Flutterby™! : Dan joins the 21st Century

Next unread comment / Catchup all unread comments User Account Info | Logout | XML/Pilot/etc versions | Long version (with comments) | Weblog archives | Site Map | | Browse Topics

Dan joins the 21st Century

2006-01-20 18:15:35.820768+00 by Dan Lyke 1 comments

After long enough with the Mac I started to realize that some of the trade-offs I've been reluctant to engage in over the years have shifted their rewards, and maybe it was time to bite the bullet and switch some of the ways in which I use computers.

So I've installed Ubuntu on all of my Linux[Wiki] machines that have a graphical interface, and I'm now using Opera as my email client as well.

This change has not been without some adjustment, last night I wanted to record an ISO, so I typed in cdrecord dev=0,0,0 image.iso, got an error about cdrecord not liking my kernel version, started to go for the package manager, and then realized "wait, what if I just open a window and double-click..."

Yeah, that worked.

There are some adjustments. I'm having to mouse more, and there are patterns of use that I'm having to re-learn, but most of them are re-learning, there are generally ways that are as efficient to do what I want to do, once I learn them.

And on the flip side, after recovering her laptop from the Windows XP[Wiki] installation with an Ubuntu "live" disk, Charlene's writing up cheat sheets with sudo mount /dev/hda3 ... on them...

[ related topics: Writing Theater & Plays Education Open Source Free Software Macintosh Interactive Drama Microsoft ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2006-01-20 18:51:38.61251+00 by: ebradway [edit history]

I got a good shove into the 21st Century a few years ago when I first got into GIS. The de facto standard, ESRI ArcGIS, only runs on Windows now and with the latest version, have moved 100% of the traditional command-line utilities (ArcInfo Workstation) to the GUI. From an educational standpoint, this is great. It makes many things much easier. And I've seen that from a production standpoint, the GUI is customizable enough to reduce the number of mouse-movements to a minimum. However, as an analyst, someone who doesn't have a set of 10 tasks I repeat over and over again throughout the day, I feel the echo of Dan's words:
"The command-line is a perfectly intuitive interface if you already know what you want to do."
From a mathematical point of view, a command line that consists of two-letter commands with a one digit numerical parameter is capable of performing 26*26*10= 6760 unique operations. Access to all of these operations can be accomplished with minimal hand movements. Navigating that many operations in a GUI would require thousands of windows and/or tabs and lots of mousing around. But I have to agree that for many common tasks, like burning a CD, and for visual tasks, like organizing the contents of a CD, a GUI is superior.