As both operating systems get easier and easier for the desktop user which is the best for the less experienced Linux user and why? I will be taking a quick look at both operating systems to find out which is easiest for the following:
Getting a copy.
General day to day use.
For many years Red Hat Linux has been the market leader for many reasons but it is only recently that Red Hat has put more work into the desktop side of its operating system, compared to its work put into its server side. Getting a copy of Red Hat is very easy, you can either downloaded the ISO images off RedHat.com or purchase the personnel edition off sites such as Amazon.co.uk for around ?31. The advantage of purchasing the box set rather then downloading it are that you get the manual that can be good for unexperienced users.
SuSE has never been as popular compared to Red Hat however in recent years SuSE has spent a lot of time and money developing its desktop side of the operating system. Getting a copy of SuSE is slightly harder then Red Hat because SuSE does not do any ISO images for its operating system, however you can do a FTP install or purchase the personnel edition from Amazon.co.uk for ?25:99. Once again the box set comes with CDs a DVD and a manual.
Here Red Hat 8 shines through over SuSE as many more people can get it by downloading ISO images off the website.
Installation of Red Hat was fairly painless, the installer takes you through a number of screens each asking you what you want to do and providing a bit of simple help on the left hand side. In total I spent about 45minutes installing Red Hat 8 compared to around 35mins for SuSE 8.1 however this depends on how much you install and the speed of your computer. Installing SuSE 8.1 was even easier then Red Hat 8, as I had a large Fat 32 partition the installer was able to split this and create the necessary partitions needed for SuSE. Of course I checked it wasn't doing anything stupid through worry that it might delete half my hard drive however it pretty much did what I was would have done. The SuSE installer is different to that of Red Hat because it assumes a lot of things such as what to do with your partitions and what to install, it displays all of this on the screen for you to either accept or modify as you need.
On installation SuSE is easier because of the way it assumes what the user will want but still allows the user to change things if necessary without having to go through many different screens. I could quite easily see an unexperienced user getting stuck on the partitions page if he/she did not know what they were doing in Red Hat.
Next there was configuring the distribution after installation, Red Hat does this straight after installation and gives you options such as network and xfree86 configuration. Red Hat failed to pick up my monitor so it took me a while playing around in the console and xfree86config to set the right settings for my monitor, while this would be easy for an experienced user I doubt an inexperienced user would have got this far and would probably have booted back to Windows by now.
Configuration in SuSE I found easier because of SuSE's configuration program - YaST, this cut out a lot of the playing around in the console that an unexperienced user may have found daunting and displayed an easy way of configuring hardware. While half the fun for many people is using the console to solve problems some less tech based people may find it unusual compared to Windows.
For configuration SuSE has to be the winner because of YaST, this is because it not only makes things a lot easier for the unexperienced it also can save time and effort for the more experienced user. However neither distributions could properly configure my Conexant ADSL modem, SuSE did detect the modem yet could not configure it while Red Hat could not detect it at all. (In the end I had to set the modem up on a Windows 2000 machine then access the Internet through the network)
Red Hat has good support for both KDE and Gnome which is good because like many people I like using KDE but also like to use programs for Gnome such as Evolution and Gimp. SuSEs support for Gnome is not as good and Evolution crashed when I was trying to install it. I noticed that both distributions had poor font support, sometimes I could be using Mozilla and I would have to squint to read the text. This seemed slightly worse in SuSE especially when web browsing and word processing.
After a quick download from Nvidia I had Unreal Tournament 2003 playing nicely in both SuSE 8.1 and Red Hat 8 ? hopefully more games in the future will come with Linux installers. It was hard to pick a winner for day to day use because both distributions did pretty much the same however Red Hat 8 just won because of the better Gnome support.
One of the important parts of the distributions package I think is the off hand support and help you can find on the the distributions website. Redhat.com has an extensive support library covering all features from installation to configuring to troubleshooting. SuSE.com has a much smaller support area and I was more disappointed by what the site what had to offer, however this may be because of the way SuSE is distributed compared to Red Hat.
Overall I think SuSE 8.1 is slightly better for the unexperienced because of its simple installation, stylish graphics and simplicity of configuration. SuSE seems more geared to the desktop market rather then Red Hat at the moment however both distributions are making it a lot easier for people to convert from Windows to Linux.
Shrewsbury, England based website ImAFish.com today officially released their new look website full of new features and updates. One of the most significant updates has been to the members area. Users can now sign up and use a variety of features including columns posting, in site messaging, articles comments and soon gallery comments.
The site run by students has now been running for over 18months now and ImAFish 6 is the most advanced update to date. ImAFish 6 includes many of the features found in previous versions of the site such as the articles and columns sections however the new site builds upon these sections.
Getting a column on the site has never been easier, all you have to do is either ask the admin to make you a columnist or to submit a demo columns post to the site. To do this create an account with ImAFish by clicking on register on the left, or if you already have an account login, once logged in click on 'Column Entry' on the left hand side, here you can type your column then submit it to the site. (If you dont see this then click on 'Messaging' and send your post to pwhite. Articles are also easy to submit - simply click on 'Post Article' once you have logged in.
Registration is free and easy and lets you do more features such as comment to articles and comment on gallery pictures. You can also make use of the sites messaging system to message other members on the site ? like you would email your friends.
ImAFish now has over 100 articles on a range of subjects that can be viewed by clicking on articles on the left hand side, the articles are sorted into categories such as Linux and Gaming. As usual the sites forum is here and has not been changed at all in the new site launch so don't worry about loosing any posts or your account. Registration for the forum is also free so sign up now!
A history of the site including screen shots of previous versions can be found at imafish.com/index.php?a=about&p=about
[Last edited on January 8, 2003 at 8:11:52pm by epytotorp]
Scientists in Amsterdam, Holland and scientists in the US have managed to transfer data across the Atlantic at 923 megabits per second. They did the equivalent to a DVD movie (6.7gig) in less than a minute.
That is a massive 10,978 kms (6,800 miles) for the data to travel in such a sort time. This is a new world record in data transfer and the scientists are very excited about what this may mean for the future of the Internet.
Les Cottrel, of Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (Slac) Computer Services, said: "By exploring the edges of internet technologies' performance envelope, we will bring high-speed data transfer to practical everyday applications."
The data were sent across the Internet2 network, this is a network run by a number of Universities worldwide working on the Internet of the future. It is intended to connect and serve research and educational institutions at transmission speeds that allow near-instant transfer of hundreds of megabytes of data.
The research was inspired by particle physics and the vast amounts of data produced by the subject. Many people are excited about the future of the Internet and high speed data transfer could be the key to getting many futuristic ideas to work.
Sony's PlayStation 2 will start trials for its online gaming service this March. Gamers wanted to take part will need a Broadband connection and will have to fill in a questionnaire about the service.
This is all to rival Microsoft's Xbox live which has been on trial in Europe for some months now. Sony and Microsoft have both launched online gaming in Japan and the US and hundreds of thousands of gamers have signed up for the services.
Unlike Microsofts subscription service Sony will let the individual games developers decide how much to charge for online games and Sony will do provide a lot of the infrastructure like the Xbox Live service does. While this may give game developers more freedom in setting up an online game it does mean a lot more work in putting in what can be an expensive gaming infrastructure.
Sony's service will require people to buy a network adapter for ?39:99 so that they can connect their PS2 to their broadband connection. The starter kit also includes a headset and an online only version of the game SOCOM: US Navy Seals, which pits a team of soldiers against a group of terrorists.
Sony has been trying to get deals with all the major ISPs so that gamers will be able to play games through their existing broadband connection. So far the biggest market for online gaming is South Korea, will Europe be as gaming mad?
[Last edited on March 9, 2003 at 10:09:47am by pwhite]
Wireless use throughout Europe and the US is on a constant rise according to some major companies. Wireless use includes a range of activities, from corporate use in linking two sites together to providing wireless gateways to the net in public places.
Companies are also looking into mobile phone technology for providing a better service to their customers. For instance Avis, the car rental company this month started selling a service called Avis Assist that lets lost customers learn where they are and then get back on track with turn-by-turn directions read to them over a mobile phone.
However the problem is at the moment that most customers do not have the right sort of phones so use the new Avis Assist services, Avis are getting around this problem by renting out certain Motorola phones to interested customers.
Many telecoms companies are also looking at the new technology in order to provide new services. One of these companies is Nextel communications who are using mobile phones to pin point where people are and have been in the last couple of hours. While this brings up certain human rights issues the company is sure that it has a legitimate service to offer businesses and consumers. ?Users can simply turn off their mobile phone if they do not want to be found, however this does mean that they will not be able to accept calls? said one analyst.
Wireless LAN gateways are being fitted in many public places throughout the world, such as airports, hotels, restaurants and rail stations so that anyone with a wireless card in their laptop will be able to get online with a small fee.
According to a report from telecoms consultancy Analysts public wireless net access throughout Europe and the US will grow from a $33million industry to around $5.5billion in 2007. This is certainly one big growth market that many businesses are getting involved in.