paul bennett

Windows to Linux…and back again

Posted on: July 1, 2008

I got brave recently and installed Ubuntu. At first I was pleasantly surprised at how much of my hardware it picked up (the only thing it missed was my modem) and at the improved quality of the whole experience from the days of Red Hat distro’s seven years ago. However, after a few weeks, I decided to use my XP recovery discs and make the switch back. Here’s why:

  1. Media. As a consumer, I expect my machine to run MP3’s, CD’s and DVD’s out of the box. Trawling around Ubuntu forums adding obscure repositories to APT and installing new software to do this was not pleasant. Or expected.
  2. Video Editing. Basically video editing for Linux doesn’t seem to exist (outside of Pixar or Weta Digital that is). yes there is software out there, it just happens to suck horribly. Or not work at all. I realise most people may not do a lot of this, but with the rise of home video going to the web and home DVD it will only become more important.
    I now understand the pull of Mac even more. The power, stability and security of a Unix kernel along with media software which just works right out of the box.
  3. Camera Drivers. Want to pull video from your camera onto your hard drive? Be sure to let me know how you get on ’cause I certainly couldn’t.
  4. Flash. Flash on Linux was really unstable for me. I’d frequently hear my girls yell out: “Dad, the screens gone grey.”. Enter daddy to restart the browser. Again.
  5. Games. I’m not a PC gamer, but my kids have some software they like to play with. See ‘video editing’ – games on Linux are pretty much non-existent. (Don’t even get me started on WINE, my experience with it was terrible.) Given that 98% of games are built for Windows first and Mac (a poor) second, it’s hard to explain to your family how great Linux is when all they want to do is Just Play Their Game Thank You Very Much And They Can’t Because Stupid Linux Won’t Let Them.

I reinstalled Windows and things just worked. I’ve never been happier with my Windows set up. I now appreciate the effort Redmond put into making sure things just get out of your way and work. XP may not be cool, sexy or l33t h4x0r but it’s fine for me.


3 Responses to "Windows to Linux…and back again"

I had a dream of going all linux and open source to make my animations and artwork… but I ended up with a similar experience – I just couldn’t match the performance and flexibility of using the same open source tools on Windows.

It’s a shame… I think I’m more in love with the idea of being totally open source than I am with the reality of it, especially as far as operating systems are concerned.

Sorry to hear it didn’t work out for you. The omnipresent caveat to using Linux is that if the software you need is in Windows, then Linux isn’t an option.

For some people, open source software is an improvement — it was for me. If you ever get the urge to try it again, please feel free to ask questions and I’m sure the community will do what it can to help out. Cheers and good luck. 🙂

[…] – bookmarked by 2 members originally found by shush90 on July 20, 2008 Windows to Linux…and back again – bookmarked by 1 members originally found by ffxspirit on […]

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