Archive for February, 2007

Linux Desktop Pain Points

David Nielsen has written an interesting post describing what users he has spoken to dislike about Fedora. I tried to leave this entry as a comment on his blog but whilst his blog claimed to have sent me an email with a password it never arrived.

David’s post talks about Fedora’s pain points relative to say Ubuntu. As a user who has helped a number of other users inside a large organisation switch to a Fedora desktop, the pain points I normally encounter are ones relative to Windows (or OS X).

The problems I encounter are basically the following:

  • I have this piece of hardware and no linux drivers…: Often we can find drivers but it’s a pain e.g. compiling an out-of-tree module each time a kernel update happens. I guess this wll cure itself as
    linux gains more acceptance on the desktop
  • Networking is hard (i.e. you need to hand edit config files): (We use WPA2 at work and need to have a DNS search path). Roll on NetworkManager 0.7
  • Multiscreen/projector issues: Roll on XRandR 1.2
  • I want to use Samba/AFS/VPN and I’m not sure which ports to open or how: We could really do with a nice GUI for iptables driven by DBUS that says “Can program xy act as a server on ports…” a la Window’s ZoneAlarm (or CPIF or whatever it’s called this week).

I think the pain points for a home user would be somewhat different but this what I encounter in a large enterprise (that uses Notes/Sametime which have linux versions so I don’t meet “how do I interface with Exchange” etc.)

Making millions, saving humanity or ….

Em’s been away for a few days leaving me rattling around, home alone. Did I come up with a scheme to make myself rich? Or a cure for cancer? Erm no…. I watched TV, ate pizza and played through a free trial of Vendetta. It seemed intriguing, your character “improves” at least in part by doing missions. Unfortunately if you’re just starting out you don’t have a choice of many tasks and you can’t “see” harder missions, it would be helpful for people trying out the game if we could see harder missions even though we couldn’t do them.

Will I pay actual money to play more? I’m not sure. It seemed like it could be fun but I know that (at least for a week or so) I’d spend too long playing it and regret all the wasted time. Years ago, I used to live opposite a guy who played computers games but only ever for an hour or two at a time. Whilst this seems healthy I have little will power and am easily addicted.

Ho hum


Extremely busy at work at the moment, I’m working overtime trying to tie up loose ends before changing job role to be a developer on MQ (at least for a while).

Despite being busy enough that I’m not keen to do too much computer related in my spare time for a week or too, when I came across the Wikipedia Vandalism Fighter I couldn’t resist having a play. I’ve reverted a couple of edits but it’s just cool just to get an impression of the number of updates per second going on. Looking at the statistics page, if I’ve understood it correctly and done my maths properly there appears to have been 1.5 edits per second in the English version of Wikipedia in Sept 06. (For comparison Wikipedia has between 10000 and 30000 page views per second)