But first, I'd like to publicly apologise to Adam. It's been over a year in coming, but Adam, if you're reading this, know that you were right and I was wrong.
I've taken actions to back up those words. I've purchased a Mandriva Power Pack subscription and I've got the DVD burned and ready to install Mandriva 2008 Spring over Ubuntu 8.04.1. In addition to purchasing a Power Pack subscription I also purchased the USB key version. I'm waiting for it to arrive, hopefully sometime next week.
I could spend the next hour of my personal time (and a lot of digital ink) listing in detail what has gone wrong over the last year, as I've migrated from Ubuntu 7.04 to Ubuntu 8.04.1. In fact, the Linux Haters Blog is surprisingly close to documenting most, if not all, of my gripes, although it misses a few. The irony in this is how I found it: it was linked via a story on Boycott Novell. Thanks, guys, I really needed that. I laughed so hard I cried. But here's a very short list of what led me to this action:
- I have an ATI/AMD X1950 Pro video card. I use the ATI/AMD drivers because the free drivers are pure unadulterated crap. Most of the time this works, enabling 3D hardware acceleration and as a consequence the Compiz desktop. But somewhere during the last three updates on the path from 8.04 to 8.04.1, Compiz support broke yet again. I use the current 8-6 drivers, and they did work two updates back, but now I've got a desktop in which Compiz refuses to work again. fglrxinfo returns the proper ATI driver version, and glxinfo says 'yes' for direct rendering, but Compiz stubbornly refuses to work. This isn't the first time this has happened to me between Ubuntu and ATI drivers. But it's going to be the last because I won't be running Ubuntu any more.
- Again, during that transition between 8.04 and 8.04.1 I lost the ability to play videos, both DVD and transcoded from DVD. I've had the ability to play movies on europa since before I was running openSUSE 10.2. And now, for reasons which I don't fully understand, neither VLC nor Kaffeine will play back any video. Meanwhile, back on my other system (rhea), which has the free version of Mandriva 2008.1 installed, I can play videos and DVDs all day long, even after the numerous updates that have been pushed onto rhea. Talk about things that make you go 'hmmmm'.
- And finally, I purchased two Apple iPod Nano's, one for my wife and one for my daughter. I decided to transcode my ripped movie collection into movies that my wife could play back while she was recuperating in the hospital in May. So I went out to google how I might do that under Ubuntu and found out about mp4ize. The problem with mp4ize is its use of ffmpeg with all the extensions built in. Works great on Mandriva, but for versions of current Ubuntu (i.e 8.04 or later) you have to rebuild ffmpeg for this to work. I can feel the Wow!
- Which leads me back, yet again, to having to rebuild K3b, just like I did for Ubuntu 7.10, so that I can rip my DVDs.
This will be the last time I personally buy Linux for home use. If this doesn't work out then my next stop will be an Apple Mac. And yes, I've worked enough with current Macs and OS X to easily make the transition. I am way past the politics of Linux. I want decent quality that works well consistently from release to release.