There have been several points where I tried to move to Linux as my primary operating system. Once was in the Spring of 2001 when I bought my first PowerBook and Mac OS X was not out yet. Those were some of the early days for PowerPC Linux; nightmares with the XFree86 installation finally led me to give up. During a season of great frustration with my Mac hardware and agreeing to try and get on the .Net bandwagon and be happy about it, I had purchased a PC laptop in January 2002. By Spring I had begun to try dual-booting and running RedHat Linux. Things started well; I had actually moved to Ximian evolution as my primary email client, etc. One day my Red Carpet package manager really messed up some library dependencies and I spent several days trying to back out of the problem. It got to where Mozilla and Evolution would either crash or not come up at all, then my menus started getting all wacko. I bailed.
By that time, OS X had made great strides. MySQL and PHP could be compiled from source without any special gymnastics, and each revision of OS X became more Unix-savvy, right down to the choice of default shell (bash instead of tcsh; it felt good to finally have a shell that agreed with most code samples found on the Internet) with the advent of Panther. And that was great for a while, but the call of Linux still tugged at me.
And now here I am, once again at the point where I have turned back in the past. Overall my Debian experience has been vastly superior to the distributions I used in the past. However, some library dependency has got my current Mozilla and Evolution installs freaked out. I am also unable to get my Bluetooth adapter working with my current kernel. I have also been having so XFree86 wierdness that is tenuous but livable. These types of issues have always been the point where there was enough pain to make me turn back. Yet, I always return to try again.
What will this time bring? Will I persevere and pass these obstacles, or will I once again flee for the safe cover of a proprietary operating system? Time will tell.
For the record, I don’t really like that phrase. It’s unnecessary. Doesn’t time always tell? It’s not like there is an alternative.