Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Switch to Linux....maybe

I really can't talk long about it, but I'm considering finally switching to Linux. One of the main things that was holding me back was my tethering to iTunes and since that is now finally cut free, I'm free to move. (Of course, Steam is another tether, but honestly, dual booting would not be the end of the world for just games.)

I'm really not sure at this point but the reasons I would want to switch are plentiful. I get more familiar with a *nix environment is a biggie, and the other biggie is that I can escape Windows. Don't get me wrong, for some psychological reason I still can't explain, I still love Windows. But I've been running into quite a few stupid bugs lately. Like at this moment, I can't open Explorer. Every time I try, it gives me some dumb error about permissions. I've had it once before and I tried for hours to fix it and eventually just ended up having to reboot to fix. But that's retarded and annoying. But really I want to switch to Linux mostly because it's new territory. Call me naive, but I feel like I've already got Windows. I feel like switching to Linux would challenge me a little. (The trick is to keep me challenged, but not frustrated.)

Of course, there are the reasons I don't want to switch. The main is Steam, but that really isn't a deal breaker. Another is Autohotkey, specifically FreewareWire programs, but I've come to realize that I need to stop writing AHK programs and focus on "big boy" programming, at least in Python (or XUL, which I'm finding is cool but complicated). AHK is not aimed to create complicated programs and I've really kind of capped out of AHK's usage. (Not to say I've learned everything there is to know about AHK....some of the guys on the forum *coughpolyethenePhiLhoSKANSeanetccough* are crazy good, but I think that as a beginner programmer, it would be more beneficial to me to learn that stuff in C++ or other languages and then come back to AHK.)
ANYWAY, in addition to that, the other reasons I don't want to switch are...well, unclear. First off, there's something I just don't like about Linux, visually. I know that's vague, but I just haven't been able to put my finger on it; I mentioned that my family's computer now runs Ubuntu and every time I use it I don't like something about it. Maybe it's the skin, maybe it's GNOME entirely, but something is just off. (For some reason, it feels really squeezed. I removed the bottom menubar and that seemed to help, but it seems like everything takes up more space on the screen.)
GETTING SIDETRACKED, the other reason I am uneasy in switching is the question of which distro. If you have read any posts other than this one, you'll probably notice that I've been mentally walking through "What is a distro?" and to an extent, I haven't found an answer. I haven't found a desktop distro I want to sink my teeth into yet, mostly because they all seem the same to me.



In any case, I've looked around and the only real things that I still use that are Windows specific are MusicBee (which I will miss...until I see some Banshee!) and ModelSim, which I need for a class this semester. Other than that, all the apps I use are cross-platform or have Linux alternatives I am familiar with. So it really doesn't seem like a big switch...so why is it so hard?

Anyway, rambling...I have like 3 tests this week so I really need to wrap this up. Later!
-Bry

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