My work laptop, which I got around the end of 2006, was starting to run like crap. Pretty sure it started around the time I put antivirus on it, which reinforces my theory that antivirus is a virus itself. Anyway, being bored with Windows XP and having already played with Windows 7 at home, I decided to install Linux. The last time I tried Linux desktop was around RedHat 7.3, which was a long time ago… pre-Fedora even. I’m pretty happy with CentOS on the server side and was set to try CentOS 5.3 on my laptop when someone suggested I go with FC due to more bleeding-edge driver support. Even though the hardware is pretty old at this point I figured it was worth a shot.
Generally everything works pretty well. Everything pretty much works out of the box – I had dual screens up at native resolution, it even recognized my phone as a camera when I plugged it in to charge it. Best of all, I was able to resize the NTFS partition (rather than blowing it away) so I can still boot back to XP when the need arises.
There are 2 problems I’ve had so far though:
- the computer now hovers between 76 and 85 degrees Celsius, whereas under Win XP it generally peaked around 68 C. I tried underclocking the CPU down to 250 MHz but the problem persisted.
- The Java plugin for Firefox … wtf? How can this not work? I downloaded Sun’s JDK and symlinked the libjavaplugin_whatever into /usr/lib64/mozilla/whatever/ and that didn’t work. Then I tried “yum install java-plugin” or something like that and that installed some OpenJava-ish plugin which looked like it was going to work, but when I logged into the Raritan KVM and clicked “Connect” it wouldn’t work. I booted up Win XP in a VM and Firefox with Java works fine. Really annoying and dumb.
I’ll probably try Ubuntu tomorrow as several people suggested it runs cooler than Fedora. If that fails then I guess I’ll go to Win7 after all. I also want an SSD for my work laptop now… my Windows VM seems to spent eternity spinning my crappy 5400 rpm drive. Plox.