Watts (chipotle) wrote,

And here it is Saturday the 14th. It's about a half-hour before I leave to go to dinner at a friend's, a former college roommate who, among other things, runs a sporadically-published alternative magazine called Xero. I did my time with small press editing Mythagoras, in its original eclectic furry-environmental-techgeek incarnation and in in its mercifully short-lived attempt to be a semi-pro fantasy fiction magazine; Franklin (the ex-roommate) has been a lot more successful. Xero describes itself as having a "cyberpunk/industrial/psycho-sexual theme." It reminds me of what you might expect if the original Mythagoras had been done by acolytes of Chank Diesel and Bruce Sterling--which I suppose Xero is, in some ways.</p>

A couple days ago I bought and installed Windows 2000 on my PC. I surrender. I like BeOS and I'll keep using it, but it's been clear for a half-year now that Be's "focus shift" to internet appliances killed development on the desktop. (Yes, there really was development on the desktop before that, with a surprising amount of commercial interest in niche media markets.) I run FreeBSD at work and it's fine for what I do there, and quite frankly, it's better as a desktop OS than any incarnation of Linux I've tried. But God, the GUIs for Unix suck. KDE sucks the least and it's still dog-slow. On my Celeron 433 here at home, Win2K is far more responsive and spry than KDE is on the 1 Gigahertz Duron at work. I still haven't found a GUI which is as well-designed as Be's is overall, that strikes just the right mix of Unix power with Maclike responsiveness--no, to me Mac OS X doesn't cut it. But there are holes in the BeOS APIs and driver support I don't expect to see fixed. Not soon, maybe not ever.

And, dammit, I've missed having application support. In day-to-day use it's not that big a deal: email, word processing, text editing, (basic) image processing, it's all there for BeOS. But there aren't any really functional state-of-the-art web browsers. I can't run Dramatica. I can't run Nota Bene. I can't run HomeSite. And I want these things on my desktop, not just the iBook. (Which is its own source of headaches, as it's reminded me--often painfully--how far behind the curve MacOS 9 really is. Sorry, Mac partisans, I really gave it a shot.)

When I eventually put up the Links page on this site I'll make a list of things I've found on my quest to make Windows 2000 a livable, and dare I hope even nice, working environment.


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