Back Into The Fire Fold

I’ve come to the conclusion that Debian on a laptop is just too problematic for daily use when all you want is to manage your email, browse a few web pages, write a few documents and toy with some of the extra doodads and latest whirly wizbangs.

Granted, I’ve managed to strong arm my system to do what I’ve wanted it to do for the most part, but there are still a few things that I just don’t feel like tackling. Nor do I feel like I should need to flex my magical supercow admin powers any more than I already have when there are plenty of more end user friendly alternatives available that are designed specifically for one’s everyday desktop.

Not to mention that in the wake of all my hacking away at the system’s innards I’ve left quite a mess of twisted logic behind that I just know is going to come back and bite me some day soon.

Don’t get me wrong… for servers, Debian is definately the only real choice as far as I’m concerned. Its rock solid nature and rolling release cycle lends itself quite nicely to big iron. But it pains me to have to mix in software from the testing and unstable repositories just to get a reasonable version of end user software like my browser and office suite.

That and their glorified stance on being über Free Software all of the time means that when it comes to doing something they consider heretic, like using a proprietary video driver for example, they make it abundantly clear that users like myself are on our own. While I don’t expect their direct support or even their blessing over such things, I do expect them to not look down on me in disdain from their high horse over such a simple matter as wanting my stuff to work.

So here I go, jumping back into the void…

Not one to shy away from a challenge, I’m jumping in with both feet and will be going straight to the latest Alpha release of Kubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) as soon as I get my system backed up. It’s at Alpha 4 at the moment, but is scheduled for an Alpha 5 release on Thursday.

This means two things. First, it’s back to the misery joy of dealing with point releases. Second, it’s going to be the final showdown between me and KDE 4. If I can’t make peace with it this time, I’m absolutely done with trying.

I’ve already taken a look at Karmic in a virtual machine and KDE 4.3 appears to be a huge improvement over KDE 4.2 as far as bugs and some usability issues go. It still seems like it lacks some depth and it appears a bit weak on features, but overall it at least appears usable, (unlike it’s previous iterations) and that’s the main thing. Besides, it’s still quite young, so I’m willing to cut it a bit of slack in some areas out of fairness. Hey, I’m not unreasonable.

I could go with the official stable release of Kubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackolope) and upgrade from KDE 4.2 which is installed by default to KDE 4.3 using the backports repository, but then I’d miss out on all of the fun reporting any bugs I might find for the next release (due at the end of October).

Another reason to jump all the way to the latest Alpha release is so I can stay ahead of the curve regarding the inherent quirks that each release inevitably has. October is right around the corner and I’m not going to waste time getting up to speed on 9.04 (Jaunty) when I’d be delaying any future installs until 9.10 comes out anyways.

So I’ll be launching a backup in a minute or two and then will perform a few manual grabs of some key stuff tomorrow and it will be off to the races either tomorrow night or perhaps this weekend depending on how my schedule looks. All I need is about an hour or three to cutover and that includes re-encrypting the whole disk and restoring my data (I wouldn’t need to restore if I wasn’t doing the whole disk encryption, otherwise it would just take me 30 minutes tops). Yes, it’s that easy.

Of course, the Better 3/4ths would probably want to point out that I’ll take weeks tweaking it, but that’s just me playing around. Some people like to dawdle around in some game; I like to customize my environment.

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~ by ghendar on September 2, 2009.