Like you, I love computers. I love trying out new software. I have a passion for all things cool, or potentially cool. A couple of years ago, this passion drove me to try out linux - I've seen it praised so many times, and sworn by so many times that I thought: "Hey, maybe I'm missing a lot of fun. Maybe I ought to try it". So I did.
And it turned out that I haven't missed any fun.
Back then, I installed Redhat linux 9, which was supposed to be user-friendly, full-featured, secure and stable. Put a 100 lines under 'stable'. It was anything but stable - and it was loaded with silly bugs and decisions. I mean, not being able to switch the resolution on the fly on gnome 2.4? Have to restart X? Why?
For God's sake, the 1st freaking 30 minutes of running gnome, I stumbled upon 3 bugs. And that's version 2.4. Amazing!
It took me 7 hours to set the thing up correctly; hardware drivers and all. SEVEN. And during those 7 hours, X crashed 5 times. That simply beats WinMe hands down.
Oh, and when it installed, X used a default 2D driver for my card - fine. Whenever I tried to run a 3D game (e.g. Maelstrom), it wouldn't quit with an error or anything; it either freezed, or freezed the system and I had to reboot. Tell me about stability.
Meh. When I was exploring and opened the /etc/lib folder (IIRC), Nautilus gave me an error message saying "Too many files"!! We're talking about a fresh install here, I've not touched anything!
One thing that sticks to my mind as the most dumb, dimwitted, unquestionably retarded decision/design I've ever seen, is how XFree86 configured the video card and input devices. You see, the configuration was stored in the same file. So, when I installed the ATi driver, it required me to reconfigure the mouse and keyboard during installation. And then when I altered the mouse settings from one of gnome's settings panels, it overwrote the configurations written by the ATi driver. LOL. So I had to take a copy of the file, configure the mouse from X, then copy the video stuff from the copy I've taken. LOL2.
And hardware support was a joke. It still is, but to a much lesser extent.
Fedora Core 3
It was such a catastrophic experience (RH9) that I frowned upon linux and its distros for a long time, until recently, when I again heard: "Fedora Core 3 0wnz0rz!!11!!".
Now, I've grown very cautious when it comes to any linux praise, especially when it's accompanied by dumb windows criticism (and I honestly consider WinXP the best desktop/workstation OS in existence so far, overall. And I don't care about your opinion, you're simply WRONG) coming from retarded fanboys and open-source fanatics, but I thought they must've improved a lot in the last 2 years. I was wrong again.
It all started with Anaconda, their visual installer. When launching, it said it detected a 2-button serial mouse. Awesome. The mouse didn't work in the installer at all. Not until I installed, rebooted, and was configuring sound. They took 2 years to remove mouse support from their Anaconda installer (The mouse worked fine in Anaconda when I was installing RH9). Don't ask!
I could've managed to install without the mouse anyway. After all, dude, I've played Dune 2 with the keyboard back in the early nineties. Yes, a strategy game with the keyboard. It was possible back then.
I was saying, I could've managed to install, if it weren't for the retarded partition manager, Disk Druid. Naturally, I chose auto-partitioning, and told it to format the existing linux partitions and use them (I still had RH9 dead on one of my partitions, and another ext2 swap partition). It gave me this error dialog, titled "Error Partitioning":
Unsatisfied partition request
New part request. Mountpoint: None UniqueID: 9
Type: physical volume (LVM) format: 1 badlock: None
Device: None drive: ['hda'] primary: None
Size: 0 grow: 1 maxsize: None
Start: None end: None migrate: None origfstype: None
The dialog was formatted as shown above. Exactly.
I pressed Ok, and it gave me yet another retarded dialog saying I've not defined a root partition, and that this can happen if I don't have enough space. Cool. Except that I have 6 GB of free space, which are MOST DEFINITELY more than enough. Which brings another issue, the retarded thing installs - after I cut most of the optional packages - on like 2.3 GBs. I don't know why, does it come with pr0n movies or what??!! Cause 2.7 GBs is too much.
So, I just went back and chose manual partitioning, set it up and installed. After rebooting, I found out the GRUB wasn't installed correctly. It was freezing at stage 2. Now I can't even boot windows. Not good.
Microsoft Windows Repair to the rescue, I entered the CD, booted from it, pressed 'R', typed 'fixmbr' and voila!
Of course, fixmbr fixes things for windows only. There'd be no GRUB no more.
I reinstalled FC3. This time it worked fine, until I got to the point where I got this 'Sound Test' screen.
Here you get to press this button, and hear some soothing 'brim brim brim' tone from the speakers. Why am I mentioning this? Simple. Turns out the sound driver was running in RETARDED mode, where it can't play more than one sound simultaneously. Basically, my hardware doesn't do mixing, and the driver didn't bother doint it either. And what's more annoying, is that I discovered this the hard way, I wasn't warned...(below)
Bottom-line: Anaconda sucks. Rated 'D', for dimwit.
I was chatting with my boss and a friend on gaim (which is a nice application, save for the retarded interface - both in terms of usability and taste), and then I switched to something else, expecting to be notified of any incoming messages by some 'berling' voice. Being the dumb retard that I am, I also played cryosleep by Machinae Supremacy (which is, by the way, one of the best bands I've come across so far - Thanks to Superpig and Rob Loach for bringing them to my attention, indirectly).
Well, after 4 minutes or so, after cryosleep was done, I got a stream of "berling berling berling brom brom brom berling berling berling" for like 30 seconds. Turns out both my buddies (one of which is the BOSS) were sending messages, but the audio notifications were being buffered because it can't play 2 simultaneous sounds. After 5 minutes of cussing like a pirate, I began searching the net for a solution. I came across people saying I have to get ALSA, and recompile the kernel and similar nonesense - basically, I didn't find what I'm looking for: An rpm to fix the issue. So I let it go.
Bottom-line: Hardware support is still retarded, but not as it once was - Honestly, it's much better. But, I'd have been totally Ok if it told me that "Excuse me, AOpen haven't provided a linux driver for their soundcard, so we're using a homebrew one instead, which can't do software mixing". But it didn't.
Next comes up2date. I can't believe how they shipped FC3 with such a shoddy beast. For the 1st 2 days, I had no luck running the thing - It always kept crashing. And when it finally ran, it took like 20 minutes to get 'rpm headers', and practically wouldn't even update its progress bar near the end, making me think it's frozen. After it got the headers, it told me there are ~200 updates available - I was amazed. This was awesome. It tracked all the apps installed, and looked for newer versions from some redhat repository. Cool.
I selected what I wanted to update, and it said the total size was 16Kb. I smelled rats. Lots of rats. Zombie rats. Stinky ones at that, too.
I elected to go 'Forward' anyway. It finished downloading about 4 hours later...
What was I thinking, I said to myself. They'd not take the chance to ruin what would've been a totally awesome piece of software? O'course not!
I'm officially retarded to think otherwise.
After the update, I wanted to install some developer tools. The reason I tried linux this time actually, was that I needed it in a project - an OS project (More on that later). I launched the package manager (or whatever it's called), and selected the packages to install. It complained about missing packages - dependencies.
At this point, that was it for me. I decided to try another distro, Ubuntu. I've heard good things about it. Very good things. And once again I proved to myself that I'm retarded. There's no such thing as a good linux distro, that's what I'm sure of now. Ubuntu turned out to be one of the shoddiest piles of goo I've ever seen. So shoddy that I actually reverted to FC3 after trying it and another debian-based distro.
But I've written long enough for this time. Next time, I'll talk about warty warthogs, haunted mice, retarded frontends and more.