The Move To Windows

I’ve been a unix/linux user and sysadmin for …. ooooh, let’s just say a long time. I just never used windows. But one day, about five years back, I realised that I needed to find out how the other half lived. I needed to go live in Windows for a little while, I needed to learn to program for Windows, I needed to find the little differences.

So I moved to Windows. Just immersed myself in it. It wasn’t too bad. In fact, I quickly came to like it. I used to joke to my Linux-ey friends “Psssst! Don’t tell anybody, but XP is really quite nice.”

Cygwin and cygwin putty are probably the most important part of making XP usable. Firefox obviously. Thunderbird too, at least until gmail came along.

I actually used Outlook for a while, but there was a problem. While Ctrl-Return in Outlook would send a message immediately, in Thunderbird it popped up a window asking you if you wanted to send your message. It so happens that if you’re used to hitting Ctrl-Backspace to delete words, it’s very, very easy to hit Ctrl-Return. For extra irony points, if you’re hitting Ctrl-Backspace, it’s because you want to delete large chunks of text. You don’t want them to be sent repeatedly.

Anyway, I got fed up with Outlook when I got fed up sending people strings of apologies like “Sorry about that last message, I accidentally hit”, “Look, I’m really sorry about that last message, Outlook did”, and “Aaaargh, stop sending messages before I’ve”. etc. So I moved to Thunderbird. Thunderbird sucks, but not in any way I can put my finger on. I tolerate it, but I don’t particularly like it.

Anyway, I don’t rave about much software on Windows, but I’ve recently discovered a program called AutoHotKey, which is the dog’s danglies. I will write about this in a future article. It. Is. Wonderful.

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