The Difference Engine: Linux’s Achilles heel

[ Thanks to Marcus Sortijas for this
link. ]

“TO LOSE one hard drive during a busy week may be
regarded as a misfortune; to lose two looks like carelessness. Both
had been churning away, day in day out, for years—one in an
elderly Windows workhorse, the other in an equally old Linux
machine. Having two hard drives fail within days of one another
seemed more than coincidence. Ambient temperatures were higher than
usual that week, which may have hastened their demise. The fact
remains, however, that hard drives tend to die either in infancy or
in grand old age, usually as a result of something mechanical
wearing out or breaking internally. One of the geriatric drives in
question actually gave a few rasping gasps before giving up the
ghost. The other passed away silently in the night. Coincidence or
whatever, it appears their time had simply come.

“A more interesting question, though, concerned not why they had
failed, but how best to get the two computers up and running again.
Above all, your correspondent was keen to see how the installation
of the two respective operating systems would compare—and
which was, when everything was taken into account, the better of
the two. One machine would have Windows XP Pro with its SP3 service
pack re-installed; the other would get the latest Linux Mint 9
distribution instead of the much earlier version of the free
desktop operating system used before.”