Thursday, November 18, 2004

Lamenting Linux

So, I've been lamenting the sad truth that most of the work that I need to do on computers is in Windows. I have beyond a shadow of a doubt proven to myself that Linux not only makes for a fine desktop system, but is capable of doing everything that Windows can do, and is a zillion times more stable, to boot. My only Linux crashes have been while using beta versions of software, so they are to be expected (and even so have been extremely infrequent - to the tune of, maybe once a month). While it's not beginner-ready, Linux is a fine desktop system in a techie's hands.

I can open all of my Microsoft Office documents in Linux, or surf the web and manage email, even run Windows within Linux to play Ultima Online or poker or run Dreamweaver. It's a stable, suitable replacement.

But here's the thing. My favorite PC pastime - playing Ultima Online - and my primary work function - using Macromedia Dreamweaver - both have to be done in VMWare, and VMWare has a limitation of displaying the pseudo-Windows screen in 800x600 resolution. I *depsise* 800x600. Can't handle it. It frustrates me to work at that resolution.

So I found myself using my XP laptop for gaming and web work. And - well, after gaming and web work, what's left to do online? Surf the web and send email?

My main system has become an overpowered and expensive web box. That seems like such a waste, doesn't it?

Add to that the fact that I don't really like the products, and ended up using Office anyway by preference, and you don't really have too many reasons for me to continue to have Linux as my main system.

The geek in me LOVES Linux, loves tweaking the system, figuring out how things work. The user in me just wants the path of least resistance. Sure, Windows crashes on me, far too often - but most of the time, it works, and it's just - I don't know, easier. Sometimes I don't want to have to think and figure things out just to accomplish a new task on the system. Sometimes I just want it to WORK, and work NOW.

So, since I crashed my Thunderbird email on the Linux box, I'm debating something here. I'm considering taking my main system (with that sweet 250GB hard drive in it), wiping it out, and turning it back into an XP Pro box. (My laptop is only XP Home, which has limited me a bit in web development on the Microsoft side - though I rarely need to code ASP .NET, the occassions do arise). Then, I'll take my spare computer (which is something like a 600MHz or something like that, currently running Win2000) and dual-boot it with Linux. Or maybe dual-boot the main box. I dunno. But either way I have to wipe out my existing Linux install, because XP won't play nice with the already existing LILO boot loader on the MBR of the hard drive if I try to install XP second. I've been wanting to try other Linux distros - maybe this will give me that opportunity.

Or it will cause cobwebs to once again grow all over the part of my brain that knows Linux, which is sad, but maybe I can teach the intro to Linux class in the fall and keep it in my brain.

I'm really quite sad over this. It's like losing an old friend, or something. I feel like I'm betraying the Linux community by even considering this.

As a user though, it's just not practical for me to use Linux 24/7. I guess I'm just a hybrid kind of person.

I'm gonna sleep on this and see what I'm thinking tomorrow...

1 comment:

8a11 said...

You may find that Linux (or better still BSD ;-) works better on your 600 MHz machine than MS Windows does on your faster PC.