Reliving Linux

I’ve been a user of OS X for about four years now, though prior to that I worked in Windows and then Linux. I started out with Windows 3.1, and fell onto the Linux wagon before Windows XP rolled around. It’s easy to forget, however, after using Apple’s operating system, that I had used anything else, especially when the command line (via Terminal.app) has always been so close at hand, and since I still use VIM for just about everything in terms of code. The platform has changed, though in some ways I haven’t.

Or, so I’ve felt, anyway. A few days ago I finally got to using VirtualBox to run a fresh install of Ubuntu v9.10. Even after being away from GNOME and its related systems for a few years, it all still seems familiar. In the process I’ve unlocked a good deal of nostalgia over my experience with the open source operating system.

No, I have not yet gone so far as to head back to FVWM as my primary window manager. I also still am keeping in mind certain advantages to device and software support for media (namely, Logic and Final Cut Pro).. but even so, I certainly do feel as though I’m missing something by not having X as my primary windowing system. I would much prefer to be able to configure most everything via modifying configuration files. I miss the joys of apt-get, and, above all, the very quick and efficient GTK and terminal applications that sip at the CPU and memory.

Hell, at the end of the day, it’s mostly my Mac-only external audio interface and my copy of Logic Studio 8 with all its luscious built-in plugins that is keeping me tied to OS X. I yearn for a future system with proper multi-channel audio-outputting HDMI which can use the sound software I want without the cruft or flash I don’t need.

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