Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Ubuntu: Old Hat?

I've only been using Ubuntu for six months, but I'm finding I'm getting a little restless as far as Linux goes. I just read two interesting Ubuntu-related articles, one about Ubuntu boredom (in the sense that solid and dependable are "boring") and the other from a jaded Linux system administrator who found in Ubuntu the home desktop Linux he's been looking for all his life. I'm understanding both perspectives now. For my new job I'm learning Linux (Debian GNU/Linux, more precisely) at the command line level (servers typically do not employ GUI desktops), and at home I keep wanting to explore new places. I think what I'm dealing with is the inevitable letdown that comes after any sort of mountaintop experience - when your new love or religious insight or whatever begins to just become part of your life. Not that it's "nothing special" - you just want to rekindle some of that emotional high that you had when you first found it. That's where I am with Ubuntu at the moment.

As I mentioned, I partitioned my Windows hard drive, originally for Kubuntu, and there I saw KDE 4.1, which captured my imagination for a few days, but again, I still land in the Gnome camp as far as desktop environments go, at least for the time being. Now I have an installation of Lenny, the soon-to-be-labeled-"stable" version of Debian, which I intended to be a minimal installation so I would really be forced to work in the command line, even at home, but I put KDE on it after some back and forth dithering. I'm simultaneously enjoying the utterly dependable nature of Ubuntu and its many applications and wanting something more, something different.

Maybe what I really need is to bring more people into this world, so I can vicariously re-experience that flood of excitement again. "Whoa! This is really fast!" and "Wow - this rivals Windows and Mac for quality alone!" and "This is all free?" and "Ah. . . I get it. That's what 'free' means!" Until then I need to learn to appreciate Linux for all it's stability and dependability, and be more patient about what innovations are around the corner.


Brendon said...

Good post.

Whats your new job, if you don't mind me asking?

Chris said...

I'm the system administrator for the state library system, which means I manage a large cluster of Debian servers running the Evergreen ILS. See my post entitled My Linux Anniversary - 1 Year Later . . . for a brief version of how I got there. The entire blog is my long version. :-)

Thanks for the comment!