My laptop has been in the shop because it couldn’t connect to wireless networks with any sort of consistency. It wasn’t preventing me from doing my work, but considering I have surgery next week and my AppleCare expires in two months, I figured now was the time. So for a week now, I’ve been using Linux as my desktop. I’m extremely glad to be back to the Mac.
But not really because of anything wrong with Linux. As soon as I started using the desktop on the Linux box, it told me I should upgrade from Ubuntu 8.04 LTS to Ubuntu 10.4 LTS, which was time consuming, but afterwards a persistent problem I’d had booting any kernel newer than the one I’d installed it with went away, and it recognized my Wacom Bamboo which it hadn’t before. I had to struggle a bit to get my VPN set up, and it was a struggle to get it to treat the “Caps Lock” key as a control key. And because my Linux box is a server, I’d originally set it up with XFCE4 instead of KDE or Gnome, so it wasn’t as functional and beautiful as it could have been.
No, the real reasons I was glad to be back on the Mac are because:
- The Linux box doesn’t have speakers or a microphone, so I had to set up Skype on a netbook, which made for fun when somebody sent me a file or a url.
- The cut and paste functionality is quite different in Linux, and required some getting used to. It wasn’t very consistent between apps.
- The RDC client I was using on Linux didn’t translate the local printer so that it appeared as my default printer on my Windows session like the Mac RDC client does.
- I couldn’t figure out how to switch desktops with a keystroke, especially not when I was RDC’ed into work.
- Without my Mac, I couldn’t listen to my podcasts, and I couldn’t pay bills.
- Most importantly: because my laptop has a 17″ 1920×1280 screen, and I also plug it into this 20″ 1080i screen, but with the laptop gone I only had the one screen to use for Linux, I felt very hemmed in.
So I’m glad to be back. But I’m having to retrain my fingers for cutting and pasting with Command instead of Control.