Tuesday, March 06, 2007

I am such a wet noodle!

When it comes to computers I can be such a wet noodle at times and this usually gets me into trouble!

For the past 5 years or so I have been dabbling in Linux, and Linux offers some nice features which I have come to enjoy
  1. The Desktop Environment, or GUI (Gnome, KDE, Xfce, whatever), is different than Windows or the Mac OS. Personally, both of those environments are rather "blah", and don't offer much to get excited over.
  2. The package manager makes installing so easy and one-stop-shopping, the hard part is keeping from downloading everything under the sun! Practically everything you want to do, Linux has a program that does the equivalent.
  3. Most open source programs are updated fairly frequently and these updates are available at no cost. So I don't have to shell out money-after-money to keep a program up-to-date with the latest features. Plus it usually involves one or two command lines or clicks of the mouse to check and install available updates to ALL of your system's programs, even the ones you don't realize you use because it is called by some other programs and this one is only on the back-side.
On the other hand, though, most of my experience in programming is based off of VB, which is probably the least portable language into the Linux world.

In my current job I will be dealing with .NET (VB.NET and ASP.NET) and they have already sent me to a number of classes to learn the .NET platform (VB.NET, ASP.NET, ADO.NET, SQL Server and the MSF).

I look forward to getting some experience under my belt and with the availability of Visual Studio Express, I am able to also develop things in .NET at home (without forking over the $$$ for the full version of Visual Studio!) which will give me the chance to look into features and things that work may not be interested in.

At this stage, I need the help and "hand-holding" that Visual Studio provides, otherwise the Mono Project would give me the best of both worlds (.NET on Linux). Unfortunately their IDE, Monodevelop, isn't as polished or helpful as the Visual Studios are for new programmers, plus VB.NET and ASP.NET has not been strongly supported until recently which leaves more opportunities of something not working and not knowing if it is a short-coming of Mono or of my programming skills.

So for now, I lead a double-life. I live Windows to develop my experience with .NET programming (plus my wife is used to the Windows programs; Office, Photoshop, Publisher, etc.) and I use Linux for my "personal" computing.

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