It’s true. Whenever I have to use Windows, there are a lot of things I miss. Here are a few of them:
I know there are various ways to have multiple desktops on Windows too, but dad-gummit, they just don’t work as well as X’s built-in multi-desktop goodness. I never have just one program open; there’s always a browser for looking things up on desktop 1, my IDE of the moment on desktop 2, maybe GIMP on desktop 3, and a few terminal windows for convenience on desktop 4. There’s always a place. Switching is a quick ctrl-alt-arrow away, and that’s a good thing.
Linux Feels Faster
I don’t care about benchmarks (which usually go to Linux anyhow), I care about my own user experience. And in this case, Linux consistantly feels a whole lot faster than any Windows installation I’ve ever used.
I don’t know the technical reasons. Maybe it has something to do with Linux’s process-based architecture, but running multiple programs on Linux doesn’t seem to impact performance nearly as dramatically on Windows. Furthermore, when programs are thinking in Windows, the entire system is impacted; when some piece of processing takes a long time on Linux, it’s ok, because the rest of my UI is functioning at 100%.
That’s what I mean when I say it feels faster. If some program is taking too long to load, that’s alright, because I can browse the interweb while it’s loading and not even notice. Whenever I start up a program on XP or Vista it seems like the entire system locks up while I’m waiting for it to load.
The idea of ever using Windows Explorer again is nauseating. Who would want to do that when I have such an incredibly fast, efficient, and powerful tool at my disposal for file manipulations. Wildcard expressions to copy, move, rename, and otherwise manipulate files? Regular expressions even? I am so there.
Sure, Windows has DOS, but it offers no where near the flexibility – not to mention the UI.
Just today I converted a 40-page 300dpi pdf file into 40 resized web-ready .jpg images using a single command:
mogrify -density 300 -format jpg -resample 1024 *.pdf
I don’t even know how I would do that in Windows. Command-line image manipulation is pretty sweet.
How about grep? Grep is frigging fantastic. Compared with Windows search? Please.
You guys are swell, honestly. I have rarely had a problem that couldn’t be solved on the first page of Google’s search results. One of the nice things about open-source is that when it’s popular, it’s really popular, and people are eager to help.
Linux is great, and if you consider yourself a computer person you owe it to yourself to give it a try.