I recently tried to put Linux on my old 3G iPod. Being able to read the Wikipedia or play Doom on it sounded sort of cool. So I downloaded the installer and installed the Linux firmware with no problems. Then I rebooted the iPod, saw the penguin splash screen, a bunch of boot-up gibberish, and then…nothing. The screen was completely blank. Press the buttons and the backlight went on, but there was no text.
After searching through some online fora, I found that sometimes the default contrast level with the Linux is so low as to render text invisible. The solution was to find the Contrast settings menu by ear by slowly scrolling through the menus and listening to the clicks. Two clicks down, enter, five or six clicks down, enter again, and then you should be able to adjust it. After ten very frustrating minutes of click-listening, I was able to make the text visible.
So the first thing I tried to do was play some music. Went back to the main menu, then the music folder, then…it crashed. Rebooted it, tried again, and once again it crashed in the music folder. Back to the help fora, and what do you know. Linux crashes your iPod if there are any podcasts on it. Though there’s been all sort of development to port games and other useless junk over to the iPod, nobody’s updated the actual music playback part of the program in years.
I’m guessing that this is a metaphor for OSS or something.
Then I tried to install Gimp on my Mac. Instead of downloading an actual installer, I tried to be hardcore and compile it myself. In short, after a couple of days of futzing around and downloading God knows what sort of developer crap, I was able to get it compiled and running.
But my God, the interface is ugly. It’s like they took the Photoshop interface and repeatedly hit it in the crotch with an ugly stick. It appeared to have the same sort of functionality as PS, but I couldn’t even get Curves to work.
What a piece of crap.
The irony of this pointless rant being that I’m writing this in an obscure, open-source browser (Camino) that I much prefer to Safari.