The New Year Linux Resolution: Day 7: The Stunning Conclusion!
The plan: Ring in the new year by switching over to Linux for a week, documenting each day of the transition.
Day 7, Final impressions and a stunning conclusion!
This last linuxy week (well, 9 days actually, because of my laziness) has been quite the adventure. We’ve laughed and cried, felt happiness and despair, vomited and vandalized, and most importantly of all, we’ve… loved.
Linux and I have gone through a lot together, and I dare say we might each have grown just a little bit. We’ve both learned from our mistakes, learned from each other, and, in a touching twist, we learned to forgive. If only Morgan Freeman were here to narrate today there wouldn’t be a dry eye in the house. (Goddammit Morgan, why do you demand such an exorbitant fee for appearances? And why does your rider require that so many rare Australasian mammals be in your trailer? You know I’m allergic!)
It’s sad to see it all come to an end, but it must be done; kind of like finally putting your favourite blanky in the garbage before your first day of University. (Oh how I miss you Mr. Doctor Snugglesworth! Obtaining a higher education was definitely not worth losing you!) So for my last day I’m going to look back on all the times we’ve had and give my final impressions on what I liked, what I disliked, and what I learned.
Unfortunately I didn’t have the resources to make a wicked-awesome montage, so I’ll just have to make do by summarizing. And what better way to summarize than with a summary! So join me for my final impressions and a stunning conclusion!
What I don’t like:
- The confusing amount of different names for things: KDE, Compiz, Compiz Fusion, Wubi, Gnome, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, tomato, tomato, tomato, tomato, potato. It’s good to give features catchy names, but for the beginner it’s a bit overwhelming reading about all these different features and add-ons when you have no idea what’s going on. It’s a minor quibble, and each of these things does deserve its own name, but making it a bit more explicit what each of those things is would help newcomers feel a little bit less lost.
- Open Office’s spellcheck: It doesn’t work! I thought this problem was unique to my Windows installation of Open Office, but apparently it’s ubiquitous. It’s not Linux’s fault obviously, but it’s still strange; how has nobody noticed and done something about it? “Hey Doug, I got the spellcheck finished! Huh? Does it work? Well, no. But it’s done!” Or if it’s some sort of option you have to fiddle with, why isn’t it on by default?
- The wallpaper: I can’t seem to change the wallpaper of different desktops individually; If I change the desktop background it applies to every one. Maybe it’s just that I have almost no short-term memory, but I think I could better differentiate between different desktops that I was shifting between if I could give each one its own wallpaper. Plus then I could make one desktop say “You” and the second desktop say “Suck” so if anyone used my computer and switched between desktops they’d realize that they suck. Oh man, that would show them!
- The hardware issues: The first computer I used Linux with didn’t seem to want to cooperate at all, and I couldn’t use the wireless adapter or the graphics accelerator. Even the computer that did cooperate with Linux seemed to have some weird issues with various desktop effects; the computer kept telling me to tell Desktop Effects that it wouldn’t talk to Desktop Effects, and at one point Desktop Effects even drew a line down the middle of my apartment and threatened to “delegitate” the computer if it ever crossed it. Of course I imagine this is one of the hardest things for the developers to account for, given the myriad of different hardware configurations out there. I look forward to seeing the developers broaden Linux’s hardware support.
- Getting stabbed in the face with a number 2 pencil.
- Getting stabbed in the face with a number 3 pencil.
- You know what?: Getting stabbed in the face in general is something I don’t like. Just pretend that for every object that exists there is a line that says, “Getting stabbed in the face with a X,” where X is any physical object at all.
What I like:
- The speed: This is something I haven’t really mentioned before, but Linux is fast. I didn’t even notice until I went back and used my stupid Windows PC, which apparently confers to an international committee that must perform an arduous deliberation about whether to open Firefox every time I click the icon. Every operating system should run this fast.
- The comprehensive antivirus software: Which doesn’t exist because Linux doesn’t need it! Half the reason my Windows PC is so slow is because my antivirus software performs an unwarranted anal cavity search on every program I even think about running. It defeats the purpose of even having antivirus software, since it makes my computer run just as slow as if it were bogged down with all the junk it protects me from. With Linux there are no worries about that sort of thing, and it brings quite a peace of mind.
- The fire-writing desktop effect: How did I not notice this earlier? There is nothing more potent than the ability to write on your desktop in pure fire. Although I kind of half expect my computer to start sending me creepy messages about unsolved murders if I leave this effect on.
- The cost: Nothing! It’s, like, totally free! Like, free as hell, man. Its free-ness is akin to the freedom of not wearing pants when you’re home alone. If it were any free-er it would probably give you money.
- The clock: It lets you show you the calendar date, and even the weather! I could never understand why XP and the Mac OS never let you show the calendar date next to the time. It’s a little thing, but it’s those sorts of little details that make an operating system that much nicer. I mean, I don’t have to double click on the calendar hanging on my wall to check the date, do I Microsoft? Get with the times! (Pun totally intended, even though it’s really not very good.)
- File name-changes: When you change a file’s name Ubuntu doesn’t highlight the file’s extension. This is another detail that just shows the developers’ attention to usability. Give me one reason why I’d want to change the extension of a file every time I changed it’s name, XP. What’s that? That’s right, you can’t give me any reasons. Now go to your room!
- The pre-loaded software: Every operating system ought to come with basic office tools and programs. It just makes sense.
- The Add/Remove Programs application: Another feature that just makes sense. Hey other operating systems, why not include the option to quickly and easily obtain useful applications? Are you trying to hide something from us? Now go to your room!
- The soft purr of Sir Alphonso, my incredibly fat cat: As it eats three-day-old cheetos off my floor. Aw, you probabwy have diabwetes. Yes you do! Yes you do!
What I learned:
- Don’t install Linux straight from the Live disc onto an external hard drive? Um, that’s pretty much it. What can I say? I’m a crappy student. G for effort though!
In the end, it looks like I’ve found a third operating system to use. I definitely am not going to stop using Windows or my Mac, because both serve important purposes, and because I am open to poly-amorous relationships.
But Linux is perfect for doing simple things like web browsing, text-editing, and so on, due to its speed, simplicity and dependability, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I end up doing those things more with Linux than I do Windows. Of course, many things still require Windows, and I imagine that it is going to stay that way for quite some time. Nonetheless, I look forward to seeing how Linux improves its compatibility with all the hardware and software that is out there.
So for now I’m just going to sit back and use Linux for every day stuff, like a normal person. During this week I’ve had to cram a lot of Linux use in, all while writing stirring, compelling and dramatic posts about it, and it hasn’t left me with the leisure to casually explore a lot of Linux’s possibilities like a person typically would while using a computer. I had to avoid quite a few options for the sake of getting a story done, and sometimes didn’t get as in depth with some applications and features as I could have if I was just sitting around in my underwear with nothing to do.
So while my week with Linux is over, I plan on staying intimate with Linux, getting a new, more casual perspective on it, and some time in the future revisiting this series with some new impressions (most likely with a weekly feature.). So stay tuned for that! And of course in the mean time I’ll still be writing about other non-Linux stuff. (But I’ll be thinking about you the whole time Linux.)
And with that concludes the chronicles of my adventure-filled week with Linux!
Wait, there was supposed to be a stunning conclusion, wasn’t there? Um, so at the end I have to travel back in time to save Linux, but then it turns out that Linux in the past is actually just me when I was young, and Young Linux Me is forced to kill Old Me, and so it’s this crazy twist but it totally ties everything together so it all makes sense and some really sad violin music plays.