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In orbit over Fedora 13

June 1, 2010 3 comments

First an apology: Shortly after I installed Fedora 13, my six-year-old laptop (the ever-present Fujitsu) decided to go into graphics card-iac arrest — a pretty amazing show, in a morbid way, but not one I’d want to repeat. So I had to spend the next several days trying to replace the card and get it working. For those looking for the blog during that time, from my Mom to others, I apologize for the delay.

But now that a new card, working flawlessly, is in and a reinstall of the operating system has been done, Fedora 13 is still running circles — no, running orbits — around any other distro I’ve yet encountered. Which, of course, leads me to recall a blogger a few months ago who wrote that Fedora 13, like Apollo 13, could be an unlucky release.

Not a chance.

Out of the box, albeit the second time around (through no fault of the distro’s, incidentally), Fedora 13 performed flawlessly. First test, always a good one: I plugged in the HP DeskJet and, voila, not only did it find the printer driver instantly, it asked me if I’d like a cup of coffee or a foot massage while the job is printing. OK, I made up the last part, but the fact remains that not having to tweak the printer driver is a welcome addition.

Clarity abounds: Whether it’s the new graphics card or just great planning and execution of the code (and I’d side for the latter), the Fujitsu’s main raison d’etre — its great screen — is clearer than ever. Not only this, tweaking the screen took little effort as well. Not only this, I got to try out the Bluetooth networking capabilities thanks to a friend who needed something on his phone printed out — friend, with page in hand, is now very curious about what Linux can do for him so there may be a convert on the horizon.

So far, everything has worked as expected and, in some cases, worked better than expected. Audio/video deserves special mention — not that I use it much (or, not that I use it at all, because I don’t), but I had an opportunity to play the “Truth Happens” film and it ran better than it has in the past. Coincidence? Not likely. Game, set, match F13.

One for my class: Since we’re going to be doing more Python in September, Fedora 13 has, and I quote, “a parallel-installable Python 3 stack that will help programmers write and test code for use in both Python 2.6 and Python 3 environments.” Now, kids, if you’re really smart, you’d take the Fedora 13 disk your teacher gives you and work with this part so you’ll be ready when you return to school (so you can show me how to do it, that is . . . ahem).

As is my custom, I alternate between GNOME and KDE for desktop environments on the laptop to keep my skills in each desktop sharp. I go with GNOME in the even-numbered releases, KDE for the odd (no, there’s nothing to read into that, it just happens that way). And, yes, I’m going to resist the temptation to make krazy and kontroversial kracks about KDE’s affinity for naming software starting with the letter “K.” Or not.

But having said this, there are a couple of caveats that require mentioning — personal ones that really don’t take anything away from Fedora 13′s shine. Pet peeve number one: No GIMP on the install. Easily installable upon completion of the installation, I know, but still. It’s akin to the inability to get OpenOffice.org on a Live CD and having to go get it afterward — a minor inconvenience, but one that I’d gladly forgo.

Another peeve: Installing games you can’t win. Why include them if they just annoy the heck out of you?

What may be next on the blog list is a comparison between some of the KDE programs and how they fare against their non-KDE FOSS counterparts (yeah, I’m looking at you, Konqueror).

Meanwhile, go get Fedora 13, if you want, here.

[FSF Associate Member](Fedora ambassador Larry Cafiero runs Redwood Digital Research in Felton, California, and is an associate member of the Free Software Foundation.)
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But wait, there’s more

May 12, 2010 Leave a comment

Whenever I start a blog item, I’m always faced with the words “enter title here.” It’s hard to determine whether I’m supposed to enter my title — which I have settled on “Big Kahuna, God of All He Surveys” — or whether it’s the title of the blog item. Yeah, I know it’s the latter, but in most cases, I don’t know what the title is until I’m done . . . sometimes.

Regardless, below are some observations of recent developments, like

Blame the Blocker Bugs: Fedora 13, code named Goddard, sits on the launch pad for another week as the release date is pushed back in order for the distro to fix a few more bugs. That puts the countdown back to a May 25th liftoff, according to internet.com’s Sean Michael Kerner’s article here.

That was fast: Yesterday — I think it was yesterday, although it could have just seemed like yesterday — I mournfully blogged that Mandriva was being put up for sale. Seems like a suitor has already stepped up: A report from techie-buzz.com (yeah, that got a “huh?” from me, too) here says that Lingaroa has opened its checkbook and that they have already started moving Mandriva assets.
Update: Actually, that news from techie-buzz.com got a huge “non” from Paris, as the official Mandriva blog says that Mandriva “has not been bought by anybody.”

Shooting down the Air Force: When the PlayStation 3 was released, it was able to run Linux, which made creating powerful computing clusters that utilized the console’s advanced Cell processor to benefit scientific researchers. Oh, and also benefitted the Air Force, which purchased over 2,000 PS3 for that very purpose. Now that the firmware update no longer allows OtherOS (read: Linux) support, does that mean the Air Force is grounded? Not necessarily, at least as long as the 2,000 PS3s are working — and I guess the USAF is going to have to hit Craigslist.org to get replacements. Brian Leahy of shacknews.com outlines the story here.

But wait, there’s more . . . but not immediately. More to follow soon.

[FSF Associate Member](Fedora ambassador Larry Cafiero runs Redwood Digital Research in Felton, California, and is an associate member of the Free Software Foundation.)
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