mack - 5:04 pm on Mar 14, 2010 (gmt 0)
This will be the final day of my week without Windows experiment, but I certainly won't be going back to Windows 100%. Tomorrow I will set up my computer to duel boot between Windows and Linux.
This past week has shown me that Linux has evolved a lot since my last attempts at using it as a desktop environment. To be honest I actually prefer using Kubuntu over Windows just now.
Why do I prefer Linux over Windows?
1)Total freedom to do what I want with the software. I can install it here, on my laptop, on a spare unused PC and not need to even think about licensing or EULA's.
2)Boot up time. From pressing the power button to having a usable system is under 30 seconds, (including time spent typing in a password).
3)Less system intensive. On my laptop the battery life is noticeably extended by running Linux as opposed to Windows
4)Customization. I feel that Gnome and KDE both lend themselves to customization levels far beyond that of Windows.
From a developer point of view I like working on Linux. Having your development environment set up and working well, and having your chosen tools on hand can be very productive. The same could be said about a Windows system. It all comes down to choice.
If you develop mainly for the Windows platform, for example if you use .net technologies them migrating to Linux certainly isn't in your interests. On the other hand if you code mainly for Linux them in my opinion it makes sense to develop on a machine that supports those technologies natively.
The biggest downside, and I don't think this matter will ever be addresses is software. If you are used to using something on Windows, there will probably not be a version for Linux. There are very good alternatives, but this involves having to re-learn and teach yourself new ways to achieve the same things Most of the large open source projects such as Open Office, The Gimp and Firefox are readily available, so for users who already made use of these tools the learning curve will be reduced.
Did I cheat?
Nope, I haven't been anywhere near a Windows PC since I started this experiment. The only thing I have missed has been my games, but in fairness not having access to them has probably increased productivity. In this week I have built a simple CMS with HTML/CSS layout, done a lot of link development for another site and wrote just over 40 pages of content. That combined with Installing Linux, configuring Apache, PHP, MySql and my tools made for quite an interesting week.
For anyone who has not tried Linux I highly recommend it. Even running Linux from a live CD or flash drive will give you a good idea of what Linux is all about. Its no longer a system for professionals, its a usable consumer system. And totally free to use as you wish.
I will write up a summary of the week, within the next few days. All in all its been enjoyable and a lot smoother than I thought it would be. I look forward to spending more time getting used to Linux in the future.