The difference

In order to use my wireless LAN at home, I had to enable WPA encryption on the client computers.

On my Powerbook with Mac OS X everything was preinstalled. I just had to enter the configuration, and it worked. Time: about two minutes.

On Windows XP I had to install a driver application, enter the configuration, fiddle around a bit, and it worked. Time: about fifteen minutes.

On Linux I had to browse through various FAQs and message boards, fiddle with config files, have the driver crash my machine. Time: Several hours, and I gave up on this. And this is in spite of the fact that the driver actually worked out of the box, and the only thing that I’d have to do was to configure the WPA.

This is exactly the reason why my Linux partition regularly falls into disuse: I used to use k3b to burn discs, but it ignored my attempts to reduce the burn speed to reliable level and ate about 4 blank DVDs because it couldn’t detect the hardware correctly. I tried using gnucash, but it would neither import my old data correctly nor allow me to get the HBCI configuration to work.

In the end, I shelled out some hard-earned money and bought a copy of Quicken and Nero. I popped in the CDs, and it worked.

I really like Linux, as a server system and a desktop toy. I even liked to use it at work. But  when I want to get things done, I generally don’t care about the free source code. I don’t want to fix the software. I want other people to do it for me so that I can get my stuff done. And if they want to get paid for it, so be it.

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