A slow drift

Somehow I used to think that with Windows 11 and WSL2 and Windows Terminal, I finally found my daily driver for good. And it worked for what I had to do. Never mind that this crappy laptop (Just a Dell XPS15, nothing fancy, he says and cries himself to sleep) is quite unstable and the graphics card still freezes from time to time, an error the Dell support still denies to be a systematic problem, despite hundreds of reports on forums and despite the fact that nothing in this laptop except for screen, keyboard and case are original, as the support slowly went through all the components.

Never mind that Windows 11 started out quite nicely and now gets seemingly worse with every update while Microsoft is trying to force feed us their brand of AI companion BS.

But then, after I wrapped up a contract that more or less required me to use Windows (or MacOS, but that's a different rabbit hole), I thought to myself that it would be interesting to try out Linux as a daily driver again. I still make music on Windows, as my DAW of choice requires it (or MacOS, but that's a different rabbit hole) but machines boot fast these days and switching operating systems isn't as painful as it maybe was.

I am running Pop!OS on my XPS now, with Windows on a separate SSD (the one thing the XPS has going for it is that most components are swappable).

And I have to say, for the most part, it does feel a lot nicer. Pop!OS is quite the polished experience for the most part, basically being a slightly unfucked Ubuntu. There are some drawbacks. Funnily, from a day-to-day annoyances perspective the worst is the usage of systemd-boot, as the version used by Pop!OS doesn't have a config to always reboot into the last choice and if you have ever watched a Windows system update itself you know how painful that omission can be. I am hopeful that this gets fixed with Pop!OS 24.04 and hopefully that isn't too far out.

Another annoyance is that the default theme has the exact same colors for active and non active window titles. Easily fixed by choosing another theme, but really, who did make that decision? It seems so weird given the rest of the UI polish.

And then I changed my default browser. I was using Vivaldi for quite some time now and really enjoyed it for its special features such as the sidebar. But it had a tendency to block up the computer for extended amounts of time when a particularly gnarly website was trying to do its thing and also, on Windows, it sometimes wouldn't want to start for the first 15 minutes after booting. Not ideal. I must admit, I never really tried to debug this with the Vivaldi folks and I am sorry for that. They are good people and if Vivaldi works for you, I think it is a really good browser.

Instead I went back to Firefox. I still don't understand the tab design, but I have to say, it is a damn good browser. And with a good ad blocker and the Multi-Account containers, it has become essential to my daily work.

And so I seem to currently slowly drift towards FOSS. It's not super surprising to me that this happens now, given my daily struggle with end time capitalism etc. etc. but it is funny to look at a ton of decisions I made throughout the last few months and see the patterns emerge even though the decisions were made in isolation.