So in an effort to keep my mind fresh I decided to set my laptop up to dual boot - Windows XP and Suse 9.2. This is a usual occurance for me. I have built dozen such laptops but I think I have finally reached my boiling point. I have an IBM Thinkpad R51, Pentium M 1.6, 768 Meg RAM, 40 Gig HD, built in ethernet, and 802.11b/g. This is a nice little laptop, shouldn't have any problems with Suse 9.2.
Where things went wrong - I decided to patch the box - patching is similar having your teeth pulled.
I began the patching process, everything appeared to go correctly, and then I did the reboot as I had also told YaST to upgrade my kernel. Well everything appeared to be working, so I decided to browse the web. It didn't work. It took me a couple of tries before the onboard ethernet grabbed an ip address. I still can't browse the web. I grab an ip address but DNS doesn't appear to work. I hard code DNS entries, still nothing, disable firewall, still nothing. Threaten to toss the laptop out the window, still ntohing. So I am left with an upgraded SUSE 9.2 professional that can't speak to the internet.
I used YaST, a tool that does always leaves me wondering what is really going on under the hood. A lot of people have commented on the efffectiveness of this tool. I miss some of the tools that RedHat has in comparison. I am going to have to take things apart now.
So where does this leave us? This points to the underlying probelm with why there aren't more Linux desktops - the complexity. I don't mind getting under the hood, but then my dad handed me a lawn mower engine when I was a kid so that I could understand how motors work. Most people want things to work, straight up. I didn't have that experience, in fact I mumbled under my breath at one point that I was either going back to Fedora or FreeBSD over the weekend. Why? They work, I have had little to no problems with upgrading them, and when I patch them things keep working. I also know that the whole problem could be somewhere between the brain and the keyboard. ;)