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it came out of the wordwork

Soapbox: Migration to Linux accelerating here at the Cat Farm and Confusion Factory
Lord Black Cat
Getting there...

Well, we'll keep a machine with Windows XP, but we're not going to go to Vista. I've been playing with Linux off and on for years and we'd had a pair of Linux machines a couple years ago... which didn't work so well because I kept needing to use MS-based publishing programs that wouldn't run on my old-slow machine...

We now have Linux on my really ancient "office machine" in the basement which I unilaterally declared dead to Windows the fourth time the tech told me to "just reinstall windows" ( I think WinME was big news in those days!); we have Linux on the Toshiba laptop, and on the upstairs machine XP kept dying on because it claimed there was a problem with the hard drive (other than switching distros for experimenting it's been running essentially nonstop since I put Linux on it about a year ago...

I still have several publishing programs I haven't found real Linux equivalents for, so my "big machine" is still running XP. It will not be going to Vista, though it tested as being "Vista Capable"... it's working more or les OK. But... we're both running OpenOffice all around; we're both running Firefox, we've both got Thunderbird... and many etc... so before M$oft gets me for a few hundred more $$ for one of 5 variety's of Vista (hey, if you think M$ support is tough now...just wait!) and then charges me for it again when I buy a machine and then phones in to central to let them now how I use my machine daily... I think I'll bail. I can build or buy a no OS machine (new or refurbed) and I see some folks selling machines with FreeDos these days... and spend 20 or 30 minutes installing a Linux that'll basically run.

I know all this sounds really Geekish, but you know, not long ago Rolanni complained to me that if she could just get to the command line she'd be able to fix something -- but Windows wants to pull the blinds on the command line, after all.

So my plan is that if the promised check is in the mail, we'll move a second machine into Rolanni's office and let her get moving on that. I mean it took her about three minutes to get GAIM's IM (came with the Freespire we just put on the Toshiba laptop) talking to me through Google Talk... so I expect it'll take about a week before she's teaching me neat Linux tricks.... an oh yeah, she had installed Mahjong on the laptop even before she played with GAIM....

Some folks see Linux as a statement, politically. Some see Linux as a religion (some people see the News England Patriots as a religion-- no accounting for taste!) Some see Linux as a practical alternative to other OS choices.

For us, this is a matter of practicality. One of the reasons we so much enjoyed the opportunity to go to PenguiCon as Guests of Honor was the feeling that we belonged there.
We knew Eric Raymond would be there -- and he's a long-time Liaden fan and also author of The Cathedral and the Bazaar -- and he's well known in the open source and Linux arena. We've visited with Eric in the past and had a great time, even if we weren't talking Linux....

Alas, Our GoH duties meant we didn't get a chance to talk much with Eric while we were at PenguiCon... but I see he's lately been advocating the move toward Freespire-style distros for Linux, and we're right with him there: it's a practical solution.

OK... if this blows up in our faces you'll probably hear it: we do tend to talk about our geekeries, after all.

Meanwhile, today has yet another suddenly scheduled medical visit in store with us, so it's off to the city we go. Catch you later.