doug — off the record

just a place to share some thoughts

Operating system mindset

My friend Lisa Noble wanted to make sure that I didn’t miss this.

Now, with the number of Linux sources that I read daily, you had to know that I was flooded with articles about this.  I read them all with interest and started wondering…

It’s interesting.  When I bought my Chromebook, I made sure that it was going to run two operating systems.  Obviously Chrome OS and, for the future, Android.  I bought the unit that had the biggest storage at the time – 48GB, it had to have a touch HD screen, etc.  This was going to be a computer and a tablet.  I never thought of anything beyond that.

For the longest time though, it didn’t become my go to machine.  I had this mentality that followed me from previous computers I’d used.  An application for everything and everything required an application.  Of course, I proved myself wrong over time and now this is indeed my go to machine for all kinds of reasons.  Chrome OS got better over time and it’s just a matter of finding the appropriate web application or download the appropriate Chrome or Android application to do the deed.

And, yes, I still have to deal with those who haven’t bought into the web application concept because “it can’t do this” which typically is one of those odd ball things you see demoed in an application smack down that’s neat but you never really need it.

So, now we might have Linux apps on the Chromebook.  My first impression was “wow” and I started thinking about OpenOffice and GIMP.  Heck, maybe even install Wine and run Windows applications.

I know that there’s a certain opinion in some people’s thoughts about working in Linux.  Actually, do any search for a topic and you’ll find answers that are generated by dropping into a terminal and running instructions from the command line.  Now, with my current installation of Linux Mint, I can’t remember the last time I ran a terminal session, if ever.  But, I do it in other operating systems all the time.  Including Chrome OS.

Screenshot 2018-05-11 at 10.09.54

So now the wondering starts.  If and when I could run Linux applications, which would I run?  As you see from above, I have a number of applications installed here already to run in addition to stock Chrome.  You’ll see that I run Opera (and I also have Firefox and a couple of other browsers installed).  That’s for specific purposes.  Read this blog and you’ll see that I like to, well, tinker.

The bottom line though is that, once I shook the mindset that I needed all kinds of applications, things really changed.  I think I started to think of Chrome OS as a real OS and not just a browser.  It changed the way I did things.  I guess …

In this light, I’m at a loss to identify what and why I would run under Linux that would be different from what I’m doing now.  Surely, Google isn’t about to drop Android – are they?

What are your thoughts?  If and when Linux becomes available on your Chromebook, is there an application that you’d install to increase your productivity?


3 responses to “Operating system mindset”

  1. The single killer application for me is Emacs. I use it for everything. Of course this also means I need all the supporting applications that work with Emacs as well including LaTex, Mu, ag, graphviz, and a bunch of others so Linux on a Chromebook would be a big win for me.

    In terms of Linux itself, I still frequently use the command line for basic data munching and searching. Tools like ag (silversearcher), grep, cut, etc. It’s just faster and easier for me than working in a spreadsheet or some other graphical tool.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Have you looked at the Emacs offerings that already exist in the Chrome Store?


    1. Haven’t found anything that actually runs full blown Emacs.


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