Once upon a time, I used a Linux distribution called Ubuntu quite extensively. One of my favourite apps for Ubuntu was a Markdown editor called UberWriter.
What made UberWriter a favourite was that it was minimalist. It was clean with no distractions. It was easy to use. And it had several nice features that complemented its aesthetics.
Then, one day, UberWriter started acting wonky on my desktop. I can't remember how or why, but it became practically unusable — and not just for me, either. I uninstalled it, opting instead for a text editor and never looked back.
Recently, though, a friend pointed me in the direction of a Markdown editor called Apostrophe. After doing a bit of poking around, I learned that the editor is UberWriter in a new guise. Of course, I immediately decided to give it a go. Here's what happened.
For the most part, I like my software simple and focused. Software that does one thing, does it well, and with the minimum of frills.
That goes for the music player that I use on the Linux desktop. I only need something that plays music. I don't need equalizers, harmonizers, transmogrifiers, or anything that makes the hearts of so-called audiophiles flutter.
While idly leafing through the elementary OS AppCenter recently, I came across Byte. It's a music player that (gasp!) plays music. It can do one or two other things, too, but at its core Byte is a music player and nothing else.
Do you need complex, feature-packed graphical or web applications to get and stay organized? I don't think so. The right command line tool can do the job and do it well.
Of course, uttering the words command and line together can strike fear into the hearts of some Linux users. The command line, to them, is terra incognita.
Organizing yourself at the command line is easy with Calcurse. Calcurse brings a graphical look and feel to a text-based interface. You get the simplicity and focus of the command line married to ease of use and navigation.
Something that that Linux desktop isn't lacking is tools for working with plain text. That's especially true for text editors. I should know — I've tried more than a few in my time.
A while back, I was having a spot of bother with an editor called Gedit. That bother had to do with the editor's search function — I don't recall the details, to be honest. To get around that problem, I turned to another editor called FeatherPad.
I found FeatherPad to be a more-than-adequate editor, one with several useful functions. Even though I looked at it briefly in another post, I've been meaning to take a closer look at FeatherPad. So why don't we do that now?
We all want our passwords to be safe and secure. To do that, many people turn to password management applications like KeePassXC or Bitwarden.
If you spend a lot of time in a terminal window and are looking for a simpler solution, you'll want to check out one of the many password managers for the Linux command line. They're quick, easy to use, and secure.
Like many people who live and work in the free and open source software world, I keep hearing that every year is the year of Linux on the desktop. I've been hearing that for longer than I can remember. And each year, Linux doesn't come close to encroaching on the market share or mindshare of Mac OS or Windows.
That doesn't matter. At least not to me. For me, 1999 was the year of Linux on the desktop. My desktop. That was the was year I finally had it with Wind)ows. That was the year I first installed Linux, specifically Caldera OpenLinux, on a Pentium 300 I inherited from my wife. You can read the story about that in my interview with My Linux Rig if you're interested.
Linux worked well for me then, and only got better as the years passed. I've used over a dozen distributions and have test driven many, many more more. Linux has been running on every desktop and laptop computer I've owned since 1999, and I've doing all of my work in Linux since then. Contrary to what some people might say (and have said), I'm not missing anything.
Linux is ready for my desktop. It has been for over 20 years. In fact, Linux is my desktop. Period.
Whether or not Linux becomes mainstream isn't important to me. Linux just works for me. That's all that matters.