Ever since my colleague Erik Eckel declared his semi-independence

from Windows by buying an iBook, I’ve been getting the itch to once

again start using something other than Windows. I’m not quite ready to

make the investment that jumping to Mac OS X would require, but I’ve

been toying with Linux off and on now for several years. So once again,

I decided to give it another shot.

This time, it’s SuSe Professional 9.3.

Why SuSe and not RedHat, Fedora, or some other flavor of Linux? Quite

simply, being a long time NetWare user, I’ve always been drawn to

Novell’s version of Linux. I’ve installed, or rather fought with,

various versions of RedHat before, but we’ve never been able to get

along.  Plus, SuSe Professional 9.3 comes with everything but the

kitchen sink. Enough applications come in the box that you almost don’t

need to look elsewhere in order to get working as soon as the

installation is done.

Every installation I’ve done of SuSe has been fairly easy. Not as

mindnumbingly easy as a WIndows installation, but not too painful at

all. SuSe’s YaST installer is a snap and KDE 3.4 is a great UI.

SuSe Professional 10.0 is shipping next month. I’m looking forward to that version to see just what changes Novell has in store.

So far I’m still not 100% sure that Linux is a complete replacement for

Windows on the desktop. XP is still good enough for most tasks. 

Plus there’s that learning curve when moving to Linux/Unix after

working with DOS/Windows for so long. Even so, after trying to escape

Microsoft’s clutches by using OS/2 and NetWare, I’m willing to try it

again by giving Linux another shot.