Posted by notKlaatu , 03 June 2009 · 206 views
Interesting thing happened today; I got to a cafe at 09:50 and just so happened to check my email. Turns out, someone I'd thought had cancelled on an 11:00 appointment was not quite out of the game yet, and it turns out that the 11:00 appointment was on after all. That was OK...I was at the cafe, so in theory all I had to do was sit and wait an hour and she'd show up. Except for one thing....for the appointment (a Final Cut Pro lesson) to work, I needed a Mac...but not just any ol' Mac -- I needed a Mac with Mac OS X and Final Cut on it. Silly me, walking around with a Fedora MacBook all day.So I hurried back to my apartment, grabbed a spare Macbook that currently had a Fedora 11 beta install on it, popped in a Mac OS X installer disc, and started what I knew would be a LONG install. I was able to strip out as much of the extra packages, like X11 (it hurt to exclude that) and Printer Drivers and Languages, so that helped a lot, but it is still a fairly long install. It was most painful to know that I was installing things like......Address Book.app, Expose.app, Mail.app, AppleScript, Automator.app, Font Book.app, Photo Booth.app, Calculator.app, Front Row.app (well heck who ever wants to install that anyway?), Stickies.app, iCal.app, Preview.app, iChat.app, TextEdit.app, Chess.app, QuickTime Player.app, iSync.app, Time Machine.app, DVD Player.app, Image Capture.app, iTunes.app (don't get me started), Dashboard.app, Safari.app, Dictionary.app, diskutil, Disk Utility, Activity Monitor.app, AirPort Utility.app, Audio MIDI Setup.app, Bluetooth File Exchange.app, Boot Camp Assistant.app, ColorSync Utility.app, DigitalColor Meter.app, Directory Utility.app, Directory.app, Grab.app, Grapher.app, Java, Keychain Access.app, Migration Assistant.app, Network Utility.app, ODBC Administrator.app, Podcast Capture.app, RAID Utility.app, Remote Install Mac OS X.app, System Profiler.app, VoiceOver Utility.app, zsh, tcsh, mount_afp, mount_msdos, mount_nfs, mount_ntfs, mount_smbfs, mount_udf,mount_webdav and all the other little apps and utils I don't really need or want to install. OK, true I probably wouldn't have wanted to take the time to go through and pick through a list of all possible applications that were going to be installed and eliminate them, but for many of the major groupings of apps and utils, I most certainly would have loved to be able to do just that.So, when I re-installed Fedora later in the day, it was quite refreshing to see the customization that was possible, like excluding Bluetooth and Zerconf or Avahi or whatever it is, and lots of little things that I just didn't want to have to bother with.That said, the Mac OS install did happen in time, and a very-paired down FCP install also was able to get done, and I was back at the cafe in time for the appointment. Would a Linux install have gone any faster? Eh, probably not. Let's face it, it's gonna take you almost an hour to install most normal OS's....oh, sure I could have done a Wolvix install in 10 minutes....so I guess I'm wrong...I could have done a Linux install quicker. I could have had a super-simple OS on my computer, and then grabbed Blender from its repository or from the Blender site, and I would have been up and running in a few five minute blocks rather than an hour. That's pretty cool. And what delivers it to us? Choice. And what gives us the choice of how we want our system to work? Freedom.Thank you, Free Software devs everywhere.No matter how many times I have an experience like this, and think "oh it's so anecdotal and so rare -- no-one else has these kinds of experiences", I keep being reminded that it's not the rarity of the experience that matters, it's the experience itself. It's the moment where you NEED an install to take 10 minutes (15 by the time the Wolvix liveCD boots) instead of an hour that counts. Sure, everything else notwithstanding, I might not care about freedom to make tiny little distros if my life always afforded me an hour or two for every install I did and no surprise appointments. But that's not how my life tends to work, so the Linux option is a really important and welcome one.So thanks again, Free Software devs everywhere.