Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Suse 10.2, part 10: Playing trailers in Firefox

I'm going to post about a feature that users of Windows and the Mac have had for years: the ability to view movie trailers within their browsers. I don't know of any other distribution where this is successful. But on this computer in this house, I can view Real Audio encoded trailers. This ability, coupled with the installation of Flash Version 9 for Linux, considerably enhances the browsing experience under Suse 10.2.

I can't tell the difference between Flash 9 and Real Audio running inside of Firefox under Windows XP and Flash 9 and Real Audio running inside of Firefox 2 under Suse 10.2. That's on the exact same hardware (dual booting). Every time I hear someone or read someone's comments about how 'purity' needs to be maintained inside the 'free' software domain, I want to reach out and slap the crap out of them. Purity just means a crap existence under Linux.

I'm reaching a decision point in both my personal and professional life. Personally, I'm looking to replace my aging (three year old) Athlon XP-based system with something more current. I can DYI it with hardware from Newegg, like I did with this system; that means installing Windows XP (not Vista!) and/or Linux, specifically Suse. Or I can just buy a Mac. I bought an iMac for my youngest daughter who headed off to FSU this spring term. She's been quite happy, and hasn't had one problem. It's the first Mac she's ever owned. She's always had Windows systems before the Mac.

In the professional realm it's a lot more complex situation. The applications I help develop are built not just on an operating system, but on other applications as well. For example, one major subsystem I have to use on my program uses Windows and Office as its primary platforms. Guess what OS I'm going to use? The only other option from a professional standpoint is a pro-supported distribution (limited in my humble opinion to Redhat and Suse), Windows XP (again, not Vista!), or the Mac. And not necessarily in that order.

Cory Doctorow notwithstanding, the Mac makes a lot more sense than does Linux, even Ubuntu. I was hoping that Suse would actually lead the way to a decent, sane distribution, where everything important is in the box and works out of the box. But I don't think you can't get there from here, especially if you have (like Nicholas "I'm An Idiot" Petreley) the Linux rabble foaming at the mouth over Novell's deal with Microsoft. I look at Linux, Windows, and Apple, and see Apple as the least of three evils. Since I have to live within a budget, I'm not ready to go and scratch my personal Mac itch. So let's see how event unfold over the next few months.

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