Another Country

A week ago I was really rather excited about Fedora 7. I’m less excited now.

There seems to be a problem with the DVD drive in my laptop. Or, at least, an incompatitbility between it and the ISO images of the new version of Fedora. Over the last week, I’ve burnt several disks to us for the upgrade and none of them have worked. They’ve booted to the screen that says “press enter to start your installation” but the PC has then frozen and refused to recognise any keypresses. The same disks have worked fine elsewhere. And other disks work fine in this drive. It’s just the combination of the two that doesn’t work.

So on Friday night, having grown bored of turning CDs into drinks coasters, I tried to do a yum-based upgrade. The idea is pretty simple, you update a couple of packages to tell your system that it’s running the new version of the software and then it will automatically upgrade all of the other packages. That was going well until some stupidity on my part meant that I had to reboot the system. And it wouldn’t reboot. Because the upgrade was halfway through, the system wouldn’t boot at all.

So I was stuck with an unusable PC (well, it would still boot into Windows – but that’s pretty much the same as being unusable). At which point I remembered the DVD that came with the latest issue of Linux Format. It had a number of Linux distributions on it.

One quick reboot and a (slightly longer) installation later and my laptop is running the latest version of Ubuntu. I’ve been meaning to try out Ubuntu for some time but as a long-term Red Hat user I’ve always found it easier to just stick with what I know. This problem has kicked me into trying something new.

Initial reactions are that I don’t like it much. But I’m sure that’s just because it’s different. I’ll stick with it for a few weeks and see if I get used to it. I’m already impressed with the much larger number of Perl modules that are available from the standard repositories.

It feels a lot like being in another country. but one like Australia or the USA where everything is really similar ro what you’re used to, but you’re constantly coming across things that are subtly different.

It’s going to be an interesting few weeks. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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