My old webserver fried last Sunday. The nice repairman at Central Computers tested the power supply for me for free and then even spotted a bulging capacitor on the motherboard that I had overlooked. Now I have a new motherboard and CPU running in the old case. It’s modern, stinking fast, and nearly silent.

Setting up Apache and all my websites was a bit of a bear as usual due to many bits of Linux maintenance being updated. And don’t get me started on Gnome 3 (I use Xfce now like Linus). It feels like Gnome from about eight years ago, which is pretty nice.

Unfortunately, Linux has long been pulled by the locomotive of change-for-the-sake-of-change. I love Linux, but I would love it even more if it could be adopted by the masses. This will never happen at this rate because the target audience for Linux is clearly power users. My wife points out that she has never paid for software, ever. She can do this because she’s clever enough to always compute with Linux, where there is a ludicrous amount of free software, including the OS itself. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone could do that?

As I see it, there are three things Linux really needs in order to go mainstream.

  1. No more over-engineering, change-for-the-sake-of-change nonsense.
  2. One Frickin’ User Interface.
  3. A persistent graphical desktop that can only be shut off intentionally by a power-user.

The first pretty well speaks for itself. The second is a wonderful essay on how the power of consistency can be applied to Linux. The third requires a bit of explaining. When is the last time you were using Windows and the desktop disappeared, leaving you with nothing but a text prompt to type at? Probably never. It’s fairly uncommon in Linux too, but it does happen. If it does, most people would be stuck with a paperweight. The graphical desktop must always stay on.

Anyway, that’s my soapbox moment for the day. I hope it was a little entertaining and educational. Please let me reiterate how much I love Linux. It’s wonderfully reliable and great for development if you know how to use it. I just want everyone to be able to enjoy it.

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