2006-04-07

Giving up: FC4 isn't good enough on Dell Latitude D610

Configuring Fedora Core 4 on the Dell Latitude D610 was simply too time consuming, and many things were too difficult. The last straw was when I needed to give a presentation to a prospective customer. I jumped through the right hoops to get an X server running at the right resolution and scan rate for the projector, but the presentation went poorly because I spent that time fussing with X instead of preparing for the presentation.

I wiped FC4 and installed Windows XP. Now everything just works, including the things that FC4 couldn't do well:

  • Microsoft Exchange client: Evolution is almost, but not quite, an adequate Exchange client. Outlook is just better.

  • WiFi: It just works. I need this when I'm traveling and the only available network is wireless.

  • Toggle external display: Press the right button combination, and it just works. This is important. With X, I could send the display to a projector or to the built-in LCD screen, but not to both simultaneously.

  • PocketPC sync: ActiveSync just works. Despite valiant efforts, I couldn't get synce and Evolution to do it.

  • Suspend/resume: This is required for a portable computer. With Windows, it just works. FC4 could suspend like a champ, but it couldn't resume properly.

  • VPN: The Cisco VPN client just works. This is another thing I need when I'm away from the office.

As much as I would prefer to have Fedora Core as my PC's OS, it just doesn't cut it on the D610. Windows simply works better on this hardware. I now run FC5 as a VMWare guest OS, and it's almost as good as the real thing.

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