4 febbraio 2014

EN - Back To The Future!

Back to the future

So that's it. My last post, more than one and a half years ago, was about me receiving a MacBook Pro.

Bought mainly to learn OS X in case a client had a problem with it (my clients are mainly fanboys) i quickly understood the global overrating of OS X, mainly due to the fact that all comparsions are done between commercial desktops. I must say i had fun times exploring the capability of apple's Aqua interface and it's configuration options and i always found them insufficient and with lack of usability compared to KDE.
I'm talking only about graphical interface here. I'm not talking about the deeps of OS X as a BSD-like OS, as i didn't dug down the terminal that much. Globally i had a nice experience but kept feeling like the dismissal of the Concorde. I felt like i did a technological step back in time, specially with OSX's finder: we didn't really became friends.
I had a quite busy year so i couldn't even accomplish my second target in buying a Macbook Pro, that was setting up a build environment fo digiKam and KDEnlive. I didn't even install macports nor Xcode...
Now that i'm trying to organize my time in a better way, as soon as i found a day to play with it i chosed directly to wipe out OS X at all and go back to a friendly and easy to me environment.

Luckily enough i had a spare 350gb HD laying around, so i opened up my Mac and switched HDDs. Powering up pressing the alt key, the Macbook gives you the boot selection, calling "Windows" whatever is not a bootable device containing OS X. Opensuse 13.1 installation started normally, even without trackpad support in the first stages, which forces you to use the keyboard (but the well-designed yast style install procedure of OpenSuse is easy to drive even with the keyb).
Quickly went to the end of the installation and setup i surprisingly had a full working environment. Only few things missing: the WiFi card firmware, some keyboard issues and the thunderbolt port not being recognized by the kernel.
My worst fears where about the stand-by and the multy-touch trackpad support. The first it's working fine, but i still didn't test it that much, the second it's easily addressable with keyboard shortcuts, like i did to address other missing facilities i was used to.

WiFi firmware was easily and automatically addressed just looking at the dmesg log, which told me to just type a command on the terminal if i had ethernet connection, or to just download an .rpm in another way.

Keyboard shortcuts where a fun thing to play with. KDE offers a fully customization of commands and controls that you can configure and with that i personalized screenshot-taking actions (there's no print screen key on the Mac keyboard), desktop switching, some Kwin actions like "Present Desktop" or "Desktop Grid" etc. Possibilities are really endless.

Pros of OS X that i will miss is the multi-touch trackpad support with the four fingers desktop switching, but i have valid alternatives ready to configure...

I must say that battery consumption is greatly increased since there is no ability to switch between the AMD grapic card and the intel one, integrated in the CPU, on the fly, and i feel also that the CPU might be throttling a little bit higher than with OSX. But those are small drawbacks compared to being able to run OpenSuse as a daily basis Desktop... again!
I hope this problems can be fixed soon. In the meantime i will enjoy it like it is.

Thanks for reading!