Linux is alive and well on Planet Vox

JD writes: Since the only Linux news I’ve heard from you is the problem with random slides in Open Office, I assume all is well on the Linux front, which is good news.

Yes and no. I gave up trying to solve the problem of getting my wireless PCMCIA card to work in Fedora Core 1 because the motherboard on that Dell laptop is failing and I don’t dare turn it off since it takes up to 20 tries to get it to successfully into either Fedora or Windows. I leave it in Windows since the USB connection broke on my other Dell laptop (which is successfully running Fedora Core 1 and the same wireless card) and I need it to transfer ebooks and documents to my Dana. I also haven’t been able to get Samba running on that other Dell – my work machine – but that doesn’t matter now until I get another computer, as I can access the Windows Dell without any problem from Nautilus.

Hardware-wise, it was a horrific 2003. The motherboard on my HP Pavilion 850 went out, although I always hated that poorly-designed kludge of a machine so it wasn’t much of a loss. Then the motherboard started failing on this Dell, and was replaced under warranty before the USB connection broke post-warranty and then the second Dell motherboard started dying. Three motherboards toast in one year, and I’ve never had a single one go out on me since my first Apple IIe. So, I’m not real impressed with the hardware designers these days.

So, the columns are written in OpenOffice 1.1, email is Evolution 4.5.1 and I’m blogging in Mozilla. There’s still some minor irritants – I can’t get the nice anti-aliased fonts to work in Mozilla 6 so I’m still working with Mozilla 4 despite two whacks at it, the Samba thing and Impress slide shows are less easy to construct than Powerpoint, but on the other hand, I’m not crashing four times a day either. And most importantly, I’m fully functional and 95 percent MS-free.

If anyone has any good recommendations on desktops shipping with Linux, particularly Firewire-friendly with DVD-burning support, let me know.