So this week I don’t have a whole lot to talk about regarding class discussions, but I have another “filler” topic in mind that I can talk about this week. I think the biggest hurdle for me getting involved in any open source project is the idea that getting used to a new OS would be a huge task for me. I’ve been a lifelong Windows user (besides using mac when I have no other choice like in RIT’s design labs or for RIT’s iOS Challenge) and up until I went on co-op at Hitachi Data Systems, I was super intimidated by the concept of Linux. I had seen enough black-terminal-with-green-text characterizations of Linux in pop culture that I had assumed it was exclusively for users who knew how their PC worked like the back of their hand, which is absolutely not me! I far prefer iPhones over Androids simply because I’ve used Android before, and the wealth of options and customization throws me down a massive rabbit hole of trying to get my environment set up just right, and being frustrated when the processes are over my head, whereas an iPhone just works out of the box and I don’t have to think about it. I’m consciously trading a wealth of useful features, supportive communities, exclusive applications and the opportunity to tune my phone to my exact usages for something that instead works on a pretty average level for my daily tasks. I have much the same relationship with operating systems. I have no interest in getting into the nitty-gritty of optimizing my environment, because I know it will only lead to a lot of wasted time and frustration when I try to customize EVERY SINGLE FEATURE rather than just USE my computer.
Knowing all this, I’ve avoided using Linux-based operating systems for a very long time. At Hitachi, I used Fedora with Cinnamon and was pleased with the interface, but not with the method of modifying the OS. Just as I had figured, in order to change small features (screen resolution and monitor positions is a good example) I had to learn how to access cinnamon’s control center (cinnamon-control-center) in order to use it, whereas in Windows, it’s more intuitive to right click the desktop to modify it’s properties. I put a lot of value on UX over being able to modify the low-level processes of my computer, and that makes Windows the most attractive option for me, because of how intuitive it is for me to use. I feel like I’m rambling a lot so I’ll get to the point… Fedora is an interesting operating system, it provides a windows-like experience (at least with cinnamon!) that’s comfortable for me, but it removes a lot of the intuitive-ness I appreciate in an operating system in exchange for tools that enable power-users to do their thing. I feel very intimidated by the number of tools at my fingertips and have NO idea where to start most of the time, and the last thing I want to have to do is google “how do I edit my monitor resolution in Fedora Cinnamon” to make my environment behave like I want it to. Windows is a good fit for me because I’m experienced enough with it that I can figure out how to modify my experience with ease, whereas Fedora is taking a LOT of getting used to. I hope I’m able to internalize all the processes that you need to go through to preform these lower-level tasks, but for now, that speed bump is turning into being a pretty serious annoyance as I use Fedora on my home PC.