Monday, September 22, 2008

Staying with Linux

Recently I was affected by the Steve Job Reality Distortion Field. After watching the demonstration of the iPhone developer kit and the iPhone in general I wanted one too.

I thought I get myself a nice Apple Power Book or maybe an Air plus the iPhone and start developing. As it is also very much UNIX based I could still go to the command line if I want too and most of the tools I use every day are available on Max OS X and work very well.

My girlfriend has been using her PowerBook Titanium since 2002 and it still works well. She now also got the iPhone, which is the best phone you can buy at the moment. For someone who just wants to use computers, these are perfect.

But after seeing the problems software developers have with the AppStore and the sharing of information about iPhone development, I decided that this whole closed source thing is not for me.

I have been using Linux since my Amiga days and Red Hat Linux since 3.0.3 and I just can't imagening using software which doesn't have the source code available for me to learn and thinker with. Most people now will say that you probably are not going to this, but it is not true for me. I fixed, patched and changed Apache, Rhythmbox, PHP and Perl. I build my own RPMs for the changed versions to keep my system clean and I want to have this option in the future.

But it is not only the source. It is also the community and things like open bugtrackers. If I report a bug with some Apple or Microsoft product there is no way of knowing if this was reported before or if someone has a fix already. This just happened to me again with a USB mouse problem on Fedora, I just hat a look at bugzilla and there was already a solution which I was able to apply before the fix goes into the updates.

I still need to upgrade my computer though. My Athon XP 2400 (IIRC) just doesn't do the trick anymore. I also want to switch to an ATI graphics card to use open source drivers. So I decided to spend 1000€ on an upgrade to the machine, which probably consists of:
  • 24" TFT monitor
  • some AMD four core CPU which doesn't use too much power
  • a passive cooled ATI card
  • 4GB of memory
  • ASUS motherboard
  • two 1T hard disks for RAID1
all running the Fedora of course.

I might also get an OpenMoko phone at some point, but I am not really a phone user so it would be just a toy.

The only close source products will be my iPod Classic and iPod shuffle. But they are well supported now in gtkpod and Rhythmbox.

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