I first booted Linux in 2005 when I was in Iraq and since then I’ve been a fan of the operating system’s power and price tag. I’ve mentioned the OS in just a few of my posts here before, and also a well deserved tribute to one of my favorite distribution’s PM leads.
I have a few quirks about my workflow. Recently I’ve been able to take my photography workflow to Linux thanks to some of the great work on Darktable, and some of the great how-to videos produced about how to use the software.
One of my other quirks is my favorite game; Civilization IV. I’ve been a fan of the CIV games since my brothers and I figured out how to get the original CIV game to play on the computers at our high school without getting into trouble. The game has sentimental value and I generally play with settings where I can get through a game in about 90 minutes while I’ve got a documentary on in the background.
CIV IV’s age (November 2005) meant that it missed Valve’s effort to get games on Linux through Steam and it’s reliance on some specific Microsoft Technologies meant that it wasn’t just a straight executable file that needed to run. It requires font libraries .NET compatibility and a slew of other considerations. Now, mind you, I’ve paid for the licenses for all of that software before as I’ve purchased CIV IV about three times (on disc, from Valve, & from the Mac App Store). To me it represents the best of what I remember about computer games growing up with just enough graphics to ensure my eyes don’t wander in an 8-bit wonderland.
So, while this post ought to include details about how I’ve moved my workflow from Office to LibreOffice or from Exchange to IMAP it really is about the last few steps. I needed a photography workflow that wasn’t reliant on Adobe’s Creative Suite and I wanted to bring my favorite game to my favorite desktop.
While I’ve written about Linux I don’t consider this to be the sort of thing that’s happened because of some great technical skill I have. I don’t write code. I’m not a programmer. I’m just someone who decided he could move his workflow over to Linux without compromise, and sure enough, that’s exactly what I’ve been able to do.
It’s an incredible feeling. Simply incredible to be free from VirtualBox instances of Windows or a situation where I have to dual boot. Developers love open source because it gives them the freedom to edit the code. I’m feeling what a bit of that freedom is like knowing that what I’m running isn’t constrained by some of the more restrictive operating systems on the market.
This blog is so obscure at the moment that I’m sure not even .001% of the people I need to thank will ever read it, but I’m going to send it out over the internet anyway. All these servers and things that make up the internet give us a great opportunity to be grateful.