Ubuntu – The how much is my time worth edition

I’ve recently put together an HTPC to act as a frontend in the bedroom mostly because the Radeon card I have sounds like a vacuum cleaner and I wanted something a bit more quiet. I’m doing this legitimately and cheaply, so knowing that Ubuntu was free of charge and has media software like XBMC to use was an incentive.

After a point, I had to start putting a value on my time. If I can buy Windows XP or Vista for $89 (no tax, free shipping at Newegg), than I had to ask myself if my time was worth 5 dollars an hour? Was it worth more than 1 dollar an hour? How many hours was I going to put into getting Ubuntu to do what I wanted before it just made more sense to use an operating system I already know?

I like a challenge, but Ubuntu is just plain strange. Let’s make an add/remove program option near the start button that doesn’t cover all the programs you could add, because the real place to add packages is in the system folder under synaptic package manager. Then let’s keep Ubuntu free, but make it a bit difficult to add restricted codecs and drivers by commenting a line in a config file and making you edit it in order to get the codecs you really want. Then let’s just make you enter some other random code to get root access to your computer in order to extract files to directories that you want.

I can do this now, and if it wasn’t for my 720p or 1080p video continuing to show lines every time there was more action on the screen, I might have continued to use it. Even if boxee and xbmc looked decent enough on my 1080p Panasonic plasma, each tended to freeze if you tried to exit the program while a video is playing. And honestly, boxee and xbmc just don’t look as good as Media Portal, in my opinion (and the wife’s, which matters even more).

I’m most likely going to try Ubuntu again in a dual boot scenario, but I’m assuming I’m going to have to look into virtual machines if I wanted to use Ubuntu exclusively since I probably won’t find a good substitute for Itunes, Left 4 Dead, or Reason.

In the long run, this experiment doesn’t matter as much since the new experiment will be trying to get my copy of Windows Home Server 2008 to run media portal on. I’ll be posting on that shortly.

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2 Responses

  1. Are they still alive?

    (my opinion is more important-thanks!)

  2. I nominated you for a Kreativ Blogger Award because you’re so cool and I love to read your blog, check out my most recent blog post for more details!

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