Thursday, January 15, 2009

At a Crossroads with gOS

Day 72

My wife is pregnant and ready to burst just about any day. This will be number two for us, and since moving into our new home last summer, I had successfully put off repainting the bedrooms. I came to terms that the task was inevitable, and pulled out my painting supplies over the Christmas break. It is obvious which room is for my daughter and which is for the new baby boy – one is sky blue, the other princess pink.

My wife has gone into full nesting mode, and every day there is a bit more done on the baby's nursery. The room looks great, but I grit my teeth every time I go in there. In one corner, there's an errant brush mark. In another corner, I got a speck of blue paint on the molding. And behind the door there's a spot I missed all together.

No one else would notice these things but me. My wife thinks I'm being neurotic, but I find flaws with my paint job every time I go in there. I know what I wanted the room to look like, and I know the spots that didn't come out the way I wanted.

This is how I'm beginning to feel about gOS on my Eee. If I handed my laptop to someone else, they wouldn't noticed the flaws this OS harbors. But I do, and just like paint on the molding, it drives me nuts.

I reached my boiling point today. Several of my students are planning on interviewing a contestant on this season's Ameican Idol. I was planning on using my Eee to record the conversation. Just a few hours before I was to make the call, I learned that the microphone does not work with gOS. I found some suggestions on the EeeUser forum, but none that guaranteed a quality recording. I had to postpone the interview.

I'm at a crossroads. Do I keep gOS or go back to Xandros? I'm going to try and reinstall Xandros onto an SD card so I can have the best of both worlds, but if that doesn't work, I think gOS is getting the boot.

2 thoughts :

  1. John MacGibbon said...

    I'm not likely to put another Linux on my PC900. At the moment, things are all working fine - touch wood - and I have no desire to upset the fragile balance! I have the advanced desktop, which makes using the machine much easier to use. I'm gradually and very carefully adding additional programs. I say carefully because I have seriously trashed the eee in the past, and I really don't want to have to hit the F9 key at bootup ever again. It just takes too long to get things set up again.

    The one thing that sometimes tempts me to put another distribution on my eee is that it appears that the eee, with its bastardised version of Xandros, seems to have one of the trickiest versions of Linux to safely add programs to.

    But for me the eee is a netbook and word processor and the programs it came with, plus VLC and Gimp, which I've installed, do the job well.

    Well Gimp doesn't, but I only use it in emergencies. Photoshop is much better, not least because as a professional publisher I need to produce CMYK images. Photoshop does that natively and not via kludges, which I gather are now available for Gimp.

    I won't consider moving my professional work from XP to Linux until Adobe and Quicken produce native Linux versions of their apps. That won't happen for a long time, if ever, given Linux's tiny share of the market. It's probably more likely to happen via cloud computing than via programs you'd load on your Linux computer.

    I have been playing around with gOS on a couple of old desktops. It's certainly more attractive than Ubuntu, but it's no faster than Ubuntu, which doesn't say much. Ubuntu is slower than XP, in my experience (though it does boot up a lot faster).

    I've also been looking at Puppy Linux, and that's what will replace Ubuntu on the slower of my desktops - a P4-1500. I've only run it from the CD so far, but it is so small that it loads entirely into RAM and runs really fast. The last computer I ran entirely from RAM was an Apple II, after I bought a huge 1Mb ramcard! It was a revelation then, and Puppy is a revelation now (though I wish its browser was Firefox rather than SeaMonkey).

    Puppy also has more attractive out-of-the-box screen fonts than Ubuntu/gOS. I know there are ways of fixing that problem in Ubuntu, but you shouldn't have to, and as my desktops are only there for visiting family to use for the Internet, I have no great incentive to spend time tweaking screenfonts.

    I guess I've sort of answered your question. From my point of view anyway, I'd leave well enough alone and go back to the original Asus/Xandros OS.

  2. Chuck said...

    Have you ever thought about the new eeebuntu 2.0. With the 3 versions out, you get a choice and pretty much working out of the box. I've set up the Basic version to dual boot with my windows and I love it.