Wednesday 28 January 2009

I Don’t have Time for Linux…

Okay, so at the moment, there are two main aspects to my technological life. There’s gaming obviously, a core component of the physical makeup of my very being. The other is gadgets. Now this is quite possibly a spinoff from my love of gaming, and the technology behind it.

Every time a new gaming platform is announced, everyone who can call themselves an expert in the field will endeavour to find out the technical specification of the hardware. This is so that they can be awed by how much more powerful it is than their current system, be the focal point of conversation amongst their piers, or wave the facts in front of the guy who just bought the rival machine. But for me, this was never enough…

The problem was, once I had obtained the latest games console, the goal had gone. The wanting appeased. I needed something new to look forward to. Thus started my love of computers, mobile phones, PDAs, and other quirky yet strangely utilitarian gizmos. What this is all getting round to is the purchasing of my new Acer Aspire One netbook.

For me, the Aspire One is the perfect gadget. At the moment, anyway. It is a sublime blend of the power of my XPS desktop, mixed with the portability of my MDA. It is not as bulky or heavy as my other laptops, but it is not as powerful either. But that doesn’t bother me, as it is meant to be a loyal companion that lets me do 90% of the things I enjoy doing at home while out and about. There is only one thing to sully this otherwise awesome achievement in mobile technology.

Linux. Despite all of it’s advances and trying to throw off the shackles of it’s past, having a near 50/50 share of the netbook market, and being tailor-made for the micro laptop, it is still the preserve of the uber-geek.

Now, this had not come as a shock. I had spent a lot of time in shops like Currys and PC World before purchasing said netbook. Enjoying the experience in daily 5 minute intervals. I knew that the one in my price range would have to come with Linux. I really didn’t mind it after trying it out. It was something I thought I could learn, get used to, begin to master… But living with it everyday, that was something totally different. The lack of compatibility, the lack of games, the command line installations, having to take crash courses in GNOME (?!?), having to install 3 programs just in order to see my network, the new file structure, the ease of breaking the OS… and that was only after the first 3 days! After that, it was time to sacrifice a laptop for a Windows installation. Oh, happy days are here again!

I know that it’s free. I know that it’s much, much better than it used to be. I know that in some ways, it’s superior to Windows. But I am not the ultimate geek. Neither do I want to be. I do not want to frequent Linux forums to find information where I feel like I’m being watched by people who haven’t set foot out of their parent’s houses in years. I do not want to be a code monkey. So thanks Linux, but it was never meant to be. It was fun for a while, but you’re just a bit too freaky under the covers for me. Later!

- Galford

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