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Random Linux Article

April 4, 2005 09:36 PM PST

I realized it has been almost a year since stopped actively reading about, blogging about, programming on and playing with Linux. I have booted up Linux a couple of times in the last year, but I have not downloaded any new distros since my Linux ‘flavor’ of the week frenzy in early 2004. So just because I’m feeling nostalgic, I’ll post a link to a random Linux article here. Admittedly this one has a negative slant, but maybe that will stir up some conversation. I’m interested in feeling out the current ‘mood’ regarding Linux. Any thoughts?

Comments (2)
Paul, April 4, 2005 11:02 PM:

Back in the day, nerds would be forced to use Windows at work, and they'd come home to hack on linux in their free time. I'm the opposite, although I use both Mac OS X and Windows at home. I just got tired of all the never ending tweaking that is required to maintain a linux box.

When I actively used linux at home, I used the Red Hat Professional distribution (9.0 was the last one I used) combined with the Ximian desktop. That provided the "slickest" UI, but not the most stable or light-weight. This was okay, but then a couple of things happened:

- Red Hat discontinued their non-enterprise versions
- Ximian was aquired by Suse (no more Red Hat packages)

This means all the years of getting to know the quirks of Red Hat distros is gone. Fedora doesn't seem as well thought out or supported.

Another sore point is the complete lack of a decent music or dvd player. I've tried xtunes (now defunct) and rhythmbox (doesn't work) and I've given up. If you want to do something as simple as "play an mp3", you have to install a freaking media platform like gstreamer or xine. Oh, and the Ximian gstreamer package can't be upgraded to a newer regular gstreamer without breaking god knows what other Ximian bloat.

I recently installed Fedora core 3 (i386) and it came with all that stuff built in. I tried using rhythmbox to play an mp3: "sorry, you have to install a plug-in to get mp3 playback". Something to do with patents or some such. I try to play a .ogg file: rhythmbox locks up hard. This, from a pre-packaged install. Now what? The choice is: spend the entire weekend searching forums and whatnot hoping that someone with the same problem as me actually solved it, or just boot up a proper consumer OS.

The saying, "Linux is only free if your time has no value" is dead accurate.

Maybe if Red Hat got back into the home distro market, I'd change my mind, but I already spend most of my day using linux at work... I just don't need that headache at home too.

Paul, April 4, 2005 11:09 PM:

Oops, I meant that Ximian and Suse were aquired by Novell.

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