Sunday, September 13, 2009


In response to my previous post Markku said that I make it sound as if Linux were but a constant source of grief for me, and ask to write some balancing thoughts.

In fact it hasn't. There is of course the factor that I, like everybody else, tend to write about problems, and not "my computer has been working so well and I am so happy". But most of all, the source of my problems is not Linux or any other thing in the outside world, but my own tendency to update, upgrade and configure everything to death. Although I must say that in spite of all the grief it gives me, it's quite a lot of fun. That's why I do it all the time.

As for Linux: I wish I could be really persuasive about how it is so much better than everything else. Problem is, I can't. All I can say is that I have been a very satisfied user for the last 15 years, and intend to remain so in the future.

The reason I can't easily praise Linux over everything else is that I don't know that much about anything else. I don't touch Windows every year, and the last time I touched a Mac was before the LCD displays became popular.

All my experiences with Windows so far have been rather unpleasant, and part of it was surely due to inexperience, but some of it was clearly objective - for example, the last time I spent a few days in front of a computer running Windows I asked people who had Windows of their own how to make window focus follow mouse, and they couldn't tell me.

Linux does everything I want it to do, and any grief is rare and far between. It is quite distribution-dependent, too. I tend to like Debian, which is great otherwise (lots and lots of packages and very easy updates) but tends to be a bit behind on hardware drivers. I also tend to run the less-than-stable versions of it, because, you know, new! shiny!

To the people who do not consider tinkering with their system to be a great way to spend an evening I'd currently recommend Ubuntu. I have two different Ubuntus installed on two of my home computers (the regular 9.04 on the desktop in the bedroom, and Easypeasy on the little laptop), and both installed without any problem and work like a charm.

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