I’m Going To Do Something That I Never Do

RTFM!

Hello folks, I’m sure that you’re all aware that Windows 8 has just released. I’ve been using the Consumer Preview for the past couple of months and have more positive than negative things to say about Windows 8. Even so, I miss the level of configuration and understanding offered by GNU Linux – specifically Ubuntu. I originally planned to split my hard drive and dualboot so that I could compare Ubuntu 12.10/KDE Fedora 17 Spin with Windows 8. Instead, I’ve decided to give PC-BSD another go with its’ 9.1 release.

I know that I may have lost some of you there, I’ll explain this briefly. GNU\Linux or just Linux (as it’s used on this blog and popularly in many other places) are the core framework of desktop operating systems that compete with the merits of Windows and Mac OS X operating systems. A major difference between Linux and Windows/Mac is that the core is usable and modifiable by anyone that wants access to it, in fact the community openly encourages it. Just imagine if the core of Windows XP was made available and that anyone could release a Windows XP system that had a level of interoperability between all of the versions that multiple people made. That’s Linux in a nutshell, both different and united to an extent. The truth behind it is much more meticulous to the point where interoperability is a feature that must be worked at significantly more than what Microsoft and Apple offer with their systems.

Getting back to the point of this posting, I’m going to try another operating system that is not Linux/Windows/Mac based. It shares a common heritage with all of those systems which actually benefit and use portions of it to various degrees to further their own systems. Linux and BSD based operating systems (Mac is considerably based upon BSD along with quite a bit of Apple developed tech and Windows uses a few utilities of BSD like its’ networking bits) can seem very similar with the only difference being the user interface but the differences are anything but superficial. To grossly summarize their differences, Linux is just a kernel that allows for multiple utilities to be chosen and developed by the user for their own purposes while BSD is an entire operating system that has its’ own standard utilities developed with its’ kernel. To use someone elses words, “BSD is what you get when a bunch of Unix hackers sit down to try to port a Unix system to the PC. Linux is what you get when a bunch of PC hackers sit down and try to write a Unix system for the PC.”

Why not go after a system with stability and choice that can let me be as much of a user or a tinkerer as I like? I don’t want to go through the constant cycle of being an Ubuntu user or bother with distro-hopping again. I have used Arch Linux and I loved its’ style. It along with Mark Sobell’s work is what helped me to gain lots of knowledge about linux and computers in general. So I figure, why not go back to the source (I’m cherry picking my source here) and experience all that it can offer? Instead of just keeping my only experience with BSD bad, I will go back and give it another try. If I could deal with the shock of the “free” software philosophy in Fedora as a noob, I should be able to handle PC-BSD now after many years of experience with windows admin work and years of self-sought linux knowledge.

That and I’m hoping to get a better development and writing environment on my laptop. I also play games but most of them are capable of being emulated on a Wii or being ported to it natively. Did I just give you more questions than answers with this post? If so, ask them below and I’ll try my best to answer them or to find an answer for you. I’ll be posting more about BSD this week and covering portions of it like its’ Ports system (Arch and Gentoo users have similar systems) and the usability and performance of shared software in comparison to other operating systems (Opera, Lotus Symphony, Sim City, etc – not just the usual suspects that you see everywhere else).

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