So, it’s only when you try and do anything half-way productive that you feel the constraining walls of Windows.

The inability to make decent PDFs easily under XP was really, really annoying. I hadn’t realised how much I used the “print to PDF” option under Linux until it wasn’t there anymore. If you’re anything like me, booking holidays is an online process, which means all your documentation is electronic. Sure, you print out everything and take a big sheaf of papers in your bag, but what happens if you lose the paper? I like to take PDFs of EVERYTHING with me either on a memory stick or, most recently, on my funky new phone, which has a PDF viewer and a nice big screen.

Everything about this is now really easy, except making the PDF under XP. Oh, I’m sure I could buy a nice expensive copy of Acrobat, or spend time looking for some shareware utility to install but, to be honest, using Linux has spoilt me and I just want it to work! So Linux Mint 9 came out, and I rushed to it, in the hope that it would not suffer from the problems I had with version 8.

And so far so good.

  • I’ve only turned on once and not had any sound ( this used to happen about one in three times with Mint 8 )
  • The desktop theme has only failed to load once ( another common problem )
  • Best of all, Amarok installed and worked “out of the box”. No mucking about with PulseAudio, no hunting for obscure setup files, nothing.  I even got MP3 support working first go.

Amarok is the reason I keep coming back to Linux – it feels like it was designed specifically for me and the way I use my music.  While I’ve been away they even added Ipod support back in to the application, which is a plus.

So now I’m happy as Larry again.