Has Linux improved - or what?

  LastChip 20:36 09 Feb 04

Some regulars will know I have been a fan of Linux for some considerable time, and have experimented with both Madrake and Redhat 7.2 in the past, with mixed success, (and failure)!

However, recently, I have had a little time on my hands, and decided to reconfigure totally my experimental machine, with a dual boot of Win98se and RedHat 9.0.

The pupose of '98 is because there are still many users using this excellent system, and it enables me to remind myself from time to time about configuration methods to help one or two others to resolve problems.

Anyway, back to RedHat 9.0. Once installed, and bearing in mind the machine is already established on my home network, it auto-configured Samba so that I could immediately see my other Windows machines from the Linux box. A small change to the Proxy Server configuration, enabled me to have Internet access through ICS on my main Windows box, and I am writing this on the Linux machine, (in Mozilla) just to prove it works!! At the moment, I cannot see the Linux machine from Windows, which is hardly surprising as Linux has a dedicated file system that can't be read by Windows, but I believe there may be a work around for that and will look at it when time permits.

The difference between RedHat 7.2 and 9.0 is astonishing.

So was it all sweetness and light? I'd love to say yes, but sadly not. RedHat absolutely refused to recognise my Samsung CD ROM drive, and so I had to copy the ISO disks onto one of the Windows partitions and install from there. Yet now the system is up and running, it will play audio CD's and read data CD's with no trouble, so that remains a mystery!

The final interesting part (to me) was that it took approximately 25 minutes to install the system amounting to about 1.5 GBs of data, on a 400MHz machine; XP users, eat your heart out ;-) and the machine is faster on the internet than my Windows machine using an AMD 1900+ Thoroughbred, so that must beg the question, How far has Windows really come?

  powerless 21:25 09 Feb 04

This far.........

Doulbe click to install as opposed to a command line.

Double click wins me over!

  Chegs ® 21:28 09 Feb 04

I haven't the Linux knowhow to get any distro(I have several)to install onto my present system.Before I upgraded my system,I used Linux on my PC,but trying to

a)learn my way round Linux from websites,

b)get my ISDN to work in Linux

became an absolute nitemare.I tried a Linux distro on my present system,and it couldn't find my SATA hdd's,or simply gave up on discovering my Promise RAID controller(I think it was this causing the failure)A Linux competent installer would know howto get round these problems,I don't.This is why I have stuck with windblows and its instability,insecurity,etc,because for all its faults,almost anyone can get it installed onto a pc.

  powerless 21:32 09 Feb 04

I actually downloaded Mandrake Linux 9.2 and then went and brought it because it came with a USERGUIDE working my way through the guide now.

  Kitz E Kat 22:11 09 Feb 04

But Red Hat is now charging for updates, and is more or less discontinuing support for its workstation in favour for its enterprise edition, pound for pound Windows in now cheaper than RH !!!!! Mad !!!!

If it works out of the box great, if not forget it !
I tried to install a driver for a Orinoco card, gave up after about 8 hours hard work!!!
Windows installed the driver in seconds, that's the difference.....
Id much prefer to use Linux but it's a hard nut to crack, and it don't like n00bs to much...
At this stage id recommend Mandrake as the best choice for the n00b, that said i don't like it :-)
So i decided to throw myself in at the deep end and go for the ultimate challenge.......

FreeBSD.... i now know why it's free !!!!!!!

Also Knoppix is good , cos it runs from the CD drive so you don't have to load it, worth checkin out....

And if you can stretch the funds a bit VMWare is great for messing around with such OS's..
You can run a *virtual* linux box on your computer without the dual boot thing....

All in all Linux has a long way to go before Joe and Mary are running it on their PC .....

Good luck ...
Kitz E

  The Spires 22:26 09 Feb 04

It's come far enought to recognise your Samsung CD ROM drive.

  woodchip 22:31 09 Feb 04

Editor's choice in Personal Computer World March issue is Mandrake Linux Powerpak 9.2 The second choice is Suse Linux Professional 9

  powerless 22:33 09 Feb 04

Mandrake Linux Powerpak 9.2 - me got that from PCW.

  John-259217 02:22 10 Feb 04

in fact to distort an old saying slightly "everyday in every way Linux gets better and better".

Back to reality though, Kitz E Kat is right to say that its still got some way to go before Joe and Mary use it every day.

Indeed it serves to highlight how much focus Microsoft put on ease of use.

Pity we can`t graft an XP frontend (or Longhorn or Blackcomb etc) on top for those moments when you don't want an in depth grovel thru the system just to get a new app working!

Just so you know, I`m using Fedora on my laptop as I write this, just because I like it.

I also like FreeBSD but thats because they won`t let us have sharp objects in here and I get bored with crayons !! ;-)))))

  Chegs ® 02:56 10 Feb 04

"This is why I have stuck with windblows and its instability,insecurity,etc,because for all its faults,almost anyone can get it installed onto a pc."

I already said that about windows...

ps.I had to add to this post,cos for all its faults,Linux does give you a damn good sense of humour.

  LastChip 13:29 10 Feb 04

I'm sure you all appreciate, the purpose of the post was to point out the improvements made to the product, in a relatively short space of time.

Powerless, I hope you give it a go!

Chegs ®, I think you have hit the nail on the head when you refer to the ease of installation that comes with Windows and in particular (compared to Linux) the installation of additional programs. For Linux to become main stream, it has to break out of having to install packages. It has to get to the point where a user can place a CD in the reader, and the program will install. Never the less, if the past couple of years is anything to go by, perhaps that's not as far off as some would have you believe. Even now, RedHat does have an Add/Remove programs facility, which is a big improvement on the past.

Kitz E Kat, as above, I agree with you and have tried Knoppix, but found it slow to run from the CD.

The Spires, maybe I will discover in years to come just why that happened!

woodchip, I'm going to download Mandrake and give it a try. When I tried version 8.0, I liked the interface and in fact preferred it to RedHat, but had trouble trying to configure various options. Perhaps 9.2 is much improved.

m73john, absolutely right, and a recurring theme. Ease of use IS the key! (sorry about your crayons) ;-)

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