INDEX Wednesday February 17, 2021
I have been going through hell trying to use Linux as my main computer operating system. If it was not for the lockdown and the fact that I don't have much better to do right now, I would probably have given up.

I'm not a Linux virgin and even used Kali, the Linux system said to be favoured by hackers, some years ago. Yes Kali does have some very suspicious tools like monitoring radio traffic.... But I mainly used Linux for very limited purposes such as archiving, not hacking.

Right now I am trying to use it as my main computer operating system: replacing Windows, Macintosh and Android. It does appear to be extremely stable (though the bloody system froze while I was in the middle of typing out this post, forcing me to do it all over again.)

It also has a cornucopia of applications to rival Android, the difference being that the Linux ones really are useful.

The drawback is that Linux today appears to be obsessed with passwords. I am no fan of passwords since I think they are mainly there to enrich the software developers since they often prevent users activating old packages, forcing them to buy new stuff.

But Linux is free and seems to handle old stuff or update it for nothing. So why all the passwords?

One particular bugbear is machine id. Now I know that any computer discloses its Mac address when it goes online (making it a complete waste of time to attempt to hide your identity). I'm used to that. But machine id is a new one on me.

I am used to cloning HDDs and then putting them into a new machine. I've often had four or five Windows machines kicking about the house, swapping HDDs between them. Neither Windows nor Mac seem to object to cloned drives.

You can't clone drives with Ubuntu, the version of Linux I am using right now. It causes all sorts of nasty problems and some software stops working completely. Once you have effectively registered a machine id it seems you have to stick with it (though they don't tell you, that you are registering a machine id at the time).

Apart from that the only problem I've encountered (apart from this screen freeze) is the backup system. I am a great fan of the Mac Time Machine and only wish I could use it. It's too expensive for me since I use my Mac for video editing and some of the files are more than a Terrabyte. It can get quite expensive to pile all those up in various iterations in Time Machine!

Ubuntu's backup doesn't seem to backup very much, except my email and I have better ways of doing that. I can't understand the point in it. Perhaps I need to change the settings?

All in all it has been tiresome coming to terms with Linux. It promises a great deal: far more than Windows or Mac. But doesn't deliver; at least it doesn't for me.
Posted by Jonathan Brind.
Wednesday Febuary 17, 2021