2006-04-13 0912 Linux: The joy of Linux

The joy of Linux

I picked up a little old laptop from eBay for a bargain price last week. It arrived earlier this week and it’s now all up and running Linux quite merrily. You can read about what I did over on Greywulf::Net. It means I’m no longer tied to the desktop in the corner, and once again I’ve a portable supercomputer.

The laptop itself isn’t particularly super – P-233, 32Mb, no cdrom drive – but Linux makes it special. Switching from Windows (98/ME/NT/XP/RSVP/whatever) to Linux is like moving from a bicycle to a rocket car. Yes, there’s more controls and much more to learn, but you’re also going a heck of a lot faster.

Linux just is more productive, period.

Windows was designed by people who want to make money. That’s it’s motivation, and there’s nothing inherently wrong with that. But Linux – in fact, UNIX as a whole, was largely designed by people who want to work better. It’s productivity tools created by people who care rather than people who don’t. It’s a big difference.

Some people argue that Linux is too hard to learn, but that’s nonsense. The thing is; if you use Windows-based programs, you stop learning. It’s anaesthetic for the brain.

Here’s an example. Take someone who’s used MS Word for 6 months and someone who’s used vim (my text editor of choice) for 6 months. The Word user will still only know a fraction of what Word is capable of, and will only be fractionally more efficient than someone who was sat in front of Word an hour ago. The vim user will have learnt enough vim to blaze through any task; they’ll know most of the common vim tricks, and a handful of their own. Give them both a 20 page document to write, and the vim user will have completed it while the Word user is still choosing the ‘right’ font. The vim user could have it formatted and ready as a pdf (or html, or whatever) too, if that was needed.

Linux rekindles your mind.

And that’s pretty super.

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