Desktop Linux (is back!)

More appropriately, I’m back using Linux on the desktop. (A subject that was written about in many posts, many years ago…)

So today was my first full day using Debian as a desktop OS and it went pretty well. I still prefer Mac OS X for the desktop, but Linux still beats the hell out of Windows. My editor (yes, I am still using jEdit) worked quite well. In fact, it probably works better on Linux than on Mac OS X. Firefox (er, Iceweasel) is my browser of choice, and Gaim is, um, not Adium but it will work. And terminal is tabbed, like iTerm, so that’s good.

I don’t have to worry about audio/video stuff since I’m just doing development (and my iBook is always handy) but I’m guessing I may have to fire up The Gimp at some point…

Luckily, for my main tools (web, email, editor, terminal, etc.) I’ve typically stuck with things that are open-source and cross-platform. Firefox over Safari, jEdit over TextMate, and so on. This has allowed me to be put in front of a Windows machine, a Mac, or even a Linux box, and been able to use familiar tools. It also helps since I typically use 3 or 4 different Macs, so licensing isn’t a big concern.

Don’t get me wrong… If I had a choice, I would have chose to have a machine running OS X. Not because of the eye-candy or the (supposed) sex appeal, but because my productivity would be so much higher. I’m just an OS X user, having used it daily for the last 6 years or so…

I will miss Interarchy for file transfers though! Any recommended clients for Linux?


Back to Debian

My time with Mandrake was short, and I’m now back to Debian on the old beige G3, and this time X11 worked! We’re now looking at KDE!

It’s all so very exciting. All I need now is the time to actually use the damn thing.

I’ve come to learn that the old saying “Linux is only free if you’re time has no value” is not exactly true, but can be somewhat close. I wasted a lot of time download disk images, and burning them, and not having them always work. Some of that is my own fault, as I didn’t always check the md5sum, but I can see the value in purchasing ready-to-run CD‘s that actually work. I can’t imagine doing a Linux install without a working computer sitting nearby with access to the net and all it’s resources. In some cases it took 8 or more hours to download disk images, which is still probably faster that waiting for shipping, but could be longer than going to a store to buy them. (Insert something about BitTorrent here…)

I’m not through with Debian, I still have an old PowerBook with Debian installed, but X11 not working. I’d like to see what can be done there, and I really need to look into running Linux from a CD using a USB thumbdrive as a /home…

Ah, the challenges of Linux never end…


Lynx on deb is OK

I’ve been attempting to load Debian onto an old PowerBook, and success is a ladder with many steps, and by that I mean that I ‘sort of’ got things working. I mean, I can log in, access the net, and all that stuff, I just can’t use a GUI. Yes, no X11 for me yet… So, I browsed the web for almost an hour last night using Lynx, and you know what? It worked pretty well. Most of the sites I read were weblog-type sites, so chances are they adhere to accessbility standards more than your average site, but I had no real problems reading what I wanted to read.

In fact, I probably got more reading done faster since I wasn’t distracted by images, or scroll bars, or browser chrome, or a mouse.

Hmmm, maybe I should think twice before installing X11…