I spent the day trying out two distributions of Linux: OpenSUSE 10 and Ubuntu 5.10. The main reason behind this was sheer boredom and the need for a challenge. I also wanted to learn an OS that I simply do not have much knowledge of outside a few random tries over the years. Plus, if I could ever switch from Windows (realistically), I would in a heartbeat.
I will say it now: Linux is NOT ready for everyday use by me.
I went in with as open of a mind. However, when it takes over 3 hours to get wireless networking working in OpenSUSE and NEVER getting it working in Ubuntu, you know something has horribly gone wrong.
What Linux needs to get me to switch:
- I maybe old fashioned, but both KDE and Gnome seem to be unpolished in many areas. It just didn’t feel right. Buttons being too big, menu’s organized very well in some areas and awful in other areas…it just didn’t feel well thought out.
- Linux wireless networking SUCKS. It is horrible and I wish all of the current ways to supposedly get it working die a horrible/painful death. It may work with an open network or WEP encryption (sometimes), but if you use WPA forget it.
- Fonts suck on Linux too. I installed some truetype ones and they still suck.
- If I was forced to use it for a week, I could probably come up with more reasons.
Now what I liked about Linux?
- It is amazing how fast an OS could be when you don’t have crap like antivirus programs running in the background sucking up memory and CPU. Ubuntu literally feels so fast, I love it.
- I loved it how I could easily add/remove/update every application on the system in meer minutes, from one central program. Windows needs this so bad it hurts. Why Microsoft never made Windows Update an one-stop shop for every Windows program out there is beyond me.
- It was quite interesting using something that I never used before
In the end though, if I can’t get something as simple as wireless working within 1 minute, then it isn’t worth my time. With Windows, when I insert the wireless card the first time, Windows pops up asking for the driver, I point it to the CD, and it installs. Click the little wireless icon in the systme tray, connect to my wireless network with WPA, wham, all set.
Why can’t Linux be that easy?
I can’t wait till Intel Macs come out. I have a sneaky feeling I’ll be first in line. Windows has to go, but right now there is no alternative.