The Linux Experiment

April 9, 2009

Linux ewww! If thats what you are thinking then you had better avoid this place for the next couple of weeks. From Monday I am going to be using only Linux!

Linux and myself have a love hate relationship (well its a bit one way to be honest). I love the ideas behind Linux, but I also hate those same ideas. Open source software can produce wonderfull pieces of software, such as Firefox the browser I am typing this in, and WordPress the blog software I use. But without proper guidance and someone to say ‘no you need to do it this way’ I feel that open source software is often a load of rubbish. The main areas where I feel that this is true is in the user experience. I shall leave it at that for now, I don’t want to start a massive argument just yet!

So back to Linux. I first used it in 2004. It was a bit wierd then, and I didn’t really have a computer to properly try it out. The only decent machine I had was a laptop, and back in those days Linux support of hardware was somewhat ‘lacking’. Later in the year I pushed the boat out, and built my first desktop PC, and installed Linux on it! I can’t remember what distros I tried, I think possibly Mandrake (now Mandriva) was what I first tried before settling on Gentoo. I had great fun with this, a pretty KDE desktop, full support for all my hardware, and a brilliant programming environment!

It stayed that way as well, I loved it, and used to until the middle of 2006… when I got my Mac. Before this time to me a Mac was like OMG TAHT SUZZORS LOLZ!!!1111, but thanks to one of my friends in college (who is a reader of this site, cheers Tom) who got a Mac, he convinced me to get one. It made sense to get a new machine as I was off to uni later that year, so didn’t really want to lug a desktop around. I settled for the original Macbook, and absolutely loved it! At first it was a bit strange, but everything on a Mac is sooo intuitive, and it just works. It is also based upon BSD, so for programming stuff it is basically the same as Linux. Plus it has the worlds best text editor, TextMate. Mmmmmmmmmm.

I love my Mac, almost as much as I love my cat. But Linux, oooh, I really do miss it! I miss the customizabilty, I miss being able to have as little of as much as I want. I don’t want the same thing as everything else, I want mine to be different, tailoured to me! I have tried to keep up with what has been going on in the Linux world, but I still haven’t coverted back. I have installed various Linux distributions on my new (well two years old) desktop PC, but I still don’t use it all the time. I also want to get back into open source programming, so much of the software I used is open source, I want to give something back!

I believe I have found the right distro, which is Fedora 10. I still like Gentoo, but at the moment I haven’t got enough time to set it up how I like. I used to like Ubuntu, however it seems to have been falling behind in the Linux world. So, the experiment, from Monday 13th April (hmm 13, that can’t be good!) is to use Linux fulltime. I have already installed Fedora 10 on the machine, but I haven’t really set it up how I like, so this weekend that is my challenge. From Monday I’m a Linux boy!