One year and still going

In May of 2009 after hemming and hawing about it for far too long, I finally just bit the bullet and created this blog and registered Linux-Critic.com. I thought at the time that it would be a good way for me to keep track of some of my Linux and technology experiments, a place for me to go when I think “okay, when I was messing around with $whatever, how the heck did I configure that?”.

I also thought it’d be a good way for me to share geeky techie information with some of my close geek friends, particularly the ones who are always tinkering around like I am.

Today marks a year since I made that “Hello World” post, and now The Linux Critic is averaging over 18,000 unique views per month, and I’m still finding a lot of enjoyment in creating content here, even if it’s just the occasional unproductive rant about something that’s bothering me in the Linux world.

Even though I haven’t always been as regular with posts as I probably should have been, a fair number of you have continued to keep an eye on what I and my contributors (Joe and Patrick) have to say whenever we do manage to post a new article, howto, review, or whatever.

For that, and for the wonderful comments many of you continue to post — the ones of encouragement and yes, even the ones of disagreement — I say “thanks!”, because it’s very validating.

Linux is a tinkerer’s dream, and we love it. I know you do, otherwise you wouldn’t be bothering to read this or anything else here!

But going back to my original stated purpose with this blog, Linux can be better, and only by continuing to tinker, continuing to find those weak points, and continuing to point them out can Linux get better.

When I started this, I honestly didn’t think anybody (other than my friends and myself) would bother to read anything here. I said it was very validating to have so many regular readers and so many commenters, and this is why. It makes me feel like there is a wider purpose to this, that all this tinkering and tweaking and evaluating and technology exploration and subsequent discussion can lead to something good. It makes me feel like I’m still on the right track, and that makes it all worth it.

So, a year into this, I say again thanks for reading, following, commenting, and paying attention. It’s appreciated!

But I’m not done here yet. I have a lot more to talk about, a lot more Linux to explore, and a lot more to discuss, so stick around and keep reading!

– Trent

6 things Microsoft needs to do before I’ll take Windows seriously

I’m an IT guy in what is still largely a Windows world. I’ve been managing Windows workstations and servers for a living since 1996 or so, and I’ve always been left shaking my head, wondering how, exactly, Windows is considered “enterprise ready”, especially when better alternatives — as development platforms, as workstations, and especially as servers — are widely available.

While the Information Technology industry hasn’t caught up just yet, I like to consider myself a bit more forward looking than that. The way I see it, Windows isn’t ready for the enterprise yet. Sure, it might be good for playing games, but for doing serious work? For securing customer data and transactions? For safeguarding your company’s future and productivity?

Not even close, not from what I’ve seen. Here are six things Microsoft will need to do before I’ll start recommending Windows as the “best tool for the job”.

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How to make Peppermint OS even faster with Openbox

A few weeks ago I posted a very early review of the new web-friendly Peppermint OS. In that review, I lauded the Peppermint team for achieving what I think might be the fastest graphical Linux distro I’ve ever tried, on any hardware.

The only things that get in my way of enjoying Peppermint are, unfortunately, the limitations imposed by the still-under-heavy-development LXDE desktop environment, which, while I’m still pretty excited about it, provides a few stumbling blocks to someone like me who likes to have more control over his user interfaces.

Well, for those of you out there who agree, I thought I’d do a quick writeup on getting the most out of Peppermint OS without having to resort to installing another desktop or window manager. Instead, we can make do with something that’s already integrated into Peppermint: the Openbox window manager!

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Linux Mint 9: A First Look

The folks over at Linux Mint have just released their newest, latest and greatest, Linux Mint 9 “Isadora”. This time, though, instead of having a single LiveCD to Rule Them All, they offer a LiveCD, LiveDVD and an OEM CD that does not create a default user account. Since I don’t have immediate access to a DVD burner here, I’ll be using the LiveCD. Let’s take a look, shall we?
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The opposite of Feature Creep

It’s time for a rant. Those sensitive to ranting should avert their eyes and go read something else today. But for those of you who enjoy such things, read on.

I have brought this up here and there over the past year on The Linux Critic, but I think it’s time I actually just dedicated a full discussion to it.

There’s a disturbing trend that I’ve been running into everywhere for a while now, and I feel that it’s worth a rant. I’m talking about the tendency of developers committing what I consider to be the cardinal sin of software:

Thou shalt not release a new version that has fewer features than the previous version.

This is the kind of thing that spins me up to no end, and I’m seeing it everywhere. It’s time more attention got brought to this problem, because it’s really running rampant.
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Peppermint: Ask and they deliver

Wow, got a lot of traffic on the review I posted Monday about the new Peppermint OS!

I wanted to post a quick update to that review, because things move fast in the new Linux distro world, and the Peppermint OS team is already moving on some of the relatively minor things I brought up.

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Peppermint OS: a review

What do you get when you combine the flexibility, versatility and ease of maintenance of Ubuntu, the blinding speed and simplicity of LXDE, and a focus on social media and the cloud?

You get Peppermint OS, that’s what! Brought to you by the same developer responsible for Linux Mint 8 LXDE Community Edition, and for resurrecting Linux Mint Fluxbox CE as well, Peppermint OS is a lightweight, fast, stable implementation of what Kendall Weaver’s vision of the perfect Linux distro might be for speed and the web.

And I think he’s onto something.

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