30 Days of GNU/Linux: Day 1
I wanted to revisit my Linux days from Highschool onward into College (~2004 to 2009)and really come back to what made using a computer so exciting to me: flexibility customization, a “build your own world” sorta idea. I wanted to see what had changed in the 4 or so years that I had left it, even from a so-so usability standpoint (I wasn’t using it full time, sans other OS’s). I am now quite satisfied on where it has went.
Back in 2004, I had known of some of the usual giants, Debian, Slackware, Gentoo,Fedora, and the like. I had been running Debian for quite some time, as well as dabbling in Fedora and OpenSuse among others. I then learnt of Ubuntu, and boy was that an exciting time in learning Linux. When Ubuntu came out, many were floored. It was new, much more usable from an everyday standpoint than most, and required less knowledge to get get going. I was instantly hooked. The software side was not quite so mature, with display drivers still heavily relying on open drivers for much of the grunt work, with support for propriertary video drivers (i.e. Nvidia/Ati) sometime flaky on many distributions. It was great when you got them to work, then again the lack of many games was a downside. That is when I discovered the emulation package Wine, as well as its paid cousin, Crossover. This provided some much needed support in transitioning over some of my Windows-heavy applications, and an outlet for Office 2003 formats I still had to dabble in for school. When the Steam games platform was emulated (can’t remember when), I was happy being able to at least play Team Fortress in college under Linux. Software alternatives existed, but some always had me wishing I was in Windows. Gasp!
I left college, the LAN Parties, and the group of cool people to talk with all the time, into the real world. Getting a real* job, and income, I left behind Linux. Now in 2013, I am revisting much of Linux, and after testing a few distros, landed on Linux Mint for home use, due to it’s wide package selection (Debian based), usability, and driver support. Problem was, one* of those devices was a Macbook pro, and as many know, that can be an iffy scene with Linux. After busting on Arch Linux on the Macbook (a distro I do very much love), and Fedora 18, I got the most upfront support from Linux Mint. It did take a few intalls, and tweaking of drivers to get all of the keyboard function keys working, but its up and running, albeit with occasional shutdown/startup hicups.
The desktop was an easy affair, much more so than the macbook of course. Tonight will come the HTPC. Software side this time on my devices, most things work great, and I have found alternatives to most things, aside from my usual go-to packages (VLC etc.). Blu Ray support is one thing I have found a few solutions on (MakeMVC + script + VLC), but of course I still have some fine tuning to do.