I haven't changed from Windows to Linux because Windows is better at doing what I require. So, what is it that I require? At the moment, I’m writing up some e2 nodes. I have Outlook in the background, checking my e-mail regularly (every three minutes). Winamp is playing my collection of MP3s.

I can’t node from my Linux machine because I can’t get the X Windows resolution above 640x480. I can get 1024x768 in Windows, but Gnome won’t change to anything above 640x480, no matter what I do. I’m using a Creative Video Blaster GeForce 2 GTS graphics card, so it might be to do with that; it took a long time to find drivers that work at all. Alternately, it could be the monitor; it’s an old 17” Sony tube, that won’t go above 60Hz. X might notice this and try and lower the resolution until it can get a decent refresh. But it can’t, so it gives me the lowest resolution possible.

I can’t find anyone who knows what’s going on with my monitor/graphics card, or how I could fix it. So I’m stuck at 640x480, which makes doing anything much hard. Also, the only browser that doesn’t suck available for Linux is Opera. That means banners, or expense. I’m using Opera, so nodeing is just about possible.

After that, I want a good mail client. Sure, there are several mail clients out there for Linux and they may be very good, but changing mail clients means either an import/export function, or loosing all my old messages. I can’t find a Linux mail client that can automatically get old my mail from Outlook, get my new messages, let me read them, and export to the Outlook files, for when I’m in Windows.

Oh, yeah, MP3s. I haven’t got sound support in Linux. If I install Windows, sound works out of the box; it’s a SoundBlaster Live card… pretty common. But it doesn’t work out the box. There isn’t a ‘configure sound’ button that shows me my options. I have to go to linuxdocs.org and search for a sound HOWTO, then I have to read all through it, and start editing my configuration files and doing all manner of archaic things:

You need the appropriate device drivers for your sound card to be present in the kernel. The kernel running on your system may already include the drivers for your sound card. In most cases the drivers would have been built as kernel loadable modules. You can check which drivers are available as modules by looking in the /lib/modules directories. For the 2.4.4 kernel, the sound drivers would normally appear in /lib/modules/2.4.4/kernel/drivers/sound/. If you see the driver(s) for your sound card, you can try using the module directory and skip recompiling the kernel.

This is basically too much for me to deal with. I have to recompile my kernel to play my MP3s? Windows can to it much more easily.

In conclusion, I don’t use Linux because IT IS NOT A STRONG DESKTOP OPERATING SYSTEM. It might be good for servers, but not for the desktop. Also, the people who use Linux like to feel supreme and clever. They want to say ‘You can’t configure your sound card? That’s unbelievable, you only have to recompile your kernel with the drivers you require, and anyone can do that! Or you can import your pluggable drivers of choice! Simple!’ they will then congratulate themselves on being so helpful and clever, and never do anything to make Linux configuration more intuitive. I mean, *they* can configure their sound cards. If it needs doing so much, why don’t I improve it? After all, that’s the point of open-source!

I don’t use Linux because the returns in terms of functionality do not outweigh the losses in terms of, i.e. not being able to use my USB scanner. Being described as ‘The sheep who still use Windows’ does nothing to make me want to change over: Windows is more appropriate to my needs, and until Linux is in a usable state for me, I do not plan on using it heavily.