Per usual, I have gone through the process of migrating up the Fedora distribution path. First, their Live CD install on a spare laptop partition. Then, the full 64-bit install on my new workstation. Finally, upgrading work’s IBM Thinkpad laptop, which is used daily for production, at the office, at home, and during the train commute between Providence and Boston.
Because I follow several open source projects and administer Red Hat Enterprise Linux servers at work, I have not been disappointed with any of the Fedora distributions — mainly because of that familiarity with the project, and I know what to expect. I find this distribution “just fits” into both my career and personal computing work & play habits.
I have found that the updated kernel has improved upon sleep and hibernate modes. And my laptop’s battery power lasts nearly 20% longer than running under Fedora 8. And then there was this nice unexpected surprise: the latest NetworkManager has an auto-detect feature that allows me to hot-plug in my Verizon EVDO card. It presents me with a one-click option to connect. Works supremely well — even autoconnects from drops in the Sharon, MA area — and no more cryptic ppp scripts to maintain!
For software development, I use and recommend the following packages:
- Code::Blocks for Linux C/C++ development works great — but I have had much better success with Microsoft’s free Visual Studio 2008 Express under Vista.
- Gambas is an interesting project (and its maintainer has just released a 64-bit version) that I will give some serious poking.
- MonoDevelop for .NET development has improved a lot from its earlier days.
- ManEdit is a fine man page editor and viewer, even if its UI is somewhat dated.
- Meld is a must-have file difference viewer, and is in my experience, unmatched by any other like utility.
- I am still using the default Glade2, but will kick the tires on Glade3.
While VMware Workstation 6.0.3 installed fine, it continues to lag behind the recent Linux kernels and requires the infamous vmware-any-any patch. I am using the latest kernel 22.214.171.124, and fortunately, an alpha version can be found on Peter Velichkov’s blog here.
Not unexpected is the continuing lag of AMD/ATI proprietary video drivers for Radeon chipsets. That’s okay, because since they have open sourced their hardware documentation, the open drivers have been supplying regular updates and performance improvements. But alas, no GLest or Scorched 3D sessions for now.