Over the Xmas and New Year break, I took a full fortnight of time off work. We spent some of this time up north visiting family, and doing some walking, but the last few days have been at home.
While at home I've had more time to play with my Debian (stable) desktop system. I use to use NT4 at home, and at work I'm forced to use NT5 for desktop systems, with RedHat Web servers. Working constantly with Debian has been an interesting and good experience. The box is very underpowered for a modern Linux desktop OS, so I have most of the eye candy turned off, but it feels as fast as my old NT4 system, and much faster than the NT5 system at work on much better hardware.
The only problem I've really found is with the age of some of the packages. I know I can use the unstable/testing versions, and I'm all in favour of the stability and interoperabilty argument for the stable versions, but I sometimes wish that the stable set was a little more recent.
I had hoped to get another version of XML::RSS::Tools out of the door over the break, it's been several months since I release the last dev version. Alas the version of XML::RSS and LibXML2/LibXSLT that Debian stable ships with are VERY old and quite broken. While it's easy to upgrade pure Perl modules with CPAN directly or the dh-make-perl tool, it's more of a pain when there are c libraries to deal with.
A small gripe, but compared with working with Windows, I can't really complain. The less I use Windows and the more I work with Linux, the more I realise how bad and broken Windows is!
All I have to do now is decide what to do regarding hardware. I long ago decided to upgrade my home systems. I can go with a cheap x86 system or a nice AMD64 system, both running Debian/Linux. Seeing as most x86 retailers don't want to ship a x86 system without Windows on, an x86 system will involve some messing. I can't afford/justify a new SPARC/MIPS/PA-RISC/Alpha based system, though I suppose I could get a "pre owned one", however a G5 PowerMac looks very attractive but not cheap...
I've decided that the future is Unix/Linux, and I think I'll be quite happy with whichever one I pick. Windows is last years OS...