Monday, February 11, 2008

Savor the Flavors

Well, we are on our way to becoming a three platform household. Ladybug has a new Mac Mini running Leopard while the MiniSnab just received the old PC which I upgraded to Windows Vista. Meanwhile, I am running Windows XP and 2000 on my work/home PC...but I am on my way to installing Ubuntu Linux Desktop Edition.

It is not much surprise that things shake down this way...

1. Windows Vista - one year later and we still get the Blue Screen of Death on a "Vista Ready" PC. There are some great security and useability features (a la Mac OS X Leopard), but they need to get past the Windows 95 bug-o-rama stage. Also, the DRM sell out to the RIAA and MPAA is counter to the users' wishes yet funded by the users. Sounds like Soviet capitalism to me. My D-Link wireless USB stick is less than a year old but incompatible with Vista. Inexcusable.

2. Mac OS X Leopard - Really cool in a lot of ways but Apple has a knack of burning their bridges behind them when it comes to backwards compatibility (which Microsoft is sadly learning). It is much, much more stable than OS 9 but most of our apps (many $$$ worth) are in OS 9.

3. Ubuntu - Still downloading. Don't know.

4. Windows XP - Probably the current gold standard until MS gets the kinks out of their big new Vista beastie.

5. Windows 2000 - The version where Microsoft got it right. Stable, with a consistent interface, and good interactivity...not to mention the fonts mimicked IBM's OS Warp 4 in a way I found particularly comforting. Unfortunately it couldn't last forever.

6. Mac OS X 10.2.8 (Leopard I think) - Works pretty well but is not supported by many new Mac software items. We have the final iTunes version before the DRM wall fell on our music enjoyment. OS 9 classic layer is great for our old Mac programs. Too bad this OS and Leopard couldn't meld into a super OS.

7. SUSE Linux 9 - Pretty slick interface with lots of cool games. KDE Desktop had desktop skins years before Mac and MS. If you want to venture forth with anything except the main apps, you are in for a big learning curve with command line compiling and sometimes debugging. Not so good for the general populace. Open Office is too quirky for serious MS Office users.

Your mileage may vary.


Pandabonium said...

I'm thinking of joining a Luddite community and having my computers recycled into knitting needles.

The Moody Minstrel said...

Your home sounds like my work environment. The laptop I use in the English office runs Windows XP (rocks!). The main desktop workstation in the same office runs Windows 2000 (still rocks!). As for the "server" on the desk next to mine, when I found out it really did nothing at all and blew the whistle on it, Mr. O removed Red Hat Linux (sadly, I never got to know it) and installed Windows XP, but Charles recently added an Ubuntu Linux partition, and that's what it uses most of the time. (Ubuntu is really cool! The educational version has some awesome teaching apps including all kinds of science demonstrators and a built-in encyclopedia.) Meanwhile, the main desktop machine I use over in the music office is a Mac running OS X with an OS 9 layer. (I love that machine...most of the time...)

I actually just bought a new laptop solely for my studio. So far I've only used it as a MIDI controller, replacing the partly-fossilized IBM ThinkPad running Windows 3.1 that I used till it died on me last summer. (I simply had no reason to update that little toy.) I'm gradually going to switch over to all-digital, direct-to-computer recording, and have already installed the software to do it. The new machine was preinstalled with Vista, of course. The jury is still out on it, but other than trying to figure the damned thing out - with Japanese language menus to boot - so far the only trouble I've had with it was a "designed for Vista" USB MIDI interface that I bought that turned out not to work with Vista till I downloaded a driver off the internet. (The included CD-ROM had 2000/XP and Mac drivers only.) Now everything is up and running as far as I know.

Maybe you ought to declare your house a museum of OS technology and apply for a government grant! ;-)

Don Snabulus said...


You can knit an afghan blanket in about 300 milliseconds if you melt down a fast enough chipset.


I had the same problem with a USB wireless dongle (after replacing a fairly new dongle which didn't enjoy Vista support even though I bought it after Vista came out).

As old OS/2 brothers, we are both museum relics. ;)

Swinebread said...

and to think I was learning this stuff at one point! How crazy could I have been for doing this? Very Crazy

Dean Wormer said...

Um, I saw a Leapard at the zoo and enjoy Linux is those Peanuts cartoons. Especially the Christmas one.

Actually I'm setting up a wireless router tonight. 20th Century here I come!

Dave said...

Windows XP Pro and Cakewalk Music Studio Software. I think the reason my computer runs reliably right now is that I haven't loaded it up with ancient software.