[Sussex] A year with Debian

Tony Austin tony at gigaday.com
Tue Aug 10 06:13:20 UTC 2004


A lovely story of your LInux success.  Thank you.

My experiences are similar though different.  I have opted for IceWM
because it never lets me down, is really simple, lightweight and does
eveything my modest needs require; but otherwiae my detailed choices are
different from yours (isn't it nice to have choices?) although for much
the same reasons.

Gentoo, because of the Open philosophy and, after trying several others,
it just seemed easier to me and more logical.

Mozilla for much the same reasons, plus I am now using the Mozilla XUL
toolkit to develop business applications for customers.

Gentoo filemanager (same name but different provenance) - a totally no
frills but very powerful FM with almost no need to ever use the mouse,
excellent over VNC.  {Pity that it seems to be at the end of it's
development cycle, although the few improvements I would like aren't

OpenOffice - I needed something a bit more heavy-duty than Abiword and
also wanted to inter-operate with M$ Office.  The M$ compatibility isn't
100% I'm afraid so I have CrossOver Office for emergencies.

I do very little with video and imaging so I have to confess to still
using Windows for this.  I feel that I have to have a Windows box to
support a number of my users, so it's easy to be lazy.  If it wasn't for
the customer support needs I would get rid of Windows altogether.


> Hi all,
> It's just occurred to me that I've been using Debian as my sole OS for a
> year now & I thought a brief comparison between "then" (Windows) & "now"
> (Debian) might be of interest.
> I used Windows for a good few years & slowly got fed up with it crashing
> & freezing for no apparent reason. However, I put up with it because the
> www was far too exciting & Windows worked most of the time. There was
> also plenty of good software for audio playing, recording & editing.
> However, I was quietly, almost unconsciously, looking for something
> else...
> Then I came across Linux & it sounded good, but very scary to someone
> who had become used to Windows. Linux seemed like a great idea - for
> people who had the time, an unnatural knowledge of computers & plenty of
> elastoplast on their glasses. But I kept reading, dipping in now &
> again. I immediately liked the Open Source ideal. It appealed greatly to
> me. I was starting to think that maybe I could give it a try. For some
> reason, it was always going to be Debian. Probably because I had read
> that Debian vigorously upheld the Open Source beliefs.
> And so I got the CDs for Potato & installed it on a spare PC & got a bit
> scared at first, but with the help of others users on the web, I got it
> working.. & it never crashed, not once.
> So in August 2003, I backed up everything from my old Windows D:
> partition, wiped the HD & installed Debian on main PC.
> I have had the most reliable year of computing ever. My old PC died a
> few months ago & I had to install from scratch on the new one I built.
> Apart from tangling briefly with KDE after this (yuk, it makes Windows
> 98 look stable), I have had not one second of forced downtime.
> Debian has plenty of good, readily useable apps. The debate about Linux
> being ready for the desktop may rage on, but I think it's not far off at
> all.
> My favourite apps so far:
> E-mail: Sylpheed (easy to use & stable)
> Word processing: Abi-Word (well featured, very friendly & just a joy to
> use)
> Music listening: XMMS (Reminds me of Winamp)
> Browser: Don't quite have a favourite yet: Mozilla works well enough, I
> like Opera, but it's not Open & I don't use it anymore. Dillo is OK but
> needs more. Konqueror did everything but surf (no, actually, it didn't:
> it just locked up all the time & made me CTRL ALT backspace once too
> often).
> Window manager: Icewm remains my favourite. I apologised & almost bought
> it flowers after my sordid experience with KDE (Krashes Damn-nearly
> Everytime).
> File manager: Alongside Icewm, DFM is a very functional file manager.
> Oh well, so not as brief as I thought.
> My apologies to KDE lovers (but your flames can't melt my ICEwm).
> Gavin.
> _______________________________________________
> Sussex mailing list
> Sussex at mailman.lug.org.uk
> http://mailman.lug.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/sussex


Tony Austin
Gigaday Computing Limited
tony at gigaday.com

More information about the Sussex mailing list