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Pavilion, SUSE Make for Great Portable 64-Bit Computing

Why Put a Year-Old Distro on a Brand New 64-bit Notebook?

May 12, 2005

There I was, buying an AMD Athlon64 HP Pavilion notebook, knowing full well that the Broadcom WiFi chip wasn't directly supported under Linux and that other things probably would have to be fixed, too. Undeterred and up for a challenge I forged on and loaded SUSE Linux 9.2 Pro (64-bit) on the machine.

Sure, there were some challenges. But did it work?

Let's just say that the "Linux on the desktop" debate is totally and completely irrelevant to me. How's that for an answer?

And to answer this section's question: I had several good reasons to review SUSE Linux 9.2 Pro on this brand new machine.

  • I speculated that many of the really tough bugs should have been solved long ago and implemented into the on-line updates. After a week, I'm happy to say that the machine has been stable and fast, with no nasty surprises. CIOs and business people like stable distributions.
  • Readers that like SUSE probably have version 9.2 running on their existing X86 machines, in 32-bit mode. Are you thinking about trying 64-bit computing? The system is right there on your DVD. All you need is the new hardware.
  • The third reason was that I had an opportunity to review two major consecutive versions of a distribution, in a fairly narrow time frame, on cutting edge technology. I'd get to highlight the differences, good or bad, while everything was fresh in my mind. On top of that, it would be a fair comparison, because the hardware was exactly the same for each version. Look for the 9.2 vs. 9.3 story shortly.
  • SUSE was an obvious choice, because I was familiar with their installer and have used their products for a number of years.

Now you know why I did what I did. Let's highlight the adventure and get a better idea of the results.

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