The Experiment Was a Failure

Well, my Great Linux experiment may be nearing an end, I’m sorry to say. I may be heading back to Windows. I don’t want to, but I may have to.

I originally switched to Linux because at the time I was planning a big Windows reinstall anyway. I figured, “I’ll give it a whirl, and if I don’t like it, I’ll just reinstall Windows like I intended.”

I’ve been using Linux for two months and it’s just been a lot of headaches for me. Now, most of these problems have nothing to do with Linux. First I had hardware problems unrelated to any operating system. Second, I never should have imagined that for a person like me, who would like to spend more time actually doing things on his computer than tweaking and screwing around with it, that Linux was the ideal way to go.

But two months into the trial, and I still don’t have a text editor I like as much as Ultra-Edit on Windows. I still don’t have am mp3 player I like as much as iTunes or Winamp 5. I can’t get my email program to work correctly. I’m having all kinds of problems with my desktop environment. I’m basically doing less than I did with Windows, only with more hassle. The weird problems I’m having put me in the same situation as before, eyeing a full re-install and thinking, “If I’m going to do this anyway, why not use the opportunity to switch?”

I’ve been trying to learn, trying to solve my own ignorance and not have to rely on friends to come and fix things for me or figure out problems, but it’s an uphill climb. There’s just not a lot of help out there for newbies. Which is nobody’s fault: the system is robust and powerful, and you’re not going to be able to talk a Saturn V rocket down to the level of an engineering neophyte. But when I’ve tried to figure problems out, I see things like, “Oh, to solve that problem with fonts, just edit /etc/flib/foobar and set hoopla=0” and my heart sinks.

This is NOT an endorsement of Microsoft, by the way. I want to make that 100% clear. I return to Windows-land not as a prodigal son, penitent for abandoning the true way, but hollow and defeated. I’ll still chuck Windows aside as soon as I get anything better, and believe me, for all the problems I’ve been having, I’, still halfway tempted to stick with Linux. Had I the money, I’d be buying a Mac right now, and my future plans still include that. But in the meantime, I need something that works, that does what I need it to do with as little bumping around under the hood as possible. Windows only wins right now because it’s easy and because, instead of making me feel like a moron, it’s just plain intended for morons.

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