Thursday, 11 April 2013

A change is as good as.....

doing something different.

Geek post alert.

I've just switch operating system/desktops again, this time migrating to openSUSE 12.3 running KDE 4.10, which I briefly reviewed a few weeks ago.

The last time I selected openSUSE as my main OS was 3 years ago IIRC with 11x, but back then it was a bit unstable, inclined to slow down at odd times and badly lagging behind in application updates as the developer played it safe. However with 12.3 the developer really pulled out the stops, bringing a quicker and cleaner DE with subtle but pleasing theming and very up to date apps. It seems to be well supported by software developers too, and Raw Therapee* that I mentioned in an earlier post already has a bleeding edge version in the repos that looks very slick indeed.

This time it was mostly software that made me switch, but not alone.

I really like Pear Linux. Except it was still too Maclike. And even though it was all fine, familiar etc, and some VERY attractive design work had been done, software versions were still >12 months out of date, audio codecs didn't work and half the non-free bits & pieces that make software nice to use (like non-free fonts for browsers and office apps) were missing/not working from the non-free sources.

So after a couple of goes at fixing things without success, having switched between hard drives in the boot sequence so I could use openSUSE to edit images properly, I decided not to switch back and just simply imported all my data into the openSUSE home folder.

Now I have sharper graphics again under KDE instead of Ubuntu/Gnome and a nice slick interface. I never thought it would happen, but I'm missing the dock to launch applications and 'mission control' from the top left of my screen (although I don't need it since KDE has a taskbar at the bottom) and (so far) everything is working well. I've no idea whether I'll stick with this OS, although if I'm going to be doing much photo editing in the future then that will be a major factor in not choosing a Ubuntu-based distro. That said, this is still somewhat slower than pear during some operations, but for the moment it's nice to be back again.

I wonder what Ubuntu studio is like these days? ;-)

*available for the Mac, but only under OSX10.6 or earlier. Yes, I tried. No, it doesn't work on 10.8, which seems to be a theme with some other image editors too, judging by comments in the app store.

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