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Why I Run Windows, 2010

Created by dave. Last edited by dave, 14 years and 44 days ago. Viewed 3,575 times. #1
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Why I Run Windows

(March 2010 edition)

So having a discussion with a Twitter friend led me to think about why I run Windows. The last time I looked at this was 2008 (see Why I Run Windows, 2008), and it is probably time to reconsider why we are doing what we are doing.

Thing is, the only thing that has changed is that I am using Windows-7 64-bit on my computers rather than Vista.

So I thought it might be instructive to include a snapshot of the desktop wheren I spend most of my day.

Things to note:

  • two web browsers, Chrome and IE. I really like the Chrome browser and use it for 95% of my non-work related browsing. Having a totally different browser makes it easy to segregate work and non-work windows at a glance. It doesn't work for some of the web management interfaces I need, which is why I have to keep IE around. Firefox isn't even installed any more.
  • Outlook. See the Dogfood section of the 2008 article.
  • VNC Viewer and Putty. I am a rabid fan of local, reconnectable sessions. I run everything that is command-line through a screen session. This means I can disconnect at will (or survive accidental disconnects) and reconnect later. Same with VNC. I can leave the X session running on a local computer where it will be nice and fast, and VNC into it again later.
  • MS Remote Desktop client. Same idea as VNC, only for MS-OSs. Invaluable.
  • VMware. I like to keep separate customer instances separate. This has saved me in more than one instance, where I was VPN'd into one customer doing something horribly complicated, then had to VPN into a totally separate customer to do a hit-and-run. Since both were in XP instances running in VMware, neither noticed, and neither had to be torn down to make the other one work. I also run a couple of CentOS instances for various things. So if I need Linux, I can have it.
  • Mutt is in a PuTTY session for my personal mail. I reach the Mutt session (running in screen, of course) through an OpenVPN tunnel that I keep running on the laptop.
So that's my workspace. I still don't see a compelling reason to switch to a Linux environment.

I hear that some of my complaints have been addressed in the past two years. Multihead just works. Suspend (and more importantly, unsuspend) have improved vastly (and to be fair, unsuspend is sometimes hit-and-miss on this laptop; sometimes it takes longer to unsuspend than it would to boot fresh). Some distributions even have changing-network-information-detectors that work reasonably well.

But the big two reasons:

  • I don't need Linux do anything that I both need/want to and can't do on Windows; and
  • Fiddle-time isn't billable-time
...remain unaddressed.
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