Archive for the ‘Linux’ Category

Back to Linux

Wednesday, May 8th, 2019

Several years back, I had a Linux laptop. But by around 2010 I had migrated to the Apple ecosystem, starting with an iPad, and left Linux behind. Now I’m back to Linux and let me explain why.

It turned out that I hardly use any of Apple’s software products – not Siri, not Pages, not iTunes, not Safari. My software — even on the Mac — consisted mostly of free and open source tools, such as Libre Office, Thunderbird, and Firefox, and I rely on web applications for much of what I do (e.g., TickTick for my to-do list, Diaro for my daily diary, Netflix, Spotify, etc.). I was getting no added value from being with Apple.

Today took delivery of my new laptop, a Dell XPS-13 with Ubuntu Linux 18.04 pre-installed.

I’ve spent the last hour getting re-acquainted and it’s been a happy experience so far.

What I have learned is that migrating from other operating systems to Linux is much easier than it used to be. For example, there’s one-click downloading of software. I was surprised to see that Firefox did not come pre-installed, but installing it, syncing it with my previous version, and making it my new default browser took less than a minute – no technical skills required.

Connecting to wifi and bluetooth was a piece of cake. My Microsoft mouse works perfectly — though I do have to get used to the fact that I now have a touch screen.

The XPS-13 is a lovely bit of kit — it seems so much smaller than my MacBook Air, but it’s the same screen size. The screen resolution is spectacularly good, the memory is quadruple what I had before, as is the hard drive capacity.

The first new app I downloaded (which does work on Mac, but I never tried it there) is Typora. It may come in useful when I write my next book.

More in the days to come as I complete the transition (and learn about all the hard stuff).

Linux after one year

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

As I discovered entirely by accident, today marks the end of my first year using Linux.
When I began, I wrote a number of updates for my blog with titles like ‘Linux: the first nine days’ or ‘Day Eleven: The experiment continues’. I think I was amazed that it could go on like that, day after day.
There were probably two reasons for my own surprise at how well it has gone.
First, I’d had a bad experience using Linux in 2002. And second, I hardly knew anyone who used Linux on their desktops. (I still don’t know of a single trade union anywhere that has moved over to open source — unfortunately.)
After one year using Linux, I can say with confidence that I’m never going back to Windows.
Keep reading …


Linux: The first 100 days

Saturday, September 15th, 2007

I haven’t written much about Linux since early June when I made the switch over from Microsoft Windows, which I had been using since the early 1990s. But I thought that after 100 days, I’d write up a summary about how it feels and what I’ve learned.


Ubuntu and the Unions

Friday, June 8th, 2007

Over the course of the last few weeks, I’ve installed a new operating system on my computer. I no longer use Microsoft Windows XP and instead now use Ubuntu Linux. That’s nice, you may be thinking, but what does that have to do with the trade union movement?
Before I answer that, I should mention that I have access to some privileged information about unions and computer operating systems. As the founding editor of the LabourStart website, I get to look at the statistics. I know how many people visit our site every day, I know what countries they come from and which web browsers they use. And I know which operating systems they are using as well.


Ubuntu now

Wednesday, June 6th, 2007

200px-Linux_tux_logo.pngI realize that my original plan was to try out Ubuntu Linux using the Wubi dual-boot system, making sure that everything worked and then after a full month, switching over. But I lost patience — having Windows on my disk was slowing me down, consuming scores of gigabytes of space, and forcing me to postpone what was becoming increasingly inevitable.
As a result, I took the decision last night to spend this morning backing up everything I had of value in Windows, and then making a clean install of Ubuntu Linux 7.04. As of a few minutes ago, Linux is the only operating system on my computer.
See my earlier entries to see why I chose Linux in the first place and my experience in two weeks of using it. Below are some notes on the install for anyone considering doing what I’ve done.


Life after Windows: Day 13

Sunday, June 3rd, 2007

I’ve reached a decision. In another 18 days — on the first day of summer — I will completely shut down Microsoft Windows XP on my computer and move over to using Ubuntu Linux as my sole operating system. I’m waiting 18 more days because I want to be absolutely sure after one month of using Linux that everything works. So far, it all does.


Living with Linux: The first five days

Saturday, May 26th, 2007

I’ve been using Ubuntu Linux for nearly five days now — see my previous report — and am still very happy.
First, however, the bad news: The system has crashed twice, requiring hard reboots.


Goodbye to Microsoft – Day One

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

It has now been some twelve hours since I began the process of moving over from Microsoft’s proprietary software over to Ubuntu Linux. In this blog entry and the ones that follow, I want to write about why I took this decision and what has happened as a result.