Tuesday, 4 August 2015

No more playing with linux on old Imacs ...

Saturday was a sad day.

We bundled up all my old PPC iMacs and took them to recycling - I'd finally come to the realisation that I was never seriously play with PPC linux again. That's not to say I'm stopping playing with linux, because the one thing that the whole PPC linux on imacs thing taught me was that older hardward can have its working life usefully extended by being sidegraded to a lower demand linux environment.

Great for cash strapped schools and libraries, but it's not a panacea.

It does require that the linux distribution that you choose continues to be supported and maintained, simply because you need modern browsers, as well as all these security patches. It also means that the hardware you're working on has to have some upgrade potential - extra memory, more internal storage, simply because even the best linux implementation or application is not immune from bloat.

So, what now?

I'm personally convinced that linux on the desktop remains a viable alternative to proprietary operating systems. In fact things like printing and network configuration have got a lot easier over the years, and the general robustness of Libre Office makes it a viable alternative office suite, just as you can run your life on Evolution, just as you can on Outlook.

Using a linux based notebook I've found nothing I can't do on a machine with a commercial operating system with the exception of working with documents created with odd templates and change tracking - something that's not quite as portable as it should be. In fact things like straight forward text editing are a lot more straight forward on linux. I will say though that you do need a decent browser, purely because increasingly one ends up using browser based applications (Evernote for example)  rather than stand alone applications - however, Firefox admirably rises to the occasion.

So I'll keep on playing with linux - except it'll be i386 hardware from now on ...

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