Adventures with OpenSUSE
It is common for new users of GNU/Linux to experiment with this distribution or that; those who have found one which suits them rarely venture out to test other distributions.
I settled on Debian a long time ago and prefer to use it on any and all platforms. However, given the fact that I write about GNU/Linux, I often take a peek at other distributions. Last week I took a look at OpenSUSE, not from a desire to write a review (there are enough slavering "reviews" on the net) but as a brief experiment to get a wireless card working. My comments on the distribution, therefore, should be looked at in that context.
Some background first. I inherited a six-year-old Acer laptop from one of my offspring - but I figure that a P3-600 with 256 meg of RAM certainly has some life left in it. Installing a new operating system on this machine is complicated by the fact that the CD-ROM -a proprietary device from Acer called Easy-Link - has become rather erratic. At times it reads a CD and at others it refuses to do so. There is no pattern to this behaviour - the same CD will be accepted one time and rejected the next. And it makes no difference if the CD is professionally produced or one made at home. The floppy drive is on the same external hardware as the CD-ROM but, in sharp contrast, is still grinding away.