[CentOS] Troubles for an non-IT beginner

Wed Jan 19 20:35:55 UTC 2011
John Hodrien <J.H.Hodrien at leeds.ac.uk>

On Wed, 19 Jan 2011, Les Mikesell wrote:

> Sorry, but Outlook 2003 and 2007 are huge improvements over earlier
> versions - and lacking tight integration between messaging and
> calendar/scheduling has been one of the places where free software
> really missed the boat.

But then that's partly Microsoft's doing.  Integrated calendaring/email used
to mean Exchange, which has a deliberately broken IMAP server, and a
deliberately broken web interface, making interfacing with Exchange from
non-MS clients a pain.  Evolution tried to cover those bases and was partly
successful, but I don't think there's been anything Free that's really done
enough to replace Exchange.  Google Mail can offer a mighty good alternative
to Exchange in many ways.

> And remember that firefox/openoffice are rare exceptions in RHEL/Centos
> in that they have had major-version updates since the distro release,
> even though they still are far behind 'current' now.  The rest of the
> distro is much older and doesn't do much of what people do with desktops
> today (subscribing to podcasts, media playing, serving media to other
> devices, etc.).

I think there's an element of mixing what I mean by desktop and what you mean
by desktop.  A work desktop is a very different beast from a home desktop, and
I don't see the same number of failings for a work desktop.  Even as a home
desktop I think it's not as clear as you make out.  Adding a few apps for the
sort of tasks you describe from repos like rpmforge/epel often gets you to
where you need to be with the minimum of fuss.

And with your two examples, firefox isn't far behind current, and so what if
they are?  OpenOffice produce RPMS that install just nicely on CentOS 5, and
provide the latest version.  So why be too bothered about whether it sits on
the OS DVD?  Media playing and podcasts?  Is that supposed to be hard?  I
install amarok and am perfectly merry.  Yes it's not the shiniest version, but
so what?  mplayer plays everything I need.

Things like Fedora lay the ground so that what I want to do in a couple of
years on CentOS, I can do in a couple of years on CentOS...  That doesn't
overly affect me today.  Cutting edge is lovely, and I'll happily install
Fedora on my home laptop, but I'm having fun, not being productive.