I usually give SUSE a try every major release. The last one I had tried was 9.2 which I actually bought with books and everything. My recent misadventures with Xandros 4 (which I also bought) led me to try other distros before giving up and resorting to Windows again. Tried FC5, but I don’t know enough about gnome to make the stuff work that I need to work, so I downloaded SUSE 10.1. The propietary ATI driver installed without a hitch and I was up and working fast. I think Novell has hit a home run with this release. A simple UI without a bunch of bouncing garbage cluttering up the view. This distro can not be called beautiful, but to me the beauty is in the function, not the form. I’ve never really liked XP, I’ve even been quoted as saying that Win 2k was my favorite OS. XP was out for years before I even tried it, and then I immediatly switched it to classic mode. It was only in 2004 with the purchase of a Media Center (refurbished HP) and a tablet (refurbished Averatec) that I came to terms with XPs eye candy. If my father were tech savy, he would say that this eye candy is a lot like having tits on a boar.
So, I like the cleanliness of SUSE. Plus the KDE software family have seen tremendous gains in usability lately. Amarok is a full featured music player/manager that is ad free. While ad free music players were once common, they are rare these days. I installed google’s Picasa, but found that I prefer Digikam for photo management/light editing.
The only thing that I am really missing at this point is a web development tool. I tried Nvu, I can’t get it to open a php file on linux…but it works fine on Windows and Mac?? KDE includes Quanta Plus, and while it is fine, if you try to use the WYSIWYG interface, you are asking for trouble. I am currently running Dreamweaver in crossover office, but that is an imperfect solution.
I want to try novell’s new SLED 10, but I don’t want to muss up my current install. When Vista RC1 is released, I will give it a try and also try SLED…but I am thinking I will return to openSUSE.
Kudos to the developers, you people rock!