--- Not the review, just the feeling and thought I gone through in last few weeks. ---
First of all few weeks before -- 4 week to be exact -- I couldn't accept anymore that Windows (OS) has a "WIN" word in it and more importantly its right there out in my eye on my laptop. I thought better call it losedows (and you can replace 'w' with 'g' if you like), all the creepy CPU killing, memory eating, waiting and close to no control is too much for me and those of you who know me, would agree with that. I hit 120 keys per minute (yeah maybe 30% incorrect ones) and I really don't want my keyboard to act slower than me. When I hit a key -- I want it printed, accepted, acted instantly. I gotta know that my machine is responding ... The minute its not, its like its dead, it lost, its dow with a 'g'.
Well that's not the all of it, hell how much time it takes to boot the system up ... and how many times it need booting. You know I think to avoid showing that "BSOD", you gotta boot everyday or so, and if you don't -- you see the blue hell. Well I saw that quite often (on the second note, I can actually trade with God now, .. you know like I been already there, Sir!), and that "Loading your personal setting" ... I feel like each day I gets old, loading my personal setting too getting older ... how many times does it hang ... I mean its windows for god sake, its not curtain!!!
Even that's not the all of it, take these --
Exchange: That's kills almost half of my processor, got the ability to hang the system anytime , and I got no control!! What is it exchanging man!! Well, I tell ya what you could do, exchange it with evolution. That's better bet any day.
Explorer: More software you have on your machine, more time explorer takes. Again no control, it just eats – CPU and your head. -- alternative, use terminal.
Start menu, dll problems, Eclipse, bugs, viruses: Who the hell allows network query on start menu load! and that software -- works sometime, crashes others, licenses etc etc and top of it all that viruses that's can screw all your data just like that. I tell you with the kind of viruses, bugs and security issues and thinking that anti ones will save you ... staying with windows is like standing in the middle of the highway covered with little windshield 'n' closed eyes hoping for none of those truck will hit you.
Well, that's some of it ... I can keep writing, but I don't want to waste my like anymore on it.
So I had *NIX on my desktop in office and home and losedows on laptop ... but actually if you have a laptop, well that's the your most used machine -- 'n' I tell you those *NIX development teams, get all laptop support smoothly out there 'n' you will find your head further in .. -- and as any in house IT support team, they always say "Sir we support just windows on laptops (&desktops), we can not support any other operating system and we suggest your to stay with window there".
So finally I decided to clear off IT support number of my telephone and install Linux on my box. As the history has it, I started with AIX and RH and little look on mandrake, then moved to SUSE when Novell took over even before they made it kind of mandatory for every employee -- (In case you don't know, I worked with Novell for a good time), NLD 9 and finally SLED 10. So I went for latest release of SLED which actually is SLED 10 SP2. Read the release notes, what's new and all (a quick overview), made a CD cut, installed it, booted ... quite good so for. It felt nice to be back home, but it got the old bricks and an unpleasing paint. (well at least its old now).
Please don't take this wrong, but SESE Enterprise release got to be faster and synced. You know one problem with Open source projects are the dependency tree can be really tricky. and Enterprise vendors got to have some way to get users on the latest stable versions. I'll just quote a few missing stuff from it:
1. Glib and gtk too old:
Which means no Firefox 3, no empathy and many more no more.
[ if you are looking for a solution here -- a better way could be to install those core versions in separate location (say /opt/updated/gtk, /opt/updated/glib) than to override the existing ones (and possibly screw other apps) and then set lib, ld_lib and path correctly before using those applications. ]
2. Kernel version was compiled in '07:
'08 is almost gone. 1 year is two late. That's 33% life of my laptop! Do I need to say more.
3. Network Manager, wpa_supplicant and vpn:
Network manager is running some 0.4/0.5 version, wpa_supplicant some 0.4 version, and vpn I couldn't even care. So Network manager doesn't work with wireless connection in my office (which is really important) and at my home. wpa_supplicant works at home, but doesn't have support for my office wireless. (for security authentication protocol EAP-FAST). So I have to get updated version of wpa_supplicant and openssl and patch it for EAP-FAST support. Too much pain, isn't it?
As for vpn, well I got a cisco vpnclient, matched the version with the libraries I am running in, and use that one.
4. Driver supports
This is kind of persistent problem, but still a problem. They gotta get some way to include those nvidia and ati drivers included and appropriately installed during installation. I don't care if other distro does it or not, but SuSE can. And support for those audio and video ones. May be there are problems with xine, that's fine .. get some other open source ones .. working for today's most common audio and video formats.
The lesser problems
5. compiz, printer
Well rather than saying too old, actually all other distros (including open SuSE) latest release has the updated version (and include compiz and compiz-extra). Printer setup was really hitting one, but any way I don't use printer much now -- and I think will all those hard disk space and laptop, we don't need. So the lesser one. But actually enterprise one, need to have a good one.
Well let's say everything else is really good.
Just a suggestion, try to get some VOIP stuff in for desktop release. (counter part for netmeeting, and IP Communicator, etc). I hope Nat is reading and I hope they are working on code 11 as greatly as they worked on code 10!! All the wishes frome me ... just in case if they need any ;-)
So I setup Firefox 3, wpa_supplicate (for home and office wireless), vpnclient, hplip, and few more, but anyway that was too much to handle every day for me. 2 days before, I tried to find out the code base that SLED built on top of and the latest stable one. Somewhere on novell forum someone said SLED 10 SP2 is built on openSuse 10.1. I am not sure how authentic that is, but I am sure its not based on latest stable version of OpenSuSE (which is 11.0). I gave it a try and guess what I found out -- Network manager is great (workes great for wireless and wired -- home and office with vpn!), Firefox is good, compiz is good, sound is good, video is good. and all other softwares are good --- feeling is good, and I like that online update repository and one click install idea. (Though that one click install have a long way to go).
Few which could be better:
Or I say good now and hope will be better in next one.
Top on the list, cause it was better before actually, and it mostly used app!. it seems to be screwed up a little. This is the only app now on my machine which is slower than my keyhits :-(
2. One Click install
Takes more time than yast standards. Specially when used with yast (console mode). To tell you the bottleneck, it key import. First its takes way too much time, secondly sometime (or most time), it doesn't ask for confirmation and I hope they know and tested it with CLI based browers like w3m and lynx.
"Now openSuSE 11.1 will be out on 18th Dec, and I hope they make it a great Christmas gift for its users."
Disclaimer: All views and thought expressed in this post are solely belogs to me, and has no relation with any one else.