I did a thing! I removed Windows 10 from my main laptop and installed Linux! I wanted to use this blog post to talk a bit about the process and my experiences with making this big step. I’d also like to mention that I’ve documented it on my YouTube Channel, so if you’d like to see the process in more detail (and with moving pictures) check it out here https://youtu.be/-wUC-_b4OtM
I don’t want to rehash everything I covered in my video, but I did want to talk about some of my reflections based on my experiences installing Linux, to that end, I’d recommend watching the video first. Else, keep on reading.
Let me start off by stating it was difficult to record the process and I unfortunately don’t have a dedicated studio or recording area. I did however manage to record the audio with my Blue Snowball microphone that my very good friend David gifted me some time ago. This required that I have the laptop set up, my microphone in front of my face and my phone on a mount that was less than ideal (I had to wedge it under my keyboard). This did mean that the video quality was left wanting but as I often say “You gotta work with what ya got.”
Secondly, I’m still new the world of Linux but wanted to ensure that I did it right. There was one or two small miss steps while installing Linux Mint (the distro or ‘distribution’ of Linux I chose) but all in all, I was happy with my performance in this area. I’ve installed various versions of Windows both for personal use and as a requirement in several of my past and current technical roles. The process of installing Linux was in fact as easy if not easier than Windows 7 or 10 for example. It was quicker and I found that there were less hoops to jump though. Another positive experience with installing Linux was the fact it was FOSS (remember? Free and Open Sourced Software), simply put, there were no licence keys or activation process.
Lastly, I need to improve my general graphic design and video editing skills/process. Overall though I do feel that I’m getting better at the craft, I included extra graphics and used transitions on all of them. I also ended up adjusting the audio levels in the video so you could just hear it in the background and have it not overpower my voice, I’ll let you be the judge of that. However I definately need to make better thumbnails for YouTube so that my videos stand out while avoiding the cliche click-bait trend that we’re all so aware of. I find that It’s beneficial not just to the video creation process, but in life to identify where your strengths and weaknesses lie. I can admit that one of mine is that I don’t have a lot of aesthetical ability, knowing this I’ll be sitting down with an artist I know to discuss fonts and colour schemes (and whatever else I don’t know squat about) soon.
So, what about Linux, how’s that going? In a word; great! It’s slick and simple, no bells and whistles, but that’s the kind of guy I am. As mentioned in a previous blog post, it’s important to know what a computer will be used for when determining which one to buy or whether you should upgrade your existing one. The same can be said about choosing an operating system, a concept that can be very foreign to people who have just ‘had Windows’ installed by default on every computer they’ve ever owned (just like me). My laptop which is not very powerful, and for which my requirements are lite (word processing, presentations, web browsing and emails etc.) Linux does a really good job of providing the platform for the way I work. Even with older/slower computers, there are lighter distros that are tailored to maximise the limited resources e.g Raspberry Pi.
For people with more powerful machines, or for whom video editing and graphic design are a part of their work flows, there are distros that can take advantage of more RAM and a better processing power, and applications that suit their higher-end needs. And guess what? A lot of free alternatives are available to fill the spots of those closed source programs that most people would be used to using. Examples of this include “Darktable” to replace Apple’s “Lightroom” or “GIMP” and “Krita” as alternatives to “Photoshop” and “Illustrator” respectively. These programs are sometimes not quite as polished as their paid for counterparts, but it’s hard to argue with ‘free.’
I want to keep these blog posts a bit shorter so that I can do them more often and with better consistently this year, so that’s the end of this one for now. Please do consider subscribing to my YouTube channel, I’d really appreciate it. If you do check out some of my videos; I love to get comments on them because it generates discussion, and I love that.
Until next time, never stop learning!