2006-10-27

Linux is Continuously Evolving!

Today I decided to write about Linux and its evolution. You see, I am a Linux user. Unfortunately at work there are some restrictions that translate into a single sentence: you can't use Linux. I don't know why, but that is life. At home and in my Thesis I only use Linux. Why? Well, because it is free, it is stable, it is fast and it is easy to use once you have it configured. In fact, lately it is even getting easier to configure it, but thats not the goal of this post.

I have laptop that is almost making 6?? Well, either 5 or 6 years old, I can't remember exactly when I bought it. Facts are that I installed Linux in it the very day I bought it. At the time I left the windows that came with it in a different partition, but something like 3 years ago I realised I didn't have any free disk space. You see, it came with a 20Gig hard drive. Windows had 5 and with all the digital photos, videos and projects was screaming for more disk space. So, 3 years ago I simply deleted the Windows partition.

Facts are that since I installed Linux on it I never needed to reinstall it. I'm using Gentoo and I installed version 1.4 and have been upgrading ever since without problems. It even survived an hard disk upgrade because 20Gig isn't sufficient for everything I want to keep on it. So I bought a 7200rpm 80Gig hard drive, copied everything over using tar, swapped disks and it was up and running.

Things I like: well, I'm surprised with Linux from time to time. My laptop is getting faster and I'm not counting the speed upgrade of the hard drive because that one was hardware related - by the way, I definitely recommend it since little things like start-up time were cut by half. Today I even have the beginnings of shadows and transparency effects in my desktop and the best thing is that when these effects go stable my 6 year old lappy will handle it with its GeForce2 Go.

Why the entry? Well, I usually don't work with the touchpad. Like many people I have an external USB mouse. But I knew that the touchpad had support from some advanced things like scrolling (if I drag at its right limit or bottom limit). Windows had this. When I installed Linux the driver was the Synaptics driver, but my touchpad was an Alps one. Today I decided to take it for a new spin and see if anyone had ever tried to make it work. Fact is: its working!!! Horizontal Scroll, Vertical Scroll, you name it. Thank you guys and keep up the good work. I'm already giving something back by submitting bugs, trying to reproduce bugs and help others configuring this, but when I finish the Thesis I'll start giving back code!!!

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