Whither Fedora?

There is a reason why things have got a little quieter on this blog: my main inspiration for many posts that make their way on here, Ubuntu, is just working away without much complaint. I have to say that BBC iPlayer isn’t working so well for me at the moment so I need to take a look at my setup. Otherwise, everything is continuing quietly. In some respects, that’s no bad thing and allows me to spend my time doing other things like engaging in hill walking, photography and other such things. I suppose that the calm is also a reflection of the fact that Ubuntu has matured but there is a sense that some changes may be on the horizon. For one thing, there are the opinions of a certain Mark Shuttleworth but the competition is progressing too.

That latter point brings me to Linux Format’s recently published verdict that Fedora has overtaken Ubuntu. I do have a machine with Fedora on there and it performs what I ask of it without any trouble. However, I have never been on it trying all of the sorts of things that I ask of Ubuntu so my impressions are not in-depth ones. Going deeper into the subject mightn’t be such a bad use of a few hours. What I am not planning to do is convert my main Ubuntu machine to Fedora. I moved from Windows because of constant upheavals and I have no intention to bring those upon me without good reason and that’s just not there at the moment.

Speaking of upheavals, one thought that is entering my mind is that of upgrading that main machine. Its last rebuild was over three years ago and computer technology has moved on a bit since then with dual and quad core CPU‘s from Intel and AMD coming into the fray. Of course, the cost of all of this needs to be considered too and that is never more true than of these troubled economic times. If you asked me about the prospect of a system upgrade a few weeks ago, I would have ruled it out of hand. What has got me wondering is my continued used of virtualisation and the resources that it needs. I am getting mad notions like the idea of running more than one VM at once and I do need to admit that it has its uses, even if it puts CPU’s and memory through their paces. Another attractive idea would be getting a new and bigger screen, particularly with what you can get for around £100 these days. However, my 17″ Iiyama is doing very well so this is one for the wish list more than anything else. None of the changes that I have described are imminent but I have noticed how fast I am filling disks up with digital images so an expansion of hard disk capacity has come much higher up the to do list.

If I ever get to doing a full system rebuild with a new CPU, memory and motherboard (I am not so sure about graphics since I am no gamer),  the idea of moving into the world of 64-bit computing comes about. The maximum amount of memory usable by 32-bit software is 4 GB so 64-bit is a must if I decide to go beyond this limit. That all sounds very fine but for the possibility of problems arising with support for legacy hardware. It sounds like another bridge to be assessed before its crossing, even if two upheavals can be made into one.

Aside from system breakages, the sort of hardware and software changes over which I have been musing here are optional and can be done in my own time. That’s probably just as for a very good reason that I have mentioned earlier. Being careful with money becomes more important at times like these and it’s good that free software not only offers freedom of choice and usage but also a way to leave the closed commercial software acquisition treadmill with all of its cost implications, leaving money for much more important things.

2 comments

Sounds familiar.

When I was putting together our home computers/network I want all Ubuntu because I wanted something easy to set up, easy to maintain and works together. Once the server was up all of the other computers could see it without me having to do a thing!

Now I’m fooling with Fedora on an extra hard drive for the laptop (includes the case, so I can just pull out one hard drive and stick in the other.. very nice!). It is a good distribution but after working with Ubuntu for the past while I have to “re-learn” how to do things the Fedora (Red Hat) way! This isn’t difficult, but it does make it take a little more time than it would otherwise on a more familiar distro.

I’ve also had thoughts of virtualizing so as to try different distros and all that, but then it defeats my purpose of wanting something easy to set up and maintain! That, and the RAM upgrade it would require! :)

Yes, familiarity can breed inertia and there’s always the need to balance desirability with complexity, cost and usability.

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