XP, but other than that and the questionable sidebar gadgets what’s the point. Like I said… eye-candy.
Windows XP runs all the applications I have/need/want at this time. It runs them all well, and it is stable and performs well. What more do you need in an operating system.
However… my next laptop is going to be a Mac!