[Nottingham][Talk] *TODAY* Wed 15/03/2006 - Change of plan!

David Aldred david at familyaldred.org.uk
Wed Mar 15 18:13:04 GMT 2006

On Wednesday 15 Mar 2006 13:53, Martin wrote:

> Taking a wider and higher level view of what Josh was going to talk
> about, we can have a discussion on what it /is/ that sways people to
> prefer one OS over another and one desktop over another. What is it
> about /your/ preferred OS and desktop that have you using that
> particular system? Or indeed, what was it that drove you away from other
> systems?
> /How/ do we /use/ the things for what we do? Can it (IT!, ICT!!) all be
> done better?
I can't be there tonight - I'm out helping someone we know with her computer 
(you guessed it, Windows...)

But what sways people towards one OS or another?   A few thoughts which sway 

- Security.   I've got personal data on this machine: I'd rather not open the 
door to J Random Cracker.   Some systems make it all too easy (there's 
nothing like 'helping someone with her Windows computer' to make me certain 
I'm not going back there!).

- Hardware compatability.   Given a machine capable of quality sound and 
amazing graphics performance, an OS which won't produce anything more than a 
bleep and a CI isn't going to be attractive.

- Speed.  Important, but after the last couple of weeks 'd have to say less 
important than the two above.  

Behind those sentences and that ordering lies a Mandriva update a couple of 
weeks back which broke the compatability for my video drivers, a few tries at 
Slackware based systems, and a reversion to Mandriva.  

Here's the thought process: 
 - to get my video working properly again, I had to run Mandriva unpatched - 
which I really didn't like given that there were security implications 
(albeit behind a firewall, but still...).   
 - That made me sufficiently uncomfortable to look at other distros and accept 
a learning curve - that tells me that security is high on the list for me. 
 - Slackware is very fast - I liked that and wanted to keep it: but it won't 
drive my sound system at all and getting it to drive the video card fully 
would have involved a lengthy installation process which stalled when it 
couldn't find half the kernel headers it wanted.  
 - So compatability ended up beating speed; had people at Mandriva not found a 
relatively straightforward fix to the original problem (I hope, haven't done 
it yet!) I'd still have been trying elsewhere to find the system which didn't 
break my hardware but was fast enough....

What makes one desktop better than another?  Difficult.  I've always come back 
to KDE, simply because it "works for me" and I quite like the look of it.   
But on a small old laptop, I'm using Fluxbox, and getting to like it more and 
more!  You don't realise how much overhead KDE is carrying until you run 
something without it!

David Aldred

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