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The "No Gui Challenge"

I've decided to challenge myself not to use a window manager of any kind for one month. Guess this is why I'm in such a hurry lately to finish up my web site redesign. I don't want to be half done with it forever --like before.

Anyway, I keep toying with the idea of using more command line tools. On the one hand I really like doing my mail using mutt, but then I cling to the graphical irc client xchat like my head would explode if I used anything else. I have been intending to switch most of my desktop from gui to console apps, so I can multi-task a bunch of stuff using gnu screen (thanks robb!), but like before, I'm finding myself slow to adopt new tools --like when I switched from Windows to Linux... It wasn't until I decided to use Linux exclusively for one month and formatted all my Windows hard drives that I was able to really force myself to explore the alternatives. There always seemed to be something I could only do using Windows. We just get too comfortable doing things the way we've always done them.

I've already adopted ratpoison as my window manager of choice. I really like the way it limits what's on the screen to only one thing at a time. I'm still using gui tools for stuff that I could easily be using console apps for though. Who knows? Maybe I'm even switch over to using emacs. Na...

Wired: Computing Made Good, Easy

"If only people would change. Computing has changed, but people remain the same. We're using computers designed for printing, when we should be using computers designed for networking."

The Antidesktop

"At any moment, my screen is devoted to only one thing. As I type this, all I see is XEmacs showing this buffer. Since I can only see what I'm working on at this moment, I have to make the choice to go to something else. I can't be distracted by text in an X-Chat window behind this one, or by buddies appearing and disappearing in the Gaim window in the corner. If someone messages me, centericq will play a sound; I don't need to watch IM obsessively. If I'm distracted, it's because my mind is distracted by a thought of something else, not because of a flash of color in the periphery of my vision."

The Command Line - The Best Newbie Interface?

"It was noted by the users that the CLI was less confusing because "not everything is on the screen at once". The CLI allows the user to concentrate on one task at a time and they were happy not to have interruptions from other tasks. The users reported that with a GUI they were always getting distracted by having to swap between the mouse and keyboard and click carefully less they bring up the wrong window and interrupt what they were doing."

The Linux Distribution Game

A friend of mine accepted the challenge: "Boot into your Linux partition and stay there for one month. Do everything you normally do with your computer and report back on your experience. You are not allowed to boot into Windows during that month." The friend called me 10 days later: "My Windows partition is gone!" I frowned, expecting a round of troubleshooting over the telephone. "No, don't worry, I deleted it voluntarily..." He continued, his voice full of excitement: "I don't need Windows any more. I can do all my office work with StarOffice and Gnumeric. The Galeon browser is such a gem - I can hardly believe all the features it has. I didn't think I could play encrypted DVDs in Linux until I tried Ogle - even menus work perfectly! I can burn CDs and listen to Internet broadcast. And as for my web site, it was hard at first without Dreamweaver, but once you get used to Quanta Plus, you can do things just as fast!" His final words were: "It is all in the way you work. Changing your routine is not easy at first, but after a month, I have adjusted completely. I am removing Windows from my computer!"



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