I’ve spent the last couple of days trying to get some ham radio related (yes, I’m that big a nerd) software to run on an old laptop I have at home. I figured, being such an old and limited little machine, I’ll run Linux, since it will be small, light and agile on such hardware. As ever, the Linux install itself went very smoothly (Debian 3.0). I spent three solid days installing Linux back in like ‘93, so I appreciate how far installing has come. It’s what happens after that. I know I write code for a living, but I’ve discovered that when I get home, it’s not really what I want to do. And the unfortunate truth of Linux (for me at least) is that everything that doesn’t come with your distro is next to impossible to run. I just don’t have the patience to compile every piece of software that I want to use, especially since whatever libraries it depends on are NEVER the ones that I have.
Sigh. I know deep in my heart that Linux is cool. I just don’t have that kind of time.
As sad as it is, I gave up and installed the copy of 98 SE that came with the box. And it just works. Not nearly as flashy (Gnome is way cooler, hands down) but a solid performer. Of course it took two days and several sets of drivers to get my D-Link WiFi card to work, but that’s a different story.