the quiet geek

Free as in… Software?

I’ve always wanted to run FOSS at home, but it seems like every time I try to use a FOSS OS, I run into problems.  Honestly, I’m less concerned about the Open Source part and more concerned about the ‘Free’ bit.

Well, I’ve decided to give it another shot.  I’m currently using Wubi to run Ubuntu 13.04 (upgrading to 13.10 as I write).  So far, I’ve gotten further than I have before.  The base OS is installed (easy).  The ATI Video driver is cooperating for the most part, but I’m still working out some issues getting TF2 to run the way I want it to.  Had some very strange problems at first where textures were out of place or missing, and it looked like I could walk through walls or floors, but I was actually in the correct space in the map.  Still working on that, hoping that the distribution upgrade to 13.10 helps.

At home, the main apps that I want that are easily covered by FOSS are:

  • Web – who doesn’t want web access on their PC?
  • Telnet – will probably go to PuTTY here, for Cisco labbing
  • Media – ability to stream media from my file server

The areas where I anticipate difficulty are:

  • Gaming – I really want to be able to play some TF2 in my downtime.  So far, as mentioned above, getting the 3d graphics going has been a bit frustrating.
  • Netflix – doesn’t seem to work ‘out of the box.’  Ran across a guide the other day that I’ll be trying.

The parts that I still need to try:

  • AnyConnect VPN – Don’t expect a problem here.  Just like to have it for the occasional work thing.
  • GoToWebinar – Still need to attend meetings.

I guess it just boggles me a little bit when I’m cruising the networking forums, and I see a post where someone says ‘You work in networking and you’re running WINDOWS!?’  like it’s some kind of sin.  The OS on your desktop is really just a tool to get a job done.  In the past, I’ve gone with Windows because that’s what ‘everyone else’ uses.  Now it’s force of habit.  It’s what I know.  I still have a command line when I need it for ping, nslookup, and the occasional quick telnet session.  I’ve got the keyboard shortcuts for most of the stuff that I use down.

So why switch?

I guess I just want to see what it’s like to run free as in beer software.




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