I promised to post reviews of three more CDs I bought recently, but I have a cold and I’m in a grumpy mood. I have been playing said CDs however, and just got them ripped to my laptop so I can deal with the songs better. Which brings me to two subjects I will talk about: Linux and Ogg Vorbis.
It took me at least an extra half hour to get my CDs ripped because of something that happens every time I get a new operating system installed: All my songs ripped as Ogg Vorbis files instead of the standard mp3. Then I had to figure out how to change the setting in Banshee (my music player) and if I had installed the codecs I needed. In between all that were a few text message exchanges with a more Linux-knowledgeable friend.
That annoys the crap out of me every time. I know to expect it, but I always forget. Why do I forget? Because NO ONE uses Ogg. Ogg is worthless. I need files I can play in my car stereo or play in an mp3 player, or give to someone who doesn’t use Linux. As far as I can tell, the only reason Ogg Vorbis exists is for Linux purists who hate using proprietary software. Even when not using that software is a huge pain in the ass.
Banshee says Ogg is higher quality and makes smaller files than mp3, but it’s not enough of a difference to overcome that problem of trapping your music on a Linux computer. The whole point of a music file should be portability. Just found an amusing blog post by someone else who agrees Ogg is worthless. (His blog is called the Linux Hater’s Blog. His main goal is to piss off linux users. He’s surly and funny and reminds me of Maddox. I wonder if he IS Maddox?)
So with all the bitching, why am I using Linux in the first place? Believe it or not I love it. Or at least like it. I used Windows on my first PCs and I got fed up with all the crashing and virus attacks. No matter how hard you try or how much you pay for anti-virus software, it still gets in. The guys making the viruses are just too good nowadays. Even the best anti-virus services are just playing catch-up.
I got tired of being pushed around by Microsoft. I actually switched to Linux because I didn’t want to switch to Vista and pay a bunch of money for another OS I knew I would just be lukewarm about at best. I like some of the programs available on Linux. I definitely like not having to pay for them. They do almost everything I need (who are we kidding though? Gimp is not as good as Photoshop. It’s just good enough, sort of, and doesn’t cost a fortune).
I also like being contrary — to a point. I hate monopolies and giant corporations as much as the next guy, but I’m not going to let that keep me from getting things done that I need to get done. It helps a lot that Linux Mint is user-friendly and not as purist as some other distros I’ve tried.
I am not a programmer or a hacker. I am passably computer literate, but to me a computer is a tool, a means to an end. I can learn to do things in the terminal if I try hard enough, I just don’t want to. I learned a little code (mostly forgotten now) when I was using Ubuntu. I had to, because while it was user-friendly to a large degree, updates kept breaking things and I would have to figure out how to fix them. I would have things working just right and all of a sudden something would happen — sound would quit working or something.
Linux Mint on the other hand, works so well that I haven’t needed to figure out things to put in the terminal. Main reason why I’m so rusty. If I wanted to, I could bury my nose in Linux manuals and spend hours and hours learning code just like the “big boys.” I just don’t want to. It’s like mowing the grass. I hate that shit.
I have a limited amount of free time when I’m not working and I don’t want to use it on things I don’t enjoy. I would much rather do things I do enjoy, like listening to music, going to concerts and writing about them, interviewing interesting people, discovering new favorite bands and sharing them with others.
Now this ought to get me some comments, although maybe not happy comments 😉