Adventures with a Heisenbug

As I said last week, I decided it was time to return to the arms of Red Hat. My laptop, seeing as I still have the necessary on a pen drive, will merely be put back to Lubuntu 12.04. However, I did have a bit of a soft spot for Fedora back when I was using it in 2007/8 so I wondered if it would be worth trying it out as an alternative. Seeing as this was a bit of an indulgent experiment, I also thought it might be worth trying to use the KDE spin, as I just like the way KDE works. So I’ve done the rigmarole of making a live DVD, and I’ve got everything set up. Two weeks later, I’ve tested some of the things I was worried about and I have to say I’m quite happy with Fedora 20.

The one issue I’ve found so far is that Konqueror 4.14.2 is shit. But we all knew that anyway, didn’t we? Specifically, it crashes if you so much as look at it funny, and corrupts any jpeg files that you download with it. Sure it’s designed to integrate prettily with KDE, like many other K programs, but Firefox 33 is far less hassle to use. Amarok could use some extra features and lose some of the ones it has, but it does the media player bit nicely enough. And I’ve set LibreOffice as my default suite because everything else seems to make a total hash of .rtf files, Calligra is no exception.

If I’m totally honest, there’s a level of childish glee to my computing at the moment that I haven’t experienced in a very long time. KDE is a lot of fun, very customisable, and includes a lot of bells and whistles. I’ve got boxed-off folders full of visible files on one desktop, blown-up launch icons for my most used applications, and a massive fucking clock. I really love the Massive Fucking Clock widget. The point here is this: it all looks nice. It all feels nice. Some of it is pointless (why would you need to name your desktops anything other than desktop 1, desktop 2, and desktop 3? I named them Bureau, Switchboard, and Kitchen Table anyway…), and I can understand that some users might not like the way KDE works. Heck, the launcher menu is a little overcomplicated, but with panel customisation and drag-and-drop facilities to make programs launch from desktop widgets, who cares? The one downside in comparison to Ubuntu is that installing proprietary software is a bit more fiddly. Installing Microsoft fonts has turned into a fight where it wasn’t a problem with Ubuntu. On the other hand, though, because the arrangment of user accounts is more traditionally ‘Linux’, I can see what’s really happening more easily – and I always regard that as a good thing.

The verdict? I still wouldn’t recommend Fedora for a novice, but it’s the next step into Linux computing from Ubuntu.

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~ by Scary Rob on 10 November, 2014.

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