Thursday, 15 March 2012

For better or worse, I've sold out to the dark side

I'm trying Microsoft Windows 8 consumer preview.

It's funky, monkey, and what I assume is the metro side looks just like I'd imagine the windows phone to be. Not at all sure it'll stick around, and it expires Jan 2013 - only took 35min or so to install though.

Probably dual boot this with something else for a bit.

Or not.

That lasted about 30min. Lots of stuff didn't seem to work, and the soundcard (an old PCI128 soundblaster) wasn't recognised. Life is too short to do someone else's beta testing, and it's already been wiped and is being replaced with AVLinux 5.03 - a lightweight LXDE desktop on Debian that should be super-quick. When that's on then I'll add openSUSE 12.1 which will likely be my main OS, with AVLinux reserved for recording.

Every OS is different to install. Windows 8 lead the user carefully through a bunch of options, but has been designed by someone who is impatient: click on an option & it starts with no return. There was no select & confirm - whoever installs needs to get it right first time.

AV Linux make a real song & dance about getting exactly the right keyboard and provides a huge list (I needed en-GB|UTF-8). It then asks you to confirm in multiple different ways which keyboard you have. Then comes the fun or partitioning - not too bad really, though needing care after a glass of wine, and then finally installation. It needed more interaction than windows, but took about 25min tops. In fairness W8 is near 4.5Gb while AVLinux is around 1.1Gb (with more tools than you can shake a stick at for audio work). Annoyingly updates seem stuffed, but that may not matter if it works OK 'as is'.

Now openSUSE is going on next. The installer is much easier to use and offers sensible choices about partitioning, keyboard etc. Irritatingly it didn't ask me for the non-free software (on a second CD) as it has in the past before starting an install. Pretty sure that can be added later, though I've a feeling I'll still need to find LibDVDCSS and ffmpeg codecs for playback manually.

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