Revoking My Fan Boy Status

  2007-02-21


Its been brought to my attention that since I’ve started using Linux as my primary operating system at work, I’ve become a bit overzealous. I appear to have fallen in with the wrong crowd. 😉

So here’s a list of my gripes with Linux and another list of what I like about Windows. :)

Linux Gripes

  • Flaky Sound – My sound support in different applications was pretty hit or miss until one day I discovered you need to install libesd-alsa0 to use Gnome+ESD+ALSA instead of libesd which seemed to break all non-ESD enabled apps (like games and Iceweasel/Firefox) because libesd locks /dev/dsp which non-ESD enabled apps like to lock as well.
  • Debian Zealotry – I like Debian, but they’re so focused on freedom that users are sometimes forgotten. Take Iceweasel vs. Firefox for example. I don’t agree 100% with Mozilla Corp., but renaming the most recognizable application in the entire system is unacceptable. Not only that but Debian just recently decided to switch profile directories, so I had to go scrabbling through hidden folders to recover my old bookmarks and settings. Besides Firefox there’s also the whole proprietary driver issue. While hate proprietary drivers they are an unfortunate fact of life for now. Whether its video or wi-fi drivers, users just need their devices to work.
  • RTFM – Most every open source project I use has great documentation… somewhere. The problem is I never know where. Is it in the man page? Is it in the /usr/share/doc/package-name/ folder? Is it on a web site? Or is it actually built into the application?

    The documentation could be in any one of those places or perhaps multiple. Or better yet: there are different versions or formats in each location… ugh…

  • There’s no standard for installing 3rd party binaries. Don’t misunderstand me – I love package based systems and package managers. Having to browse the web, download, and install 3rd party apps on Windows feels clumsy now. However, there are times when I’d like to install an application that doesn’t have a Debian package, and I don’t really want to compile it from source. There’s no good solution for this.

What I Like About Windows

  • Windows XP is a stable operating system with excellent device support. If Windows 2000 was still supported by Microsoft, I would feel the same way about it.
  • Nearly everything in Windows can be configured via a GUI application. Its much easier to configure things in Windows by just poking around Control Panel.
  • Tons of documentation. Between Technet, the KnowledgeBase, and MSDN, Microsoft provides mountains of documentation for their huge range of products. It can be hard to search and navigate, but there’s a ton of information to sort through.
  • Sensible folder names. I appreciate /usr/bin over C:\Program Files</span> when typing, but trying to explain what /etc means to new users is so awkward its embarrassing.