First Light

From Wikipedia:

In astronomy, first light is the first use of a telescope (or, in general, a new instrument) to take an astronomical image after it has been constructed. … The first light image is normally of little scientific interest and is of poor quality, since the various telescope elements are yet to be adjusted for optimum efficiency.

I essentially quit using Microsoft products altogether in 2009. I bought Apple Macs for desktop machines and used Linux under VMWare for all my servers. I’ve been quite happy with that situation for nearly a decade.

I had a Windows 7 PC that I converted to a virtual machine image. I ran that on the Mac under VMWare for a while, then switched to Parallels, then finally converted it to VirtualBox. The only reason I kept it around was to run Quickbooks and TurboTax.

About a year ago I finally managed to wean myself away from Quickbooks and switched to Zoho Books. I used TaxAct online to file taxes.

I was free. No more Windows in my life.

A month ago the display in my trusty iMac died. I could repair it, and I still might someday. Unfortunately, it won’t run OSX beyond El Capitan and therefore it has reached the practical end of life.

I was at a crossroads. Buy a new Mac? Build a machine from parts and install Linux? Hold my nose and wade into Windows 10?

I still haven’t completely decided what OS to run day-to-day. To be sure I wasn’t missing something, I decided to give Microsoft one more trial. I bought a “scratch-and-dent” Windows 10 machine from the Dell Outlet. It was marked down over $300 from retail. I can live with a scratch or dent.

It arrived this morning. I can’t locate the scratch or the dent, it looks and smells like a new PC. It’s missing the clear plastic that you peel off the shiny parts, but I’m not positive they even do that anymore. So far, so good. Based on first impressions, I’d recommend the┬áDell Outlet.

So, here goes nothing. It just booted up. Worst case, I’ll convert the Windows 10 install into a VirtualBox image and reinstall the hardware with Ubuntu 18.04.


Image Credits: TRAPPIST/E. Jehin/ESO