Re my laptop (which as yet remains nameless — we don’t have a naming scheme for ‘puters at my house) and Linux flavors… I’ll be starting with SuSE and KDE, thanks to a contact at Novell who will provide some eval CDs of the latest-and-greatest stuff (9.3 Pro, 2.6.11 kernel, KDE 3.4), and we’ll just see how that works, we will.
Re: The Linux thread I inadvertently kicked off — it’s obvious that many of you don’t want Linux to ever be consumer software. The automobile analogy is a good one. I can go buy ANY automobile, select the vehicle based on the features I want (SUV? commuter vehicle? Touring Sedan? Leather fixation? Sun roof?), and never ONCE have to worry about things like “do my turn signals comply with safety standards” or “will I be able to drive at night with these headlights?” Some of you seem to think that the only way to get variety in your automotive choices is to build the car yourself.
Well, fine. Do that. But it’s not a consumer vehicle. It’s a hobby-car.
Standardization is GOOD, people. So is variety, but WITHIN REASON. Hackers will always have their hobby operating systems, and because of the nature of Open Source, Linux will always give rise to hobby OSes. But for consumers, the OS is irrelevant. They want standardization, within a certain sensible range of values, for everything. The Open Source community is not good at providing this, which means that Linux for consumers will almost certainly come from a corporate manufacturer.
I’m not knocking Open Source — it’s a powerful market force, and it CAN be a force for good. Just how MUCH good, and how much that good is mitigated by inadvertent blunders that do HARM remains to be seen.