Don’t get me wrong—Ubuntu Linux is an incredible operating system. In fact, I’m writing this blog post on Ubuntu right now. I like its lightness and speed, plus the fact that it’s open source and completely free. However, being a certified Windows user since my early grade school days, it has been very difficult to get used to a completely different working environment, which is why I opted to dual-boot with Vista Ultimate (yes, Vista—it’s not all that bad) instead of wiping out the entirety of my hard drive and installing just Linux.
Looking back, I’m thankful I chose to dual-boot. Why? There are just some programs that work a-okay in Windows but refuse to in Linux. And these aren’t programs of secondary importance, either. These are stuff I use frequently and cannot live without. Sure, there might be Linux-compatible programs to replace these, but nothing beats the quality of the real thing.
Yes. I run iTunes. It’s painfully slow, but I need it for my iPod and iPhone. It’s the easiest way to sync my music, video, podcasts, photos, etc. into the music player extraordinaire without wrecking it. I’ve tried Amarok (a popular Linux music player) to do that for me, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to restore my iPod because the system kept on shuffling my album art.
I’ve been reading stuff on the Internet and apparently, most people have no problem at all with their iPods and Ubuntu, so I guess my case is pretty unique. It’s also a petty annoyance when you think about it, but it still irritates me a lot and diminishes my music-listening experience. As Linux’s popularity grows, I’m fairly certain Apple will come out with a Linux version of iTunes, hopefully sooner rather than later.
DOES IT WORK WITH WINE: From what I’ve read online, iTunes refuses to run using Wine, which makes it all the more difficult for me to switch. WINE, by the way, is an acronym for “Windows Emulator”. It’s a program that allows you to install for-Windows programs on your Linux machine.
Photoshop is love. I’ve been tinkering with Adobe’s renowned photo editing software ever since I got hold of a digital camera. It allows me to touch up my photos seamlessly, remove zits from my mug shots, and even create my own campaign paraphernalia.
It’s this kind of quality that I find difficult to achieve on Linux’s answer to Photoshop, GIMP. GIMP, which stands for the GNU Image Manipulation Program, comes with a vanilla Ubuntu install, and has been described by many as having features “similar” to that of Photoshop. Personally, I can’t say they’re even remotely alike. GIMP also has more restrictions and is less versatile than Photoshop. I know of people who’ve created works of art using the relatively rudimentary photo manipulation software, but for a newbie like me, Photoshop is still the way to go.
DOES IT WORK WITH WINE: Photoshop CS2 is listed as one of the programs that work swell with Wine on this list on the software’s official website.
MS Office Suite 2007
While OpenOffice might be sufficient enough for most people, I honestly believe it still lacks a lot of the features Microsoft Office has provided throughout the years. I love Microsoft Excel and the many complex functions it can execute in the blink of an eye; Word and its several (not to mention deantastic) formatting options; the fancy animations on PowerPoint; the ease of creating a brochure in Publisher.
OpenOffice.org simply lacks the versatility and functionality I find appealing in MS Office, and while I do believe that the fact that OpenOffice is open-source means that it has a lot of potential, I’ll have to stick with Office until that day comes when it trumps Microsoft’s offering in the office suite market.
DOES IT WORK WITH WINE: See this page; it seems to work fairly well, although some users are reporting a few bugs. This is normal, of course, considering that you’re running a Microsoft product on a Linux install.
Look, don’t get me wrong—I have none but a few qualms about Ubuntu. Over all, it’s a pretty OS, and its *nix-ness is definitely a plus. It’s just that the three programs I’ve mentioned above are critical to my computing environment. They’re stuff I just can’t live (or at least compute) without. Only when they get stable, workable Linux versions will I even consider moving to Linux. 🙂