I know I shouldn’t be writing my impression based on the current state of FC10, I should wait for FC11 to be released and try that one, which probably addressed most of the problems I’m currently experiencing, as well as giving me a (probably) working nouveau driver instead of using the damned nvidia proprietary binary crap.
First I’d like to answer the question a few people asked me when I said that I put Fedora on this laptop; as I have said before, the laptop is likely crappy, at an hardware level. It sure was cheap which is all that I was looking for in a laptop, beside the presence of an useful keyboard. Putting Gentoo on it wasn’t impossible but was more work than I could afford; using Mac OS X on the MacBooks is mostly a pragmatic act of not wanting to waste an enormous amount of time.
I could have used any distribution at all, but I have chosen Fedora on both technical and political grounds. Technical, because I know quite a few people hacking at RedHat and Fedora, and I do trust them to be actually pretty nice guys, capable and driven more by technical reasoning than political when choosing what to do (okay there are exceptions here as well as anywhere else, but still…). Political because I dislike Ubuntu’s policies and the Debian way of not upstreaming patches enough.
The installation went fine, without using X though because of the nvidia card; I configured manually the card with rpmfusion extras and I configured a few extras. The installed system is pretty nice, fast, responsive and well-configured. Suspension works! That I really didn’t expect.
Unfortunately there are a few problems with a couple of programs: pidgin does not seem to be able to reconnect after losing the connection (no idea why), and xchat-gnome does not seem to complete the authentication at all. Beside these two, which I’ll check again on FC11 once released, I didn’t have many things to note on the software side.
Hardware-side, there is a quirk that I’m missing: while the laptop has a button that I guess is supposed to turn the touchpad on and off, it doesn’t seem to work; it’s not a showstopper but if anyone knows how to fix or work it around, I’d be glad to hear that given I’m writing a lot on this laptop already.
I could use a package for smuxi, which would actually allow me to set up a single IRC gateway on my home network; I guess I should look into Fedora packaging one day; who knows it might turn out handy for other projects as well. Speaking of smuxi and single-gateways, I start to hate Pidgin and its OTR: not only it’s a mess because if somebody changes client to something that does not request OTR by default it does not notify you of messages at all (I lost the count of how many times that happened to me), but also it goes positively nuts when two clients are connected for the same account (like I’m doing now with GTalk). I think I’ll just turn it off by default on both clients and only use it upon request. And since there is no easy way to connect two accounts to the “Windows Live Messenger” (MSN for the old friends) I also have another kind of obnoxious problem if I turn off one pidgin when I go to chat from the other.
Anyway that’s a topic for another post.