I nearly forgot I installed Fedora Core 3 both on my old laptop, on my desktop and on my new notebook. Things have quite changed from the first Fedora. Now it doesn’t force you to forget about windows preventing it from booting from Grub. Either it doesn’t mess up the partition table with some excuse. In all three cases the installation was really smooth. I was particularly admired of the new notebook install. Despite of being quite a new piece of hardware the installation worked out fine nearly everything.By “nearly” I mean that I had to manually set the correct resolution for the X Server. The Monitor Configuration failed to determine the resolution by itself. Setting it by hand was easy (just expand LCD panels and select 1280×800), but the video adapter configuration just ignored it. Nothing very bad happened. Just the basic 800×600 resolution was used and the image was stretched to fit the display.
The other part of ‘nearly’ was about the wireless adapter which wasn’t neither recognized nor detected. This seems to be quite common in linux distribution as knoppix failed to detect the card too. A quick search on google pointed me to the driver page (http://ipw2200.sf.net/) which clearly enough explained what to do to install the driver. Despite of the clear and direct explanations (and my quick-reading), everything went smooth and in a few minutes I had my card up and running.
On my previous laptop, an old Celeron 433Mhz Toshiba, Fedora Core 3 installed itself in a fast and friendly way, but it took too much disk space and too much CPU. So I decided to get rid of the GNOME stuff and head for the lighter xfce which is indeed part of the Fedora distribution.
After removing everything that could be removed (even by forcing some printer related stuff into the bit bucket), the system was running lighter, but it was immediately clear that this environment has been destined by Fedora developers to expert users.
First menus were not configured as for KDE and Gnome, missing all application and configuration items. Also some basic stuff such as a battery applet was missing, too. Finding a battery applet is quite straightforward, retyping the menu configuration is a boring task.
What is quite clear today is that if you want to make your Linux box out of some outdated hardware you have to be quite skilled in cutting off what is not needed and selecting the exact stuff that does what you need regardless of the latest version.
This is quite a curious trend if you think that anyway Linux is (at least) one step behind Microsoft in supporting the current generation hardware. So cutting edge hardware is off target, but if you have outdated hardware it requires you a great deal of Linux skill to have a current software to run on it.