Skippy is very kindly sending me an Orinoco wifi card so that I really can play at this Linux thing. That is a very generous gesture from Skippy and I’m looking forward to at the very least firing up IRC when I can connect, but thinking about things, I need to start preparing. My Password manager is Windows only. My personal emails are all POP, my RSS reader is Windows, it’s ALL Windows and while that is blindingly obvious, it means that unless I do actually prepare in some way then I will get frustrated because of my lacking rather than at whichever flavour of Linux I choose to use.
Passwords are easy – I’ll export the lot and stick them in my online wiki (which has 2 layers of pw protection so I’m okay with that), emails …. I suppose I just set it up again and try to remember essential correspondence .. and other programs I’ll just ask when I need them. Old habits.

And as for which flavour, I’m looking over at Distrowatch and will select something from there. A cute logo will assist this process (except for Ubuntu which is just brown) but I can be swayed ….

7 thoughts on “Orinoco

  1. My pleasure!

    If your email providers support it, I greatly prefer IMAP to POP. You can check your mail from any IMAP-capable client, on any platform, from (almost) anywhere. Very convenient.

    Since you’re still just starting with GNU/Linux, I strongly recommend a common distribution, so that you can quickly solicit help. If you’re using “Bob’s Cool Linux” and you run into trouble, you might have a harder time getting (or making use of) help.

    I quite like Ubuntu. Yeah, it’s brown, but you can change the theme. Or just change the desktop background. Another good distribution is OpenSuSE from Novell. I’m impressed with the things that Novell is doing.

  2. Ubuntu is love. I have it on my works laptop, which obviously needs to *work* I Can’t be arsing around taking a week to set some daft software up.
    Yes, it’s brown, but in a kind of soothing way.

    What I did when choosing a disto for it was to stick the model number of the laptop and the word “linux” into google and have a shufty to see if anyone else had tried on my laptop…. Ubuntu came out as a clear favourite for “getting things working on my exact laptop”

    Ubuntu also comes in “Live CD” format, so you can give it a go first. Remember though that the live cds are considerably less responsive than the comparable installed system.

    Best of luck, I’m settling nicely into Linux now, and find Windows a little alien when I do use it!

  3. A friend of mine keeps telling me to switch to Linux, and says that Wine and some other program mean he can run almost any windows stuff.

    However that ‘almost’ is usually excluding a lot of what I use – like PhotoShop CS2. He always says “does it matter?” I say, yes, yes it does.

    Linux is still the domain of programmers, and for that reason it is mostly ugly still. Even the nicest UI on Linux is, while often much prettier, usually less intuative and actually coherant than windows(!)

    Which of course follows the programmer mentality I’ve dealt with that UI is just “the pretty visual stuff”…

    I’m trying to convince him we should start our own UI project, but he’s not too interested. Ah well.

    He does swear by Red Hat and SUSE though…

  4. The argument that Windows presents a better interface is usually simple inertia: people have grown up used to the Windows interface, so it is the standard by which all others are compared. That does not mean that it is superior, or even necessarily well designed.

    A somewhat facetious example: why must you press START when you’re ready to turn off the computer? 😉

    Yes, historically, GNU/Linux has been the domain of hard-core do-it-yourself geeks. This has changed in recent years, and things like the Tango Project and some initiatives from GNOME are making great strides toward a more usable, intuitive interface for GNU/Linux.

    A switch to any new system will necessarily require learning new ways to do old things. Some of those new things may be harder than the way you were used to; but in my experience GNU/Linux makes the overwhelming majority of simple tasks very simple.

  5. Well I know I’ve said it before, but I personally love Ubuntu. I’ve tried other distro’s and none have been so easy to configure, use, or get support for.

    I’ve been running it on my desktop for almost a year now, and am about to install it on my laptop. I wouldn’t use any other distro atm. 🙂

  6. Skippy – I know, and agree, but I still don’t think it competes in terms of UI design. It IS much nicer to look at though.

    I just chose windows as an example. BeOS could have been used, so could have many others. Unix GUI schemes seem more concered with UI looks than UI design. I guess my waffle got in the way of the point.

    That said – yes there have been LOTS of improvements in this area. I’m not concerned about switching interfaces, I’ve done that many times (Mac, PC, Red Hat, command line only.. to name a few) and aside from the initial period, it never bothers me (well, most of the time). It’s just that while Unix/linux/BSD is a mature operating system in terms of code and backend… it’s front end isn’t anywhere near as mature.

    like I said: I’d love to help, but I have no idea where to start!

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