Daily Archives: 11 August 2005

SuSEing it Out

I received the evaluation copy of SuSE 9.3 Pro a couple of
days ago. Unfortunately, what Novell sent to me was the
“Live” version. This version runs exclusively from a DVD, not
from a hard drive.

Even with that limitation, I decided to take a look see.
So I copied the supplied ISO image to my hard drive and then
used EasyCD Creator to burn the DVD. However, the first try
failed and I had try again. I don’t know what went wrong but
the second try created a bootable DVD.

After rebooting with the DVD, SuSE 9.3 Pro came up. I
decided to try the browsers first. Firefox
seems to run fine and since I regularly use it and don’t need
to see it again, I decided to take a look at Konqueror. I
immediately noticed how much faster Konqueror loads and runs
compared to Firefox. I don’t know if this is because it is
integrated into the operating system (if indeed it is) or
some other reason. Still, Konqueror is a nice little browser
and I could probably use it more.

Next up was the primary email application – Evolution.
Unfortunately, Evolution failed to load. All I got was a
message saying “The Application ‘evolution’ has quit
unexpectedly. Restart. Close. Inform.” Restarting failed to
get it going and “inform” just tries to send a bug report. So
I closed. I don’t know if it even runs under KDE, which is what I was
running or only under Gnome. If so, I wonder why
SuSE includes an icon to it even when using KDE?

On the other hand, Kmail configured and worked
just fine so there’s always that.

Another non-starter was sound. I don’t know what it is
about the
Dell Optiplex
line but this is not the first distribution
that I’ve had sound problems with. On the other hand, Xandros does a fine job
so maybe the problem is with running Linux from a DVD or a
configuration miscue.

For all that, the main reason I even considered looking at
SuSE 9.3 Pro is that
Novell’s Netware Client for Linux
(still in beta at this
writing) is designed to run on it. But although I could
download the 12MB Netware client, I could not expand it due
to lack of “disk” space (which is understandable when you are
running on a DVD-ROM). Thus, my experiment with SuSE 9.3 Pro
comes to a quick and ignoble end.

This is a shame since the only thing holding me back from
converting to Linux, any Linux, as my main operating system,
is the lack of a Netware client. We have a load of Netware
servers (as well as Windows, Sun, DEC, IBM mainframes, etc)
that I need to access.

Yes, I know about and have tried various utilities that
call themselves Netware clients. But. They aren’t. Not
really, anyway. I would guess that none have even 80 percent
of the functionality of the Novell client for Windows. The
show stopper, for me, was the lack of communication between
the server and the various clients. Especially the
notification that your password has expired and it is time to
change it. Since, as far as I know, the various Linux-based
utilities do not tell you this, you have no idea there is a
problem until you no longer can log in. At that point, you
have to contact the administrator to reset your password. Not
a GoodThing(r).

Anyway, I wish I could report more but that’s all I have.
Perhaps, at some point, I’ll download the six-month
evaluation version of Novell’s Desktop Linux 9, which is
based on SuSE 9. At least that version appears to run from
your hard drive (and is free, as in . . . free). But that
won’t happen until I have six blank CDs.

For now, I decided to install an older version of SuSE
that I got last year. It’s version 9.1 Pro and that installed
to my hard drive without problems. Everything, including
sound, seems to work. So I will try downloading the Novell
Client and see if I can get it to install correctly. More
when I know more.


Blowing in the Wind

I realize modern CPUs are generating a lot of heat. But this
went too far. He created a computer case made up of
70 fans. That’s right. 70 fans.

No word yet when the utility company will build a wind
farm in his room and start buying electricity created by all
the wind from the fans…

PC case made of fans.