Settling In

april 15, 2007

So, I have my notebook upgraded and everything. I have Red Hat Enteprise Linux 5 Workstation installed and now I'm getting settled in. I am thinking about making the Powerbook G4 a secondary machine for a while and using my RHEL5 notebook as a primary machine. I know there are definitely going to be stuff that I'll need to do on the Mac (think all things media related), but I think I can get by with the Linux notebook -- and there are definitely things I can do on my Linux notebook better than on the Mac (think virtual machines). Some stuff still do not work as well on my Linux notebook as they do on my Mac. Putting the system to sleep seems like a consistent problem with any Linux distro. With Ubuntu, I could put the system to sleep and wake it up. When woken up, the system would lose all audio. With my RHEL5 installation, I can put the notebook to sleep and wake it up. But, when woken up, the notebook has lost all memory of the wireless card and I have to restart the ipw3945 daemon to get things going again. As for software, I don't plan on adding a lot of outside software. The only outside software that I find necessary is VMware. Other than that, I want to keep my RHEL5 installation as close to what comes from Red Hat as possible. General things like web surfing and email work great on both machines. Red Hat provides Macromedia Flash, Adobe Acrobat plug-in, and an IBM Java plug-in in their Extras repository. That makes web browsing pretty much the same as the Mac. Thunderbird comes with RHEL5 and that's all I need for email. Office productivity is good on each. Though, on the Mac I have the "real deal" when it comes to Microsoft Office (Office X). On the RHEL5 box, I have OpenOffice.org, which is "good enough". There is some funkiness with OpenOffice.org when it comes to importing MS Office documents -- and still no real support for change tracking, which is pretty handy when working with a team. And OpenOffice.org is still a bit sluggish. The venerable Gimp is around to do Photoshop duties and it works pretty well. I got Bluetooth working (wasn't as bad as I expected it to be) and can at least get photos off my phone. I still haven't found a way to synchronize my contacts from phone to notebook yet. I am not so concerned about synchronizing my calendar and todo list because I am using Yahoo! Calendar now and that works great -- especially with the WAP interface on my phone. What is lacking is media tools. RealPlayer is the video player. And there is Rhythmbox for music playback. But, there is no MP3 playback -- though, I can playback single MP3 files through RealPlayer, that doesn't count. There's no iTunes-like application. Oh, and I can't watch DVDs on my Linux box. Burning CDs is not that bad either with the Gnome CD/DVD creator. Anyways, I am going to keep on playing and using my Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 notebook to see how much of my life I can get onto it. I tried a switch from OS to OS before, it was a long time ago, when I tried to switch from Windows XP over to Mac OS X. It actually went pretty well.