I’m writing this from my fast and lovely new Linux workstation, compiled from scratch using Sorcerer.. I’m a psycho, I know, starting a compile in the morning before leaving for work and letting it run all day, just in hopes of having a slightly faster computer. But it is faster. Compiling XFree86 and KDE sure does take a while though. I let KDE run while I was at work; I got home and found it had compiled successfully, so I fired up the Konqueror Web browser, hoping to see the fastest Web browser in history. It was quick, but didn’t render GIFs. A little hunting turned up why: It hadn’t configured QT with the -gif option while compiling it. I don’t know the legality of a private individual in the United States compiling QT with the option to decode GIFs. Don’t you just love software patents?
If you’re willing to risk being a criminal, or you’re into civil disobedience, or you’ve forked the bucks over to Unisys for the right to decode GIFs, and you’re wanting to give Sorcerer a try, edit /var/lib/sorcery/grimoire/graphics/qt-x11/BUILD and add the option -gif to the ./configure line.

How do I like it? An awful lot. I may never go back to a standard distribution again. Seriously. And, frankly, the Linux apps are good enough to do just about everything I want or need to do. I need to decide on a mail client, but there are several to choose from.

My general take on Linux hasn’t changed much. Yeah, it takes a long time to learn. A lot of it doesn’t seem intuitive until you’ve been using it for 10 years. But how many Windows tools have you been using for 10 years? Not many because it changes so fast. So I can keep on learning a bunch of underpowered stuff, or I can learn a bunch of really powerful stuff that I can more or less count on still being the same 10, 15, 20 years from now. I think I like that option. (That’s not to say I’m going to become a vi proponent; I can stumble around in vi now, but it’s obvious to me that vi first looked easy because yeah, anything’s easier than a line editor, and commands and features got bolted on later, and the result was fast and powerful but clumsy.)

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