Dear Linux, this is why we can’t have nice things.

As seen in #archlinux IRC with what looked like unrelated conversation snipped out. This all went down while I was away.

who gives a fuck
sudokode: … people do
people suck
sudokode: s/people/women

Incidents like this make me more grateful than ever that my FOSS project of choice isn’t full of dicks. And if you ARE looking for a FOSS project where the top rules are make cool things and don’t be a jerk*, OpenPhoto is right this way. Bonus points if you believe in freeing your photos from sites they’re We’re working to make things more welcoming and friendly to people who aren’t already experienced FOSS contributors. Documentation! Design! Surprise us! Ask me things about getting started! (Unless they involve the actual code because PHP and I are NOT friends.)

*No, really. Someone asked me awhile back if there were any standards for contributing, and I said, “Uh… make cool things and don’t be a jerk?” Words to live by. I would have said don’t be a dick, but sometimes you have to keep it professional.

Edit: Just noticed both of these users are also in #archlinux-women, and at least one is a Trusted User. Wow.


Happy birthday, Linux

Linux just turned twenty. I can’t decide how strange it is that Linux is only a little bit younger than I am yet still younger than me. To be fair, today is the twentieth anniversary of Linus Torvalds making a post asking what people would like to see in Linux, not the anniversary of releasing Linux to the public. Still, I consider today the birthday of Linux just as 7 January is the anniversary of my birth.

I’ve been using Linux for a small part of those twenty years, but I’m already a proud member of Team Penguin. Five distros and three desktop environments later, I think I’ve found a combo that really works for me. KDE is still taking some getting used to, and I’m trying to figure out how to do some things in KDE that I could do in GNOME (though I suspect Dolphin, not KDE itself, is to blame). Maybe a change in file manager is in order.

And this is exactly what I love about Linux: the configurability. It’s extremely difficult tp change the ever-present but some annoying parts of other popular operating systems like the way you manage files. But Linux lets you do it. Don’t like your file manager? Get another one. Don’t like your desktop environment? Get another one and join a holy war.

I love you, Linux. Please keep being the best OS out there and keep giving your users the power of freedom.


My Linuxversary

I didn’t notice it until halfway through the day when fiddling with my OpenSUSE install on my laptop, but the day I just lived was my first Linuxversary. I’ve been using Linux as my primary operating system for an entire year, and it has been a great learning experience. I’ve stretched my computing horizons in a way that I wouldn’t have otherwise. Besides that, Linux simply makes more sense to me than Windows does. There are things that I’ve done in Linux and then wondered why on earth such a feature doesn’t exist in an intuitive way in Windows. Take, for example, the way Rhythmbox syncs your music folder automatically. You don’t have to add your music to your library; just add it to your music folder and it’s there. Easy. Not to mention that the iPod managers for Linux are actual iPod managers.

Then there are the package managers for the distros that I’ve used. For Windows it’s up to you to find a good music player or word processor beyond the default that comes with the system. With Linux some come installed, but if you don’t like them, you can find a better one. I’ve found myself wondering how I lived with Windows for all these years. And of course, Linux also has more games that come prepackaged with the system.

As for Windows? I’m still dual booting, though that’s more of a technicality at this point. At first it was to go back just in case I didn’t like Linux, but now I don’t have much of a reason beyond Bejeweled and The Longest Journey. Linux has weaned me off Bejeweled, so it’s good for something, at least.

Here’s to many more years of Linux!


Rhythmbox > iTunes

I finally moved my music into Rhythmbox. You’re probably wondering what on earth is going on. After all, I’ve been using Linux for nearly nine months and I just mentioned iTunes in a post a few days ago. All of that is true, but on different computers. I’ve been using my laptop for music purposes out of laziness ever since installing Linux because not all of my music copied over from Windows to Linux and, well, I was too lazy to copy it over. This weekend I finally got around to doing that and finally got around to using Rhythmbox. There are still some quirks that I need to get used to (it doesn’t look like iTunes, for example, but I can get used to that easily). The plugin directory is great. I can manage my iPod with Rhythmbox and scrobble to without installing anything else (though I hear gtkPod is great for iPod purposes). I can even move music to my iPod without syncing everything, which will be a huge relief half the time and a headache the other half. The best part of all? Rhythmbox detects music in my music folder and adds it to my library automatically. This requires zero effort on my part after adding a song or album to my music folder. Compare that to iTunes where you have to add a song to the library manually after downloading a song.

I’ll take Rhythmbox, thanks.


Adventures in KDE

One perk of Linux is that you can choose different desktop environments. Don’t like the way your current desktop looks? Change to a different one (and I’m not talking about just the wallpaper). Last night and this morning I made the leap from GNOME to KDE.

The main change in KDE was the presence of additional menus and the default setting of the menu at the bottom. Thanks to the complete reorganization of the menus, Pidgin took me several minutes to find, and many items were included in more than one menu. This could probably be fixed with some menu cleanup, but it was frustrating enough that I didn’t want to bother. Even after customizing KDE, I couldn’t tweak it to my liking. I couldn’t change really important things like the size of the workspaces on the navigation bar, which took up much more space than necessary and gave the bar a cluttered appearance. I switched back to GNOME after a few hours and uninstalled KDE, then customized GNOME even more to my liking.

KDE may not be for me, but a lot of Linux users I know love it, which prompted me to try it. I’m glad Linux offers desktop environment diversity.