I’ve worked on various flavors of Unix for years, including Linux quite recently in a work production environment. Every year or so, I try the latest “desktop” distribution, and have until this last time, concluded, that it’s just not ready, even for a geek like me.
Just before our vacation, my Dell Windows XP machine almost literally caught on fire. It was hanging regularly, and finally wouldn’t start at all. The CPU power connector was toasted, burned and broke off when I pulled on it.
Panicked, because I had way to much to do to get ready for our trip, I grabbed a machine my neighbor had given me because he could never get it to work, and I installed the latest Fedora distribution.
The install was fast, and neat, and out of the box, did almost everything I needed. I’ve since installed a bunch of other software to fill in the blanks, and I’ve been quite happy with it. An added bonus is that I don’t have to add cygwin, and other crappy unix emulation libraries in order to do development work!
The only things I really miss are Itunes and Photoshop. Managing my iPhone with gtkpod is painful (though it does work, just slow and very finicky), and Gimp simply isn’t as easy to use as Photoshop (I am learning, but there are still lots of things missing.)
My wife has been sharing the same computer, and has had absolutely no problems using it. I believe I can confidently say that Desktop Linux has finally arrived!