Last week I got a new Dell Inspiron laptop from the Microsoft store for a great price. I did a bit of research while looking for a new laptop, and despite the fact that this computer still has a spinny disk, the 8GB RAM, i5 Processor, and Full HD Screen make it one of the best bangs for you buck at a price of $549.00.
Naturally, this laptop came preinstalled with Windows 10. I tried my best to give it a fair chance. I really only need this computer to write code and look at the results of said code in a web browser, so my requirements are pretty low.
- Text editor
- Usable Shell
- Google Chrome
Pretty much every operating system these days from Windows to Solaris support those basic features, so what could possibly go wrong?
To be honest for the first few days, I cloned all my current projects and started hacking away. Life was good, and for the most part everything was fine. Installing Git for Windows includes all sorts of goodies like bash, vim, ssh which makes the computer pretty usable for development work. Using the chocolaty package manager makes installing all sorts of software like python, npm a breeze. In addition, the command prompt in Windows 10 finally supports window resizing, non-block text selection, and regular copying and pasting. Overall, after being away from Windows for quite some time I was pretty impressed with Windows 10.
Trouble in Paradise
But then, as usual, the little minor annoyances add up to a death by 1000 tiny cuts when it comes to doing development work in Windows.
No Full Disk Encryption without “Pro”
Microsoft still believes heavily in creating arbitrary feature differences between versions. So using BitLocker is not possible unless you are running Windows 10 Pro. This seems pretty sad since full disk encryption comes by default in OS X and any GNU/Linux Distribution for the last several years.
Weird Key Bindings
I don’t run a key logger, but if I did I think my most used commands would be
ctrl+a and ctrl+e to go to home and end when editing anything. This kind of works sometimes in some programs, but its kind of a deal breaker since the home and end keys on this keyboard are above the numberpad and impossible to reach.
Unable to See dotfiles
I guess dotfiles (i.e. .gitignore) are Unix things? In Windows Explorer the file shows up as blank.
Unable to Rename files that are currently in use.
This was the deal breaker. I was editing some code for a new project. I wanted to rename the project from ‘test_project’ to something else. This feature is apparently impossible, even on the Pro Edition of Windows 10. If you try to rename a folder it will complain that it is currently being used. No problem, I closed out every explorer window and text editor window. Still no dice. In addition to not being able to do this seemingly trivial task, Windows does not even tell you where the file is being used so you are basically stuck either closing every single program you have open, or rebooting your computer just to rename a directory.
That is madness. Pure madness.
In conclusion, Windows 10 lasted about 4 and a half days on my laptop. Windows 10 is awesome, until it’s not. I installed Ubuntu 15.10 and it is working perfectly. Maybe in another 10 years Microsoft will figure out how to rename folders that are currently in use.