Why ‘solutions’ like CrunchBang matter

Living just “over the hill” from the Silicon Valley, there’s a word bandied about in these parts that is about as nebulous as it is grating. This word — “solutions” — describes what works, in a digital way, for individuals on computer hardware.

I confess to being guilty of using the word myself. Redwood Digital Research started out as just a software testing outfit — you bring us your software, we’ll break it and when we can’t break it any further once you’ve fixed it, it’s ready — and now we also bring Free/Open Source Software, ahem, “solutions” to the small business and home office environment.

Again, “solutions,” as obtuse as it is, equals software that works.

If you’ll permit me a slight tangent for a moment, I know CrunchBang’s lead developer and fearless leader — and we’ll let Rebecca tell us if he’s really fearless — Philip Newborough has been known to make the point that, “It is a common mistake to think that every developer wants their project to be widely popular.”

Which brings me to a.) why I brought that quote up in the first place, and b.) why I’m hosting a table for CrunchBang and giving a presentation about it at Linux Fest Northwest in late April.

Philip is right about bringing up the direction that developers want to see their projects take. It’s their project, their vision. As I’ve written before, perhaps the main reason I’m here as a CrunchBang user is that I think Philip has done a remarkable job on this Debian-based distro that is as dependable as it is fast across the board on a wide range of hardware — old and new — and its dependability in most cases makes its name an inside joke that describes the complete opposite of what is bound to happen.

In other words, CrunchBang is a “solution” that I, and many of you reading here, have made a part of our daily digital lives. So the reason I am going to the extent that I am to promote CrunchBang in the United States is not because I want CrunchBang to be “widely popular,” but rather to share this outstanding distro with others, letting those who wish to try it decide for themselves whether it’s right for them.

CrunchBang is not for everyone. There is a learning curve for those brand new to Linux and FOSS, but for those who know their way around, CrunchBang is probably the best distro you can use. There’s little that can beat a quality distro backed by a dedicated cast of forum folks willing to help. That’s pretty much the gist of my talk at LFNW, with an outline of some of CrunchBang’s features, of course.

But meanwhile, back in Bellingham (if I can project forward to late April), CrunchBang already has a table and I’ve submitted both a “Intro to CrunchBang” talk and there will be a CrunchBang “Birds of a Feather” gathering during the course of the show. I also have a few folks who are willing to staff the booth and attend the expo, and once again if you’re within driving distance of any Linux show or expo, I would strongly urge that you attend.

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5 responses to “Why ‘solutions’ like CrunchBang matter

  1. Larry, just read your other blog. I’m hooked on Crunchbang. Phillip has made openbox mainstream in my opinion. I have learned how to add icons to the menu as I can’t leave well enough alone. Their forums are very helpful and friendly for someone with my limited skills. I’m having fun again.

  2. So, for those of us, stuck in Texas, across the Atlantic,etc. Will there be a youtube-video of this talk?

    Couldn’t agree more with what’s written above. Using CrunchBang, my under-powered hardware is more than a match for 95% of what I have to do on a daily basis. For the remaining 5%, I switch to a newer laptop, 64-bit AMD laptop, also running CrunchBang. 🙂

  3. While I could set up something close to Crunchbang in Debian proper, it’s nice to have developers like Corenominal do the heavy lifting and make everything work together so well. (I’m still ironing out problems in my Debian Wheezy LXDE installation, and I’d rather not have to tweak so many things to get a useful desktop.)

    Right now, it’s all a case of workflow for me: I’ve grown very reliant on browsing files over the network (ftp/sftp/webdav) in the file manager, and Nautilus does this very well.

    Thunar is just now adding this functionality (I think it’s in Xfce 4.8), and that will make Xfce in general and Crunchbang in particular more useful to me.

    I will say that using Gigolo to browse networked drives worked better in Crunchbang than it did the last time I tried it in Xfce over a year (probably longer) ago. It’s still kind of clunky to work that way.

    Like you said in a more recent post, a lot of what makes a project successful and useful is the community around it. Crunchbang is doing very well on that score. Along with Mint I think it’s one of the best distributions out there in terms of community.

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