Recently the question of What OS do you feel most productive on was asked. Instead of yet another theoretical thesis, vague descriptions or lame joke like "one that has no games", I decided to simply show why I chose Linux for productivity. The post gained both positive and negative feedback and popularity so I decided to dedicate a journal entry to it.
- ION 3 window manager
- KDE's Konqueror 3.3b (web/file browser)
- Irssi with bitlbee (to access msn/icq/irc, etc) - terminus font
- 2 x gkrellm2 (one to monitor server, one for laptop)
- Customized Eterm terminal emulator
- Kwrite for notes and documents
- Mplayer - Tara Reid - American Pie unseen edition.
The screenshot shows frame based (i.e. not float) window management, multiple tabs per frame (instead of global taskbar), window title renaming (so you can leave yourself notes), decoration hiding (to save space), konqueror's space efficiency and an example of actual useful multi tasking (i.e. not a frenzy of float windows or the typical screenshot of a background image and xchat on it).
A few more points that cannot be shown by screenshot are automatic window placing (e.g. mplayer starts in the mplayer frame), optional float window frames (So you can have float windows for gimp), multiple desktops, drag+drop programs between frames and popup control. Last point just means if any application decides to open a new window (i.e. new message in gaim), you can configure ion to not let it steal focus and force popup into a designated frame (this was absolutely crucial for me).
Just imagine, 15 windows open, 7 of them visible on 10" screen, 866mhz transmeta laptop with 15 hours battery life with no clutter all easily located without requiring alt+tab or searching the taskbar, all running no slower than a full DE with Firefox on my 3200+ Athlon XP.
One last thing is the colour scheme. What you have to understand is whether you use an LCD or a CRT, you are staring at a light bulb. The less light coming out of that lightbulb the better it is for your eyes. Its also important for productivity being able to work for longer with lower eye strain. Most desktop environments and operating systems are not too friendly with dark themes and inverting colours. In KDE, they even have an option in kpdf to force foreground and background colours to ensure lowest eye strain possible.