My operating system of choice: Ubuntu

During the wee hours of yesterday archie wrote a post which got me thinking about a topic I’ve been meaning to write for so long. Truth be told I’ve written about half a dozen drafts about this topic, but never been able to finish it. I think it’s about time I did something about this.

I use Ubuntu. Why? I got tired with small… shall we say “peculiarities”… about Windows.

With the help of fireworx (who made me put my money where my mouth was), mra (who more or less became my mentor) and some unknown second- or third-year student (who had placed Ubuntu cds in our square at ITU) I tried out Ubuntu.

As with most things there was a learning curve, but I was willing to give it a shot, despite my WLAN card being manufactured by Broadcom, and the entire application repository was a mess when it came to what sound architecture apps were using. Mind you, this was in the day of Breezy Badger. Ubuntu was not as… “polished” as it is today.

But as the “attraction of the new” slowly faded with time, it was replaced with the realization of all the small things which are cool about GNU/Linux, which Windows lack.

I mean, installing applications and upgrades without having to reboot (with the exception of new kernels and stuff) is cool. Having more than one (virtual) workspace, once you get used to it, can be awesome. But it is the small things, things like being able to grab and drag a window no matter where in the window the mouse cursor is, just by pressing the alt-key while you do it, or likewise, resizing a window without having to zero in on one of the borders of the window.

Not needing to scour the net for drivers and installers, just doing a search in the repositories, very appreciated. And when the Gnome team, or if it was the Ubuntu team, decided to “dumb down” Gnome, taking away options, it was nice to be able to switch window manager, to something else, something like wmii.

I left Windows out of frustration, Ubuntu happened to be there, and I stayed… well mostly because it felt like I’d found my way “home”. I suppose I shouldn’t stop here, I should continue trying new distributions and I have been thinking a while about archlinux, but at the same time, Ubuntu works, I am a happier more productive person with it.

It will have to wait until either a.) Ubuntu makes me disappointed, or b.) I have enough free time to experiment with other distros.

So to summarize, I left Windows out of frustration, I ended up with Ubuntu, although this was more of a fluke. It wasn’t an informed choice, as I didn’t initially know anything about Ubuntu, but it worked out great. But during the last four years, Ubuntu has become my choice, as I’ve chosen not to return to Windows, or to seek out other distributions.

“You make your choices and you live with them and in the end you are those choices.”

Kendra Shaw — Battlestar Galactica: Razor

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