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In fact my productivity is up nicely. I have MySQL, apache, perl, and a bunch of other *nix utilities that most of us use daily on my local box. Development has sped way up because I make and test it all locally. I don't consider myself a hotshot cracker either, I got my first computer in 1997, and stated playing with linux 1.5 years ago.
I am no graphic artist, but I get along with GIMP. I have four good graphical browsers to choose from, but I find myself always using Konqueror, it loads up very fast and handles pdf files nicely. There are a ton of audio players for Linux and Realplayer is also available. There are a dozen ICQ clones, and a couple AIM clones. There are a lot of editors, some terminal based and some that are GUI (I use Nedit most of the time). Staroffice is too much like MS office for me to like, but others love it. If I need to edit an xl doc I use Gnumeric. Many if the applications load up fast, the two big exceptions are StarOffic, and Mozilla.
To me, there are three ways of getting software, paying for it, obtaining it illegally, or getting it for free. I wonder what the ratio is for webmasters who have illegal MS products? (if you have illegal software please don't admit it here :) ) I bet it is a very high percentage. It is very nice to be out of that equation.
There is going to be an enormous cattle call for XP, just remember that you have a viable free (and honest) alternative.
Printers are not a problem.
In the face of the coming oppression from Redmond I will fight tyranny ferociously and relentlessly. If it means struggling with hardware configurations and learning to speak Penquinese...it is all worth it to be free from the an*l-retentive tentacles of microsoft.
Seems to me that there really is a battle being waged for control of the computing world as we know it. If the DOJ lets them escape we can expect even more oppressive moves from microsoft in the future.
The only MS anything I use at home is Explorer... and that goes out the window when opera finally builds a stable, fully-functional Mac version. At work, I have to use Word to properly communicate with all the NT-generated files, but otherwise... life w/out MS is good.
I think that there are many here that would love to see Linux become mainstream with the home user. But I feel it is a mighty slim chance of that happening until it becomes point and click. I still have to help my mom once in a while with her win98 pc and she has had that for over 2 yrs now.
I find myself going back to KDE, because it is very tight. In KDE you could most things with a GUI interface. Not all Linux distributions come with KDE, there is a battle between KDE and Gnome which I think will benefit *nix users in the long run. Anyway, here is a screenshot [cgi-fun.hypermart.net] so you could get a feel for what I am talking about. This is mandrake-linux 7.2 running KDE.
I'm not comfortable with linux, as it seems to come in so many flavors and the documentation associated with it seems way too technical for me to wade through. Maybe Linux needs some decent human readable documentation (plain english, not geek speak).
I am MS free except for IE, it is a good browser, and I would be a fool to design web sites without it.
I've tried to be MS free for several years: when everyone switched to Win 95, I was running OS/2. Then I moved to Solaris now have a Macintosh, Solaris, and NetBSD.
StarOffice is an excellent, free alternative to MS Word applications. In fact, in Solaris, it will open MS office applications.
<later>And GIMP is an awesome, free graphics software. It does almost everything that photoshop does.</later.
And I'm getting along with it pretty well. littleman is right in saying that KDE is probably one of the best GUI for linux. But then again it's all about preference. By the way littleman, what editor are you using in the screenshot you took where your running GIMP and all other sorts of applications? In any event Linux is a great way to go for those that are willing to go the extra mile to stay away from
>> MICROSOFT - EVIL_EMPIRE <<
Now for you GRAPHIX Designers. You still got apple and let me tell you, OS X is no piece of C_ _ _. It's unix based and WOW the GUI kicks A_ _ and you can still run all your Adobe, Macromedia and all sorts of graphix applications on it.
Well, Thats just my two cents.
You've had a half-dozen threads on going open-source lately, LM. I happened upon this article today.
Well, they've done it, and I switched yesterday. Was so impressed with Opera at work, I brought the installer home for my laptop. IE has been demoted to "site preview tool" status. :)