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March 23, 2005

Fedora Core 3 as a Desktop

While the laptop is out of commission (ordered the part today) I've gotten myself set up on an old desktop with Fedora Core 3.

I'm enjoying the change of pace, and have been thinking a lot about Linux on the desktop and what it would mean to move an entire office or organization over. A lot probably depends on what that organization does. Obviously the Linux desktop does pretty well for web, email and IM. Getting around the OS has become pretty straightforward as well.

To me it seems like the issue is when you get into the more meaty work that goes on in an office. Many organizations have windows-based interfaces to HR or systems data. What if your primary business is centered on customized Excell spreadsheets, Word documents, graphic design (QuarkXPress, Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator) or any other number of well established Windows or Mac applications? It seems that regardless of how easy the installation process gets, or how nice the OS interface is, if there aren't tools to actually get your work done the reality of using Linux is far-fetched. OpenOffice and GIMP are impressive tools, but they require getting familiar with a new application, and most people don't welcome that.

One other thing, I use KDE and I can never seem to find where an application lives in the categorization of the tool bar. I guess I'm more used to a very long, alphabetical list. Is adjustments to the monitor in the Preferences, System Settings or System Tools? Seems like there could be some organization there to consolidate or something. Maybe it's just not being familar with the interface, but I've used KDE for periods off and on over the past 5 or 6 years and always find myself going through several menus categories before I find the right tool.

Posted by mike at March 23, 2005 4:54 PM