Its been over a month since I abandoned Windows XP as my primary operating system, and have been using Fedora Core 4 as a base. (De-Crufting..) The only application I *really* need windows for - Lotus Notes - runs quite happily in a VMWare partition. Sigh.

Today, I needed to Remote Desktop a server - and guess what - my windows XP media center version of windows in VMWare wont allow me to run the Remote Desktop client. I dont know why, and I dont really care. Three minutes googling and I find that there's a remote desktop project for linux. So how do I load it ?

"yum install rdesktop", sit back for three minutes, and its on my machine. Up and running one minute later. Why did I bother wasting 60 minutes trying to figure out why Remote desktop didnt run on Windows XP Media Center? As usual with the Linux experiment so far, the answer is "yes" - the only difficulty is finding it.

On the linux front, the Lotus Notes Component for Linux (which will run in the Workplace client) will soon be in Beta, hopefully releasing me from the burden of actually needing VMware..

And in the month, which application have I missed the most ? iTunes. I have to use another machine in the house to dock my video iPod with. Which actually works out quite well, meaning that I dont waste 15gb of my valuable laptop space on stuff thats on my iPod in any case. I tried to get gtkpod (a linux iPod management system) working - but it didnt understand video content. Yet. I'm sure in another four weeks it will.

(The reason why it wont work in vmware ? Vmware player/workstation for linux, running windows, only surfaces USB-1 ports to the windows machine, not USB-2. Why should this matter ? I dont know either. But it means that iTunes doesnt work)

Oddly, iTunes was almost a show-stopper. Not office. Not Notes. Not MSN (GAIM works really well on linux, and allows multiple logins to multiple services - in the same way as Trillian. Skype runs on linux, but not version 2+ webcams.. Yet..

What else ? I've not figured out hibernate mode yet. Its not a biggie - when I have some time, I'll get it sorted. And I've got very few codecs on Linux at the moment, meaning that I dont get to watch much video in there. Firefox on the windows partition does the trick for important stuff in that respect.

Whats the conclusion ? You dont have to be insane to de-Microsoft your life anymore. Its not a nightmare. If I can do it, any reasonably competent technical person can do it. What next ? OS/x on Intel of course...!

(For those folks stuck with Windows, try Windows Blinds with the Tiger Skin. It makes boring old XP look exactly like Tiger, which is cool. Fooled me last week...)