All things for the glory of His name.
Would you believe some of the Win7 drivers on this laptop broke Windows Update? I tried two different ways of installing Win7 on the Studio 1535 and things were just dandy until I finally got around to installing some of the less essential drivers. One of them stopped Update from working at all. I couldn’t even use one of the alternative off-line update methods. The whole thing would hang and no further security updates were possible.
I get the feeling Dell decided this particular line of laptops just didn’t warrant the careful support they normally give other stuff. At any rate, I wasn’t giving up on it.
So I tested OpenSUSE again, just for fun. The current stable version is 42.1 “Leap” and it was really nice on the hardware and gave me a usable XFCE desktop. However, the support for things like the exfat file system you find on most SD cards is dicey at best. Several individuals offer a package for it, but not all of them actually do anything useful. Worse, their whole ecosystem of friendly third-party packages like that is chaotic at best. You end up adding all kinds of extra repos you may not really want, but you have no idea because the system gives you really crappy advice about it.
So somewhere around midnight last night I drug out the CentOS DVD and decided that I had learned enough in my bruising experience to try it again. If all I lose is the wifi, I’ll be okay. So I put that back on and that’s where I’m working right now. I did have to twiddle with the keyboard settings, but it seems to be working fine without the spurious keystroke events.
I’m hoping I’m finished with all this testing and can actually use this machine to write for awhile. Nothing is perfect. God has made it clear I need to understand how to tame CentOS for the desktop. Though it is not my personal preference, it’s not intolerable for me.
Here’s an interesting take-away for you: If you don’t understand computer security, it won’t matter what OS you run; you’ll still have trouble. If you have the time and inclination to tinker with such things and can learn from it, you can probably make anything pretty safe. But however much your computer matters to you, it’s really important that you put forth a matching effort to make it work properly. It most certainly is far more work than it should be. The kind of personality and collection of talents it takes to be good at writing software tend to make folks spiteful toward more ordinary users. There are some folks talented at bridging the gap between developers and users, but there’s no money in it — not in our culture. I should know, because that’s me.
I’ll do what I can to bring the resources together for you, the ordinary user, regardless of what OS you use. That’s part of how I bring Him glory.