Well, I made the plunge. I am now the proud owner of
bliss, a Ubuntu 6.10 Desktop. All configuration settings are at their default values for now. Customization will come at a later stage, after I have familiarized myself better with the system.
I still have tons of data that is stored in a Ghost archive, but I’ll get there eventually. I also have a few things that don’t work or haven’t been tested yet: printer doesn’t work, scanner is untested, I haven’t tried moving data from my cameras yet, bookmarks haven’t moved yet, and I can’t switch keyboard mappings using
Left Shift+Alt yet.
The best part of this move ? It wasn’t too painful. Since I was already using mostly Open Source software (Firefox, Firebug, Thunderbird, Ruby, Rails, MySQL, Mongrel and others), I didn’t have to learn entirely new interfaces for most software. The worst part ?
Just the sheer amount of work it is to move data between computers (or virtual machines, in this case), and make sure everything arrived at the destination.
For now, I use a combination of Vim and Bluefish for text editing. I generally like Bluefish, but some things are unfamiliar. Moving with Ctrl+Left/Right doesn’t behave as it did on Windows. Of course, I have to learn new keyboard bindings, and that’s always a pita. I configured Bluefish to use the excellent DejaVu Fonts, both for monospace and sans variants.
I will setup VMWare Server to access Windows when I need it, which should hopefully be not very often.
I haven’t made my final decision, but each hour that I use my Ubuntu desktop is another hour in Windows’ coffin. I did not want to head over to Vista, and I was planning on buying a Mac Mini later this year. In the meantime, I’m very satisfied with my new desktop.
One last thing: Very big kudos to the Ubuntu and other localization teams. I installed Ubuntu in French, and I had some fears that working in French would lead to a bad experience. Those fears were unfounded. The quality of the translation is excellent, and a simple
LANG=en_CA.UTF-8 in my
~/.bashrc makes the command line tools speak and listen in English, which is what I want and need.
Again, my heartfelt thanks to the Open Source community at large for such a beautiful and well thought out product.