Registered: Aug 2004
Distribution: SuSE 10.0 (SUPER)
I think I'll go back to Windows for the time being
I've been using Linux for 2 years now, and up until last week, had been single booting without Windows for a year. There are many things I love about Linux, including the free ideology.
But last week, as I had two lab reports due. For the first lab report, OpenOffice.org kept crashing on me as I tried to delete a page break. I had to resort to CrossOver Office to delete the page break. But CrossOver Office itself was buggy, and I had to switch between OpenOffice and MS/CrossOver just to finish. I barely did before the deadline.
For the second lab report, I needed a Windows-only application.
So I grudgingly installed Windows.
I find myself spending more and more time on Windows now. I'm in a unique situation. Many Windows->Linux converts find themselves unable to stay on Linux because of stuff they are so used to on Linux. I can't switch completely to Windows because I'm so used to many things on Linux. But dual-booting is a waste of my time. I need to pick one operating system.
Unfortunately, until an "easy" Linux distribution is fast enough and stable enough, until it supports features such as hibernation and suspend on laptops, 3D acceleration for all graphics cards, offers complete compatibility with all my hardware (Rio Cali, Palm Zire 72, maybe a TV tuner, etc.), regardless of whose "fault" it is, the choice must be Windows. Games, which I rarely play, besides Madden and NBA Live, are a small bonus.
My distribution, SUSE, came out with a 10.1 release so far. It promised so much potential, and I can see its polish. But it is buggy as hell. Crash, crash, crash. It's much faster than 10.0, but still much slower than Windows (at least on boot up). It suffers from the same memory leaks as Windows, which I had thought two years ago Linux was immune from. I know there are more stable OSes out there. Don't tell me, I've tried them all--Red Hat, Fedora, Slackware, Mandrake, Ubuntu, Debian, Gentoo, PCLinux, Yoper, MEPIS. They all have one problem or another. So does Windows, but those problems are less critical to me.
I don't want to delete my Linux partition yet, because it truly is the OS I prefer. I'm not saying that Linux is not "ready"--it is ready for me. I've been using it primarily for two years, and almost exclusively for one. But Windows is better, for all its flaws. As a power user, I can secure my Windows OS unlike most users.
I think KDE is the main saving grace for Linux. I'm addicted to it. I think that if a Windows port of KDE 4 were to be released, I'd lose this "barrier to entry" to Windows. But that's fine. I'm sure that Linux will steadily improve, and that in the future, maybe next year, maybe 20 years from now, Linux will be better than Windows.
That's my rant. I suppose I'm going to configure GRUB to put my Windows partition as default. I might have to repartition my hard drive, because all my data right now lies in an ext3 home partition. And I'll have to try something like Cygwin, because there are truly things I really do like about *nix still. In fact, I think my overall experience with Linux is positive. There are just several critical dealbreakers that need to be overcome for someone like me. And still more for the average computer user.
I'll probably still participate in the community in forums such as these. I'll be keeping close attention to how the Linux world develops. Hopefully, I'll be back sometime soon--because that will mean that Linux is that much closer to ready.