Very happy having left Windows (mostly) behind

March 28th, 2003

As I mentioned a month ago or so, I’ve retired my old 366Mhz Celeron Windows 2000 workstation to the background to run Radio, Groove and my accounting package, and have turned my primary focus to Linux.

My “new” main workstation is a used IBM 300PL p2-400 with 320MRam, 6GigHD. No great shakes in the windows world, but runs quite nicely with Mandrake 9.0 and KDE3.

I’m quite impressed with the features and programs I’ve been using. Here are some of the highlights.

  • Internet:
    • Mozilla 1.3 – I can’t say that I’ve missed IE at all. Tabbed interface is great.
    • Konqueror – great web and file browser. easily browses SMB shares and SSH connections with smb:// and sftp:// protocols. Very well integrated with embedded viewers and editors.
    • knewsticker – rss news ticker and aggregator – drag and drop orange-xml-image rss feeds, specify history length per feed. fantastic
    • KMail – good enough, well integrated.
  • Multimedia:
    • XMMS – just like WinAmp
    • the Gimp – fantastic image editing
    • Kuickshow – great default viewer with scroll-mouse slideshows, balance adjustment, rotation, zoom, flip, print
  • Sharing, communications
    • VNC – including console desktop sharing
    • SSH, including port forwarding and X forwarding
    • Samba – connect to and from Windows machines
    • CUPS – recognized my USB Epson printer right away. I use Adobe’s Postscript print drivers from my Win machine connecting to the Linux box via Samba
    • Yahoo IM native Linux client
    • Licq ICQ client
    • Synergy – I have three machines in a semicircle and one keyboard and mouse. Mouse out of the right of my Linux box screen and mouse and keyboard control moves to my laptop (whether booted into Linux or Win2000), mouse out of there to the right and I’m at my old Win2000 machine. Right again and back to the Linux box. Left takes be back the other way. Cut and paste between machines on different platforms. WAAAAY cool.
    • when I loaded Mandrake on my laptop where there’s already an NTFS and a FAT partition, when I went to the /mnt dir, I found them both already mounted for me!!
  • utilities, editors
    • Joe – great text-mode editor
    • Midnight Commander – indispensable text-mode file manager, fully mouseable
    • Links – fantastic text-mode browser with full mouseability
    • kate – KDE Advanced Text Editor – color syntax hiliting, block selection, open via sftp. Not a replacement for UltraEdit, but quite useful
    • perl TK debugger – great for full feature remote debugging via X forwarding.
  • Mandrake, X
    • Mandrake Control Panel
    • Mandrake Package Manager
    • Multiple X Desktops
    • Mandrake Installation – found all my hardware no problem. On my laptop, found my network card and then found my wireless card without adding any special drivers!
    • Packages – CDs came with a million of ’em
  • programming
    • Apache
    • PHP
    • Perl
    • MySQL
    • PostgreSQL

I highly recommend that you try Mandrake 9.1, just released. You’ve got nothing to lose and EVERYTHING to gain.

6 comments to “Very happy having left Windows (mostly) behind”

  1. I installed Mandrake 9 back in December and was pleasantly surprised, but didn’t actually make the switch from WinXP until the past week or so (after installing Mandrake 9.1b rc3).

    I’m keeping the Windows partition for stuff like Flash, Photoshop, Fireworks, etc., but I’m spending most of my time in Mandrake now.

    I’m hoping that I don’t relapse. 😉

  2. I prefer my PowerMac G4 with OS X.

  3. I’m making the switch to Linux right now from WinXP, I’ve been to fed up with their crap. I am looking to buy a new iBook with OSX 10.2 🙂 However for now, I am playing with both Mandrake 9.1 (Huge improvement over 9.0 I think) and I am dling a copy of RedHat 9 right now for kicks.

    I am going to hopefully get Wine (http://winehq.org) setup so I can run things like my Flash, Photoshop, and my Bible software on Linux.

  4. Long live Atari!

  5. Congratulations :^)

  6. Oh yes – I guess I can congratulate my friend for installing the mdk 9.0 for the 1st time on my pc and I can congratulate myself for starting to really abndon the Win 98 stuff in favor of the mdk!