Desktop Dilemma

I am not a geek, I don’t use Linux as a hobby. I need it my desktop applications as any manager would. I am a power user.

I choose to use Linux because of the stability it promises to offer but every time I realise that Linux desktop is just as (un)stable as MS windows.
For almost 10 months I refused to touch the Linux desktop. After being told that things are much stable now, I picked it up again.. things were better.. but not good enough. Not good enough for Linux.

Why do I keep going back to Linux

I am back to using Yahoo messenger on Linux. It was very nice of Madhu M Kurup (person developing Yahoo client for *Nix) to chat with me and tell me that he will work on the problem I faced and told me a workaround. This is what makes me go back again and again to keep using Linux desktop.

Someone cynically told Tarique yesterday that I basically *don’t* want to shift to Linux and I will never. I would like to tell him how wrong he is, an ostrich like attitude never works there is a problem which has to be sorted out and it can be solved only if it is acknowledged.

I complain. Yes I do. I am a demanding user and Linux desktop has to satisfy users like me to be better than the more popular Windows.

4 thoughts on “Desktop Dilemma”

  1. These views are mine, and only mine. (Just to remind the readers)

    GNU/Linux is not quite there yet, as a Desktop, for several people. It is based on what you want out for your Linux box. I am happy with a console, doing my basic stuff on the box — read/write email/news, and using console clients — browsers (links,lynx), editors (Emacs, vim, jed), Yahoo! Messenger (ari-yahoo), IRC Clients (ircII-EPIC4) and lets me customise them to a far greater degree than Windows will, Ever. I have customised rc files for every of the above. I also get to control, with console ssh clients, my own domain related stuff, including DNS, webserver, mailserver, etc. etc.

    I get to hack on perl/C code when I want, and I get code tweaks, including on my home box, and kernel tweaks/OS tweaks (Debian unstable => Debian testing) and I can do cross-compilations, and run stuff on GNU/Hurd. These suit my basic needs, but I’m sorry, no ma’am, GNU/Linux is not for everyone. I tried getting my Girlfriend to use my really lovely/customised Fvwm2 desktop, and even tried out conventional Gnome/KDE 2.2.1, and she hated them all. She’s just a regular semi-power user (no, she doesn’t do image editing like you — thats all I know about you BTW, that you designed the LB/2001 logo, but she does hack on C++ code, if that counts) and no, she’s happy with IE, and the way the buttons work, and the way the Borland C++ compiler works. She’s aware that NT 4.0 is unstable and dies on her, and she hates that. But she’s “helpless” (in her words).

    I firmly believe that Star Office is not a replacement for MS Office. It just didn’t work out with my father, and all the docs he created with SO 5.1 about an year back were defunct. And suchlike. I think, more than anything else, the first and primary requirement is a functional office suite, and I would suppose thats basically a Linux port of MS Office, which is not likely to happen. Maybe, if crossweaver (crossover?) office went free, …

    Note that no one is desperate (OK, maybe I’m more into BSD-land at this stage) to make numbers and be “the number one desktop” and “the maximum number of people in the world use this!” logos/captions. In that, what I mean is, it makes no difference to anyone’s life/happiness if you or anyone else, including my girlfriend, use or ignore GNU/Linux. HOWEVER the community is well-knit and there are always clueful, nice people around, to help you out — mailing lists, news groups, IRC, and now, blogs, …

    My 2 paisa: If you’re looking for a GNU/Linux Desktop, forget it. Unless you can learn to live with few things. OTOH, IMHO, the experience is worth its weight in gold. All the friends you make at LUGs/conferences, and the knowledge that you gain, by even getting your box to go online.

    Heck, my father can just right configure a windows box to go online, but my debian box, no. PPP? SLIP? CHAP? CHAT? DNS? Nameserver? Gateway? ARGHHHHHHH, that was approximately his reaction … ;/

    And you probably mean GNU/Linux, and not “Linux” — Linux is just the kernel, and you are infact, using more than just the kernel. You seem to be using various GNU tools, from the GNU project, which intended to end up being the GNU OS on some date, and you use a variant of it, piggyback-riding the Linux Kernel, hence, its only appropriate to credit the GNU project with their efforts/work, and call it GNU/Linux.

      1. What part of: “And you probably mean GNU/Linux” do you fail to parse? I was merely suggesting an alternative, and not without a base. Much of the world exposed to GNU/Linux do not know of the existence of the GNU project. Hence, the unasked for suggestion. Doh!

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