Thursday, June 16th, 2016
Wintel time is over
Last few months were for me (aside from being quite gopher-silent)
full of interactions with boring, dull, industry-standard wintel
world. I have a Windows PC in work, I have since October 2015
a Windows PC at home, I did some maitenance on few family computers
and all of them were with some version of Windows, I even attended
a C# programming course for my job in May.
I the end it reminded me, why I chose something different almost
two decades ago, when I installed my first Linux distribution on
a PC box I had back then.
Two weeks ago I replaced my Efika MX Smartbook with a generic Intel
Atom-based netbook, to save my only ARM machine from scratches and
cracks inevitably caused by every day train traveling. At first
I tried to run Windows 10 it, but no matter how MS tries, they are
not able to produce an OS able to run smoothly on a dualcore Atom.
So I decided to experiment a bit with the operating system. I have
my favorite Linux distro (Slackware) and I can revert to it whenever
I want, so the netbook will be for sure working in the end, but at
first I wanted to try something different. I don't exactly know why,
but all open-source BSD variants are quite rare here in the region.
I used FreeBSD more than ten years ago on the PC box I had back then,
then few years ago I experimented with OpenBSD on various older
machines and even on the 12" HP notebook I had, but I never tried
any of these systems for daily use.
From the trio [Free/Net/Open]BSD, my favorite is for sure the last
one, because I like the idea of supporting only well documented
hardware, code auditing and security. Unfortunately, my netbook isn't
from of the well documented heap, so I had to stick with FreeBSD,
which has much broader hardware support.
Everything seems to work: wireless networking, CPU frequency scaling,
core temperature sensors, even sleep - which is something I haven't
been able to achieve even under Linux on my big notebook. Now I'm
playing with different desktop environments, I will probably use dwm,
because that's what I use on my Lenovo T400, but I wanted to try
something new - so far I tried Lumina, Xfce, IceWM and twm and none
of them seems to be better for me than dwm.
But the overall situation is good so far, I'll probably stick with
FreeBSD for some time. If not on netbook, then maybe on notebook
or on desktop. It's quite a good alternative to any Linux distro
I ever tried.