SuSE Linux 10.2

This is great! I get to put up the first page yet about the new SuSE Linux 10.2 release! There are several pages up about the alpha releases, but I can’t find any yet about the production release. I haven’t done anything more than burn the 64-bit DVD image, but hopefully I’ll get time to play with it later.

Like many, I’m less than enthusiastic about the upcoming release of Windows Vista. I’ve played with both the beta 2 and RC1, and found them to be interesting. I’ve had a hard time using them fully because the release candidate apparently isn’t upgradeable, so any work I invest into it will be lost. I’ll have to back up my data and make a fresh install in the event that I switch to Windows Vista. I don’t care much for the price point either. I understand, 5 years is a long time and the economy has changed and so a decent commercial home operating system probably can’t sell for $99 anymore, but Vista just has too many tiers. The Home Basic version is so basic I’m wondering if it’s worth anything. The next version up still lacks some networking features. Being me, I would be left wanting Windows Vista Ultimate which is priced at well over $300 for a full version and something like $229 for an upgrade.

Five years ago, many of us swore that we would not upgrade to Windows XP because it had too much "big brother tech". We meant the activation, which has now become a standard part of the Windows experience (which is what XP stands for). Windows XP has proven to be a decent, stable, and powerful operating system, and hopefully Windows Vista will build on that. I’m still not that excited about it though. The graphics are nice, the suite of applications that comes with Windows Vista ultimate are impressive, but I’m still not that excited.

Earlier this year, I tried to claw my way out from under Windows. That experience has led me in some interesting directions. I wanted to gain experience with other platforms in the home environment. I’ve used Linux in the past, and I had an iMac that somebody gave me. This time in the process of playing with other operating systems, I upgraded the RAM in the iMac and upgraded the operating system to Jaguar, or Mac OS X 10.2. I bought an iBook for $100, installed a hard drive, bought a power cord, and put it together. I eventually upgraded the iBook to Tiger ( OS X 10.4) and I’m waiting for some new RAM for Christmas to really get the experience. I’m finding that it’s still a Windows world, however.

In the last few weeks, I’ve jumped back and forth (using a 20 Gigabyte partition on my laptop hard drive) between Windows Vista, SuSE Linux 10.1, and several of the Ubuntu derivatives. I currently have the 64-bit Kubuntu 6.10 Edgy Eft running on there. I’m fairly impressed with Ubuntu. They have done a wonderful job on stability and usability, but I still can’t get my wireless working. I’ve tried upgrading the kernel with no luck.

I have a Unix class coming up next week at the University of Phoenix, so I’m keeping a Linux partition on. I’ve installed and deleted Linux partitions many times in the last year, but I’m learning each time. I’ve learned how to edit Grub (the Linux boot loader) so that Windows XP is my default. It’s really simple. Just follow this:

How to edit Grub:

cd /boot/grub

(make yourself root through your distro’s method, su, sudo, whatever)

kate (or kwrite, gedit, vi, emacs or the text editor of your choice) menu.lst

scroll down and look at how many entries there are. Find the "default = x" selection. Chances are it will say "default = 0". Counting from the first entry as 0, count the lines to the "Windows Vista/Longhorn" bootloader. It may say XP or whatever version you’re running.

Change the default value to the line number. In my case, it’s 4. Count the line that says "Other operating systems" as a selection.

Save and exit.

Now, when you reboot, Windows will be your default. It’s easier than trying to edit the boot.ini file in Windows, which doesn’t support Linux anyway.

Anyway, I’ll get around to installing SuSE Linux 10.2 and hopefully I’ll get around to posting about it. Until then, Google seems to indicate that I’ll have the first post up about the production release of this version.

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