Saturday, 02 November, 2002

Pondering a Windows-Free Workstation

At the beginning of September, about the same time I started working with Linux From Scratch, I began wondering if I could become Windows free at home.  Not for any activist purpose, mind you.  I have no great dislike of Microsoft or proprietary software, nor any great love for Linux or open source software.  Since then, I've installed Linux on a test server here, and also on my Celeron 666 machine, and am in the process of learning enough about it so that I can move all of my critical home applications to Linux.  That's right, I'll be writing this web site, answering my mail, and surfing the Web with a Linux box as my primary machine.  I haven't set a time frame, and I'm in no great hurry, but I'm moving that way.

There are several reasons.  After 20 years of MS-DOS and multiple versions of Windows, I'm looking for something new and different.  I've been tinkering with Linux for a few years now, and I've been having fun learning new things.  If MS-DOS and Windows kept me amused for 20 years, I guess Linux can give me something to think about for at least 5.  More importantly, I've been saying for a few years that Linux isn't yet polished enough for everyday use as a desktop system, but I wonder how much of that is just fear of something new.  I can afford to spend a little time experimenting with the system.  I'll either prove myself right, or end up with a more useful desktop computer.  Either way, I can't lose.

As I said, I'm in no big hurry to do this.  As it stands now, I'm still just tinkering with the Linux system, and even after I get my major applications transferred I'll keep the Windows box around for a while.  Perhaps indefinitely.  However it shakes out, it's going to be an interesting ride.  Stay tuned.