Visiting the Dark Side

Unless you count the few times I’ve putty’ed to calcifer from my father’s computer when I was visiting him, I haven’t used a modern Windows computer at all. My tax computer is Windows, true, but it’s Windows 95. My first laptop still runs Window 3.11 — and while both Naomi and Rebecca have windows partitions on their laptops, neither is really aware of that fact — I’ll wipe them one of these days, giving them extra room for their /home.

But when I got my computer back from Dell and found that I had to re-install Linux anyway because they had apparently given me a new motherboard (and kept one of the little rubber feet, grumbl, of course
it would be the one on the fan side), I tried to reinstall Windows XP. From the CD that came with the laptop, and that wouldn’t let me install Windows before. Now it did.

But gosh… To have to reboot a computer because you plug in a network cable. And the sheer lack of fun… (Although, in fairness, I’ve installed Gnome 2.6 on the Linux side of this laptop, and it’s just as much unfun as Windows is.) It’s quite a chore, telling Windows that it’s just a dhcp client.

And frankly, I don’t know why people complain about SuSE’s YOU script to download and update the NVidia drivers; with Windows I have to install a complete cd-full of stuff to get those drivers.

On the other hand, and this is an important point: Windows XP is on this 3Ghz laptop a whole lot more responsive than Linux. Gui apps pop up instantly, actions are carried out instantly, webpages render instantly (with FireFox) — XEmacs loads faster and is snappier in use. And Windows boots a lot faster.

And this is a Linux issue, not a KDE issue, because even if I run WindowMaker, then XEmacs and FireFox are still a lot slower than their Windows counterparts. Window manager actions, no matter which window
manager I use under Linux, are slower than under Windows. There’s a whole lot of room for improvement here.

The reason for this exercise was to install the various paint apps that exist for Windows only and mine them for ideas. I’ve hurried up and taken screen shots within the fifteen days trial allowed, and that investigation will be the topic of my next entry.