This weekend, I committed myself to fully converting to Linux and to quit Windows. I took a look at my usual computer usage and what applications I really used and made certain I had a reasonable alternative.
I would admittedly rate myself as 4/10 on a scale from Linux Neophyte to 1337 Hax0r. I can navigate the file system, recover things, compile things, and understand the fundamentals of Linux. So, this was a daring challenge when I wanted to switch over.
Never fear, Wine is here. No, put down the Chardonnay, I’m talking about
Windows Emulator “Wine is Not an Emulator” (WINE). I discovered that it isn’t just for installing some silly freeware Windows junk. You can literally take your software with you, if you have some time to get into it.
I was able to successfully run AOL 5.0 <g>, Microsoft Office 2003 and uTorrent. Amazingly, they all had compelling performance compared to their native counterparts. I was able to download a torrent at 95% of my connection speed, so it stayed. Office works like a charm, including all necessary fonts and glitz and glam. AOL actually works well* and renders FDO as its supposed to, but the browser doesn’t work because Wine lacks IE. Overall, I am quite satisfied.
* This statement is intended that running a Windows app is certainly a challenge, let alone something as proprietary as AOL. 😉
I’ve configured my Thunderbird, Firefox, Pidgin, and Skype with all their bells and whistles and am a happy computer user. So let me break down what the comparable applications are:
Office: Open Office, MS Office under Wine, Abiword
Winamp/iTunes/Music: XMMS, Amarok, Rhythmbox
Skype/VoIP: Skype, TeamSpeak
Command Prompt: Bash
Task Manager: ps aux, top, System Monitor (Gnome)
Photoshop/Paint Shop Pro/Graphics: Gimp, Photoshop under Wine
McAfee/Norton/AVG/Anti-virus Software: None! It’s Linux!
Dreamweaver/Notepad/Text Editor: Bluefish, Screem, Gedit (Gnome), vi
Windows/Operating Systems: Ubuntu, Debian, Red Hat, SuSE, Mandriva, and many others.
There you have it. No excuses. If you’re on the fence, you’ll enjoy the multitasking ability of Linux, no freezes or crashes and the impressive uptime.
Update 11/28: From the comments below, WINE probably means “Wine Is Not an Emulator,” instead of my own interpretation “WINdows Emulator.” Thanks, Ed!
Update 12/4: I went into further detail on the recursive acronym in the comments below, as well as struck out my typo. Thanks!