posted by Jeremy LaCroix on Thu 18th Nov 2004 19:53 UTC
IconI've been using Linux since the Redhat days. Since then, it has grown from a curious look to a hobby, and more recently to my main operating system. Due to starting out with Redhat, I admit to being partial to the Redhat/Fedora series. Don't let that concern you though, as I've tried all of the mainstream distributions, even Lycoris and Linspire.

Introduction:
Even though Fedora is currently my distro of choice, my experience with it has not always been top notch, with each version so far there are ups, and there are downs. Fedora Core 1 was overall a pleasant experience for me, while it was slow it was very basic, stable and it got the job done.

Fedora Core 2 was where things went downhill for me. I had high expectations, which may have been part of my bad experience with it, but for me personally I found it an unstable, bug ridden experience. My system would constantly crash as soon as I loaded the closed-source Nvidia drivers, and the only salvation was recompiling the kernel and disabling a few things that corrected the problem from crashing once a day to once every three days. An improvement, but I still couldn't depend on my system with FC2 installed. With bugs from the test version remaining in the final release, I went distro to distro until FC3 Test 2 came out, and since then I've been curious to see if FC3 would make up for FC2. Did it? Read on to find out my findings.

Test System
My test system isn't the most up to date machine you will ever see. In fact, it's quite outdated, but it still gets the job done.
Processor: AMD Athlon 900mhz
RAM: 768MB
Hard Disk: Western Digital 80GB 7200
Video: Geforce FX 5200 128MB

Installation
I downloaded the DVD, since it seems much more convenient to me to have all four cd's on one DVD. Prior to my installation of the final version, I have went from Test 2, to Test 3, to the Release Candidate, and then to the final version, upgrading each time. Each upgrade in succession went smoothly, but took about an hour. However, believe it or not, upgrading to FC3 Final took about 7 minutes. I don't know if its because it's a DVD (Doubt it, my DVD drive is old and slow) or because there hasn't been many changes between RC1 and Final, or maybe they optimized the install speed? I am not sure. Nothing has changed here though, this is Anaconda, the same one you've used since Redhat and the logos are slightly different, that's it.

Usability
Honestly, it's really nice to be up to date with Gnome 2.8, and KDE 3.3, but I really don't see how they've changed since Gnome 2.6 and KDE 3.2. Gnome has a different method of selecting panel items, which ends up slowing me down and making customizing my panel much more annoying. KDE has a brand new, wait, get back with me on that, I don't see anything new. Gnome still has spatial browsing, which is easy to turn off if you don't like it. For those of you that don't know, this basically means all icons you click on open in new windows, like they did in Windows 95. Gnome folks added the name "Spatial Browsing" to it and considers it an innovation.

When it comes to speed, I have found FC3 to be slightly faster than FC2 but not by much. FC2 was already faster than Windows on my PC, FC3 is a slight improvement in that area. When it comes to other innovations, Evolution 2.x is here, and Xorg looks absolutely beautiful. Everything is cleaner, crisper, and brighter, and is one area where FC3 shines.

Table of contents
  1. "FC3, Page 1/2"
  2. "FC3, Page 2/2"
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