Moving to Linux

I just lost this post because I was messing around with my browser and wacked the page. Dammit. Okay, here's a much shorter version of it.

I've moved to Linux on my desktop at work and it's great. I've been preparing for this move for quite a while, but now that it's happened, I'm still pretty amazed at how smoothly its gone. Mostly because I had already moved to mostly open tools for some time now. Everything from FireFox through Cygwin has made my Windows PC into a pseudo-Unix box, so it was just a little extra push to finally move. Here's the apps I'm using now and their Windows Equivalent (I had a nice table before, but I'll just text it out now.):

  • FireFox, Thunderbird, Eclipse, Adobe, MySQL Control Center -> No change
  • -> Gaim
  • WinAmp -> XMMS
  • Word -> AbiWord
  • Acrobat -> Gnome PDF Editor
  • UltraEdit -> Still Looking (BlueFish for now)
  • Macromedia Fireworks -> No Equivalent (Sodipodi in a pinch)

The app I miss the most - and I've written about this before - is UltraEdit. I've been using that app for *so* many years that it's like second nature to me. The column-edit mode (Alt-C) is worth the price of regular updates alone. There's just nothing like it that I can find. I hate Emacs, I don't like JEdit and none of the native text editors come close. Bluefish has a great GUI, so I'm using that for now, but I'd *love* to be able to use something better. UltraEdit is closely followed by Macromedia Fireworks, which is just untouchable when it comes to vector-graphics image editing for the web. Pics, and logos and things like that? Perfect. I've been using both apps for years and I'm really going to miss them.

I think what I'm going to try now is the CrossOver and see how that works to get these apps working on Linux. I'll report back.

Back to Gnome. I've always liked Gnome over KDE and the latest release just confirms that decision. Except for one thing. The decision to default to Spatial Views in the Nautilus file explorer. I'm not sure what crack-head geekoid thought this one up, but they SUCK SUCK SUCK SUCK SUCK. Vineet sent me a link to an article about how Spatial Views work, which was nice, and it explains how to TURN THEM OFF, which is even nicer. What happens is that instead of opening up windws in the same window, and giving you a navigation bar for forward, back and up, Spatial Views subscribe to the One Folder One Window religion. Every click into a folder, up pops a new window. In a different place. Within seconds your desktop is LITTERED with windows. This wouldn't be so bad (maybe) if you could easily create a shortcut to your final destination, but you can't. And what if you just want to drill in to a window without the clutter? "Double-Middle Clicking" is the answer. Oh My God. Two steps forward, Four steps back. It doesn't even work well. You double middle click and a window appears randomly all over the screen (from the last time you moved that window, say back in November), then you go hunt it down and double click it again and then you go hunt the whumpus again. It's as dumb as you can get. But like I said, you can turn it off (thank goodness) and the rest of the GUI is amazing so it's okay.

I have to say, at least the OSS guys are thinking about it though, right? I'll give them credit for trying something new (or actually, since it's a copy of the Mac Finder circa 1988, we'll say old) but it just didn't work this time. Sorry.

Anyways, I'm very happy and will soon be dual booting my notebook into Debian as well. No sign yet of my eBayed Mac. I'm thinking I got scammed as the seller is uninformative and slow. We'll see.


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