George Carter
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One Thing That Stopped Me Switching To Linux

| Saturday 21st October, 2023

Back in the day (maybe the very late 90s to mid 2000s) I exclusively ran Linux on my home computers (we used UNIX at work, so I was perfectly happy with a non-windows environment. Actually, at one employer we used RiscOS, but that’s another story!).

Over time the convenience of Windows won over, along with the software that was only available on Windows. (I’m looking at ‘Reason’ for music production, and others that I can’t recall now).

As I came to a more minimalist and anti-BigTech stance around 2018 onwards I decided to clear myself of Microsoft once again. But one little detail held me back from adopting Linux…

It was the modal save box.

What’s that mean? It means that when you save a file, the box that appears allowing you choose your folder and name the file is ‘stuck’ to the window behind it.

This was not compatible with my filing conventions where I will very often name a file with a header of YYMMDD – for example when I’m saving a pdf of a bill I’ve received.

Now, my short term memory appears to be a little poor and so I would hit save, then pull the dialogue aside and rename the file using the date showing on the window behind.

In Linux, this window moved with the dialogue and couldn’t be viewed.

Almost a show-stopper until I discovered the solution.

Install “Gnome Tweaks” and go to the Windows page and turn off “Attach Modal Dialogues”

Problem solved. I had been dual-booting Windows and Linux, but haven’t actually used Windows since I made that change.

The moral is: if something’s bugging you don’t put up with it. And with Linux we can add: it can probably be changed.


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