Ah, memories! These days, setting up hardware on Linux is often easier than it is in Windows. Lots of drivers are built-in and auto-detected, and many are provided through a distribution channel that makes it almost as easy.

Wireless networking, however, is a bit of a throwback to the old days. Half the hardware doesn’t have Linux drivers, and half of the devices that do require you to hunt for the driver — based on the chipset, of course, not on the name or model number on the box — and compile it yourself. (At least these days, you can sometimes run a tool to adapt the Windows drivers if there’s no native Linux option.)

The steps I actually needed to take to set up wifi on my Fedora 13 desktop probably only amounted to about 10 minutes. Unfortunately it took a lot of false starts to get there. I had installed a Zonet ZEW1642 PCI card, which my initial research suggested would be supported by the built-in rt2860 drivers. As it turned out, it wasn’t that simple. Continue reading

  • Contrast in the waiting room at the car dealer’s service department: A sad death scene in the movie on TV vs. polka-sounding video game music from a few chairs over. #
  • *sigh* I upgraded my Linux box to Fedora 12 in hopes that it would fix sound. Instead it broke suspend/resume – which I’d rather have on this system if I could only choose one. #

  • I finally uninstalled I Tweet. Twidroid Pro does enough that I don’t need two Twitter clients on my phone anymore. #
  • Grr. Since the last patch day, my USB keyboard randomly stops working 2–3 times/day. System Restore would be nice…if it actually worked. #
  • I’m trying to remember when the BOFH attitude prevalent on antispam mailing lists didn’t bother me. #
  • It’s weird how suddenly reporting spam turns into a bad thing because someone (else) might make money with that knowledge. #
  • How to fix Adobe AIR in Fedora 12. #

  • Fedora 12 claims PulseAudio improvements. Here’s hoping sound will actually work after suspend+resume again. #
  • Also: iPod train wreck of the morning was the Cardcaptor Sakura theme followed by Garbage’s Supervixen. #
  • What’s with all the “Be a social worker!” spam lately? It’s a change from the usual porn, pills, watches & software, but out of left field. #
  • Future reference: Though there’s no lever to pop the hatch on the Prius, unlocking the doors allows someone else to open it from outside #

Fedora LogoA few days ago, my Linux desktop at work popped up a message saying that Fedora 11 was available, and asking whether I wanted to upgrade automatically. Well, I didn’t have time to deal with it then, and in the past when I’ve upgraded Fedora (either from a CD or from a downloaded image), it’s been a big production, what with running the installer, rebooting, installing updates, updating third-party repositories, and finally rebooting again after all the updates are installed.

So I put it off for a few days.

Today I decided to try it.

The automatic upgrade program is called preupgrade, presumably because it downloads everything you need in order to prepare for the upgrade. It downloads everything while your system is up and running, then sets it up so that when you reboot, it will launch the installer. It installs everything, makes the changes, then reboots into the newly upgraded system.

And then it’s done.

It’s network aware, and works through yum, so it will actually take into account both third-party repositories and anything that’s been updated since the new release. It actually went out to livna.org RPM Fusion and picked up the appropriate NVIDIA display drivers.

Download while you work. Reboot. Wait. Done.

The only snafu I ran into was that it removed my copy of the Flash plugin, but I think I was using the experimental 64-bit one anyway, so it’s not terribly surprising.

I get the impression that Ubuntu has had a similarly smooth upgrade process for a while. And after my experiences moving from Fedora 9 to Fedora 10, I was seriously considering jumping ship. (Hazards of living on the bleeding edge.) But it looks like I won’t have to.

Now I just have to find time to play around and see what’s new!

Update: I’ve run into one snafu: xkb error popups every time I wake the computer from suspend. Resetting the keyboard worked.