On many geek community sites, and news sites just like this one, you read a lot of stories about people migrating to Linux and ditching their Windows system.
What you seldom hear much of is people going back to Windows. But it has happened.
Tony 'kNIGits' Collins, a 27 year-old Australian, first encountered Linux almost four years ago when looking for a more stable alternative to Windows for his home desktop.
After a few false starts and frustrations, familiar to many newbie Linux users who spend hours trawling newsgroups and old 'How Tos', he stuck with Mandrake and KDE from version 5.3 all the way through to 7.0 before moving on to Debian.
But then Collins decided that he did not want fine-grained control. "I wanted something simple. I was getting tired of the 'stable' Debian release being so out of date, and the 'unstable' distribution being so unstable," he said.
"I got tired of having to recompile my kernel every time I got new hardware. I got tired of using command line to talk to my PC."
The next installation was Suse 8.0 which Collins described as "the best Linux distribution that I've ever used". But still the shortcomings of Linux on the desktop showed through.
X Windows is one of the biggest complaints about the Linux desktop, along with its poor font support.
"It's too big, bloated, slow and unstable to be any good to the home user. Most crashes that I ever experienced with Linux have been X's fault," said Collins.
Drivers are another grudge point with Linux users, because they have to download binary packages specific to their distro, even down to the .2 or .3 version number.
"Hardware manufacturers should be able to provide one single driver that works on all minor versions of a major kernel release. This way it would work with all current distros, instead of having to provide multiple binaries or source code," explained Collins.
Along with a few software distribution complaints, such as: "I'm a home user, not a programmer. Why on earth should I have to compile the software I want to use", Collins also disliked the elitism of the Linux scene.
"Linux users were described as 'elitist nerdy shmucks'. Sadly this is true for much of the 'community'. Too many consider themselves better than the rest of the world because they run Linux," he said.
Collins has recently turned to Windows XP. "The stability is finally there," he exclaimed.
The Microsoft operating system also addresses all his gripes about Linux. "Windows has lightning quick graphics, both 2D and 3D. There's no denying it," he said. "When I move a window, it refreshes so fast that I don't miss X11 at all."
Drivers, meanwhile, are a simple point and click install.
But Collins is still a Linux sympathiser at heart. "I haven't completely abandoned the Linux community," he admitted.
"My home server still runs Mandrake. There is no way I'd ever put any form of Windows on my server, nor would I ever connect a Windows PC directly to the internet without a *nix gateway in between."
More of Collins's trials and tribulations with Linux can be found here.
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