January 7, 2016

Thinking Outside The (Linux) Box

My washing machine has a leaky valve, it has had this problem for a while now. It comes and goes. Sometimes I hear it dripping water into the tank, sometimes I don’t. Now, some folks would run to call a service technician, or the more “DIY-minded” might attempt to replace the offending valve themselves. I, on the other hand, am content to let it drip until it finally fails completely which could be next week or five years from now. The drips of water are caught by the tank and are not being wasted or turning into an annoying puddle on the floor, so why worry myself about it? Every time I start a new load of clothes, which is quite frequently because I am doing laundry for three kids and two adults around here, the little bit of collected leak water is mixed with fresh and does its intended duty washing the clothes. I’m fine with that.

So, what does this have to do with Linux or computers in general? It illustrates an important truth about technology and that is that it is not and never will be perfect. Anyone who wants to use any technology to make life easier or to accomplish a task must be prepared to live with imperfection and learn how to work around it. If you can’t handle that concept then you will find yourself very frustrated. Sometimes a little analytical thinking and judicious application of pragmatic logic are necessary to get the most from a complex system.  Anyone not prepared to roll with the changes is doomed to failure.  The Linux ecosystem is vast and developers are constantly working to find new ways to get things done, deprecating the old and embracing the new. It will never be perfect, it will never be one-size-fits-all. The number of choices are dizzying and that is a good thing because it gives you options to deal with these little imperfections and stumbling blocks as the present themselves. (Read the rest at Freedom Penguin)

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