Ah, the Great Experiment begins! I’ve decided to see just how feasible it is for me to switch from being a hardcore Windows with some Linux on the side, to being a hardcore Linux user with some Windows on the side.
What prompted this decision you ask? A number of things. First, I’m learning the lessons of day-to-day use of a new operating system. This makes me think about the ways that I use my computers from a different perspective. I will probably begin appreciating certain little things that I always took for granted even more.
Another reason is that, as with most people these days, I’m not convinced Vista is the worthy successor to the great name of Windows XP. I don’t care who you’re loyal to in the computing world, its hard to argue against XP being one of the most reliable and usable operating systems ever, and definitely Microsoft’s finest work. Vista, even after receiving the service pack treatment, is still a memory hog that is only usable once User Account Control (UAC) is disabled. Ubuntu offers a similar security measure as UAC, but is far less obtusive.
A third reason is that I like going against the grain. Whenever I’m around network administrators, I feel like a developer. Whenever I’m around solely developers, I feel like the network administrator who just happened to learn coding. Now I work for a company that is a Microsoft certified partner, and I feel that I should learn Linux. Apparently it is just in my nature to be contrary to my surroundings. The grain here has gone Microsoft, so now I must go open source!
For anyone interested in doing the same, or offering me any much appreciated advice, I’ll list out what I used in Windows and the counterpart application that I’m using in Ubuntu. This is definitely subject to change.
Microsoft Office -> OpenOffice
Microsoft Outlook -> Thunderbird (this might change to Evolution depending on how much I really like Thunderbird)
Visual Sudio 2008 -> MonoDevelop (for .Net dev) and Netbeans (for Ruby on Rails)
IE/Firefox -> Firefox, of course
Media Player -> Totem
Photoshop -> GIMP
MSN Messenger -> Pidgin
Now most of those were probably obvious. I didn’t list out the rest of the apps I use regularly because most of them are cross-platform. Azureus, for instance, is my choice BitTorrent client regardless of OS.
I should also note that I’m running Wine, the not-quite Windows emulator, to run a few other small windows apps such as WinAmp and WinRAR. So far so good, although things that require the .Net Framework won’t run inside Wine. MindManager being the one I miss most.
I’ll keep posting on this topic as my exerience increases and I hope that someone out there is interested enough to offer suggestions for further downloads!