I'm giving up on upgrading my laptop from Fedora 14

March 16, 2013

I've recently reached a liberating decision: I'm giving up on any plans to upgrade my laptop from Fedora 14, unless something really surprising happens. I'll run it with Fedora 14 until the hardware dies or I have to replace it for some other reason and at that point, well, who knows what my options will be. The fundamental reason why is that I've decided I'm not willing to accept a less productive environment just in order to have an up to date OS.

(This sounds obvious in retrospect but for some reason I didn't even think about it this way until recently. There's a lot of my mind that thinks that upgrades are a good thing so they should be done even if they're a little painful.)

But this begs the question of what a productive environment is for me and why I can't get it on subsequent Fedora versions. What I've realized is that the core of a productive environment on my laptop is sshmenu plus a capable mini command applet or equivalent. Most of what I use my laptop for is logging on to other machines; I have a very well tuned environment for this today and I'm not interested in making it more awkward and less functional. There are sshmenu equivalents for Gnome 3 and other desktop environments but so far I've been unable to find anything equivalent to the Gnome 2 mini commander applet and my configuration.

(The crucial feature of the mini-commander is not 'a text entry box that will run commands'; it is 'a text entry box that I can use to ssh to hosts'. There are the former sort of applets for, eg, XFCE.)

With enough work, I could turn one of the alternate Fedora desktops into something that had the productive features I already have in my Fedora 14 Gnome 2 based environment. But if I'm going to do that sort of work I might as well go all the way and set up a laptop version of my much nicer custom environment (or perhaps something else nice). However, the whole point of using a standard desktop with minor customizations is to not go to that sort of work. I'm not interested in replacing a work-free current environment with a work-needed new one (not until I have no choice).

Coming to this decision feels oddly liberating, perhaps because now I can stop feeling somewhat guilty (and worried) that I've got such an old OS install that I've been 'too lazy' to upgrade.

As a corollary to this decision I'm giving up on spending more than a trivial amount of time looking into alternate desktop environments on Fedora 18 (or any future version of Fedora). There's no point in doing so unless I've got some reason to think that they now have the applets (or equivalents) that I want.

(This is the kind of entry that I write partly to argue myself into believing in it. And of course I'd be perfectly happy if a suitable environment fell into my lap but at this point I don't expect the necessary mini-commander applet to appear for any current desktop environment, Gnome 3 or otherwise, given that no one seems to have written and packaged one so far.)

Written on 16 March 2013.
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Last modified: Sat Mar 16 01:38:45 2013
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