Re: Newbie trying out Linux
From: Ruel Smith (NoWay_at_NoWhere.com)
Date: Sun, 28 Mar 2004 10:30:34 -0500
On Sunday March 28, 2004 6:57 am, Ed LaBonte vomitted:
> My main problem with SuSE was that I couldn't find a very fast connection
> for the download. It took about 4 hours to install. That, and also it was
> one of the first ones I tried so my knowledge about Linux was even more
> limited than it is now. I remember that it got my monitor wrong during the
> first installation and I couldn't a higher resolution than 800X600. I
> tried changing that in YaST but the configuration would reset back to
> 800X600 after I got out of it. I know there was some way I could fix it
> but, like I said, my knowledge was really rudimentary at that point. I got
> frustrated and reinstalled Mandrake. I can't recall whether I had sound
> card problems or not.
Did you install the OEM video driver from nVidia or ATi, or did you just use
the generic reverse-engineered ones that come with the distro? If you have
an nVidia based card, getting the driver up and running is pretty easy. I
did a total step-by-step rundown in the alt.os.linux.suse forum and you can
google to find it pretty easy.
Also, you get what you pay for with SuSE. It's just their policy that those
that want free beer will have to suffer some because they're not paying for
high bandwidth to give it away. This is partly why SuSE has been in good
financial health and Mandrake just got out of bankruptcy proceedings. The
retail version of SuSE is far, far better than the download. You get lots
of useful proprietary stuff like RealPlayer, Java, etc. that you won't get
in the download, and that goes for all downloadable distros to my
> Again, a lot of my problem was that I just didn't know much about Linux
> and my problem solving capabilities were severely limited. But also I have
> the same problem with SuSE that I do with Mandrake. Part of my attraction
> to Linux is a connection with the free software philosophy (I'm a
> socialist, it just fits right in with my view of the way the universe
> should be). I feel guilty using Mandrake without contributing to the
> effort. But if I have to pay, it's not really free.
You're mistakening something here. Free in "free software" means free as in
freedom, not as in free lunch. They only require that the source code be
available. Nowhere does the Free Software Foundation state in the GPL that
open source software needs to be given away. It's not an idea based on
socialism at all. In fact, a true socialist believes that those producing
the work be paid their full worth. It's all fine that you want a free
lunch, but don't expect your Linux experience to be quite so pleasant as
those of use that fully believe in contibuting toward the efforts of the
developers by paying for our distro.
If you like Mandrake, I highly recommend you buy into the Mandrake Club and
contribute to the longevity and success of the distro. Likewise, if you
like SuSE, buy the retail distro. At $60, my purchase of SuSE 9.1 (arriving
soon) is extremely cheap in comparison to Windows or Mac OS X. I get tons
of software, drivers for all my hardware, and it installs everything in
about an hour, with very little work from me. Some of the money is kept by
SuSE/Novell for profit and future investment, some of it paid to their own
developers that write some of their own stuff and contribute to open source
projects, and some of the money is donated to those open source projects.
In comparison, Windows is $199 for XP Pro, software costs extra (a whole
lot extra!), and I have to search for the newest drivers on the internet
for my hardware. Microsoft keeps every dollar I send them and their product
is feature-filled, but bug ridden and a security nightmare.
> Yeah, I agree. That's why I'm using Mandrake
Mandrake's not a bad distro at all. I used it for awhile until I got angry
with them over something that went wrong over a purchase in the
MandrakeStore and they hijacked my refund for 6 months. Then I bought SuSE
and found a distro that suited me much better. I didn't even know what I
>> Anyway, thanks for trying out Linux. I hope you enjoy your stay and have
>> many happy years of Linux use.
> Oh, I'm sold. It's all a matter of the flavor. And I realize I've got a
> lot to learn.
Take baby steps. I'm no pro, and I'm learning all the time. I've been using
it for quite awhile, but since it's so stable and problem free, I haven't
needed to learn too much about the technical stuff.
-- Big Daddy Ruel Smith SuSE Linux 9