How I Over-Teched Myself

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Ever since I first had to use it for real work, I have known that I tend to get a lot more writing and programming done when I use the command line interface than when I'm in X11. Somehow, though, my increase in productivity didn't fully register with me until I put OpenBSD on my laptop computer. The lack of proprietary video drivers and Web browser plugins helped me overcome the distractions presented by my big, powerful, tricked-out GNU/Linux desktop machine. I'm hooked now -- there's no going back. I'm through being over-stimulated, over-styled, and over-teched.

It started with the operating system

While writing a review for OpenBSD, I realized that even though it didn't have proprietary video drivers, and the desktop programs were a little out of date, in terms of the kind of work I do, it had everything I needed in an operating system. It got me thinking about the days when I used to do all of my writing in MultiMate in DOS and WordStar on CPM. Email wasn't quite popular yet, but it was generally accessible through a text interface in whatever terminal program I was using to connect to the Internet. In other words, I could do all the same things then that I do now, except today's software is more capable and stable, free as in rights, and far more secure. Anyway, the big realization for me was that I was getting more writing done in OpenBSD than I was with my state-of-the-art GNU/Linux machine with all of its tweaked-out programs and pretty graphical interfaces. It seriously made me question the purpose of having a graphical environment at all.

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