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One thing that bugs me about the typical Linux distribution review is that reviewers tend to focus a lot on the installation of the distro and then the installation of the various applications (with emphasis on the package repositories and the means of installing new software).
What goes unsaid is what people actually do with their computers and how well or poorly the various distributions meet their users' expectations. Frankly, using QGIS or OpenOffice.org gives the same experience on Slackware that it does on Ubuntu, so maybe there's no difference. I suspect that most people spend a majority of their time with e-mail, web browsing, and word processing regardless of the OS and apps they're using. Oh, they also listen to MP3s and watch movies.
But perhaps I'm wrong.
Perhaps I'm not wrong, but perhaps Slackware users are more sophisticated.
So, what do you use Slackware to do, and how easy do you find it to do those things with Slackware?
I am finishing off a Bachelor of Arts degree and the stability of Slackware is perfect for preserving the essays I sweat out with Open Office. For fun I am converting my DVD collection to h264 and aac with FFmpeg, neroaacenc and friends, so I spend too much time keeping up to date with the svn FFmpeg, git x264 and svn MPlayer + far too much time experimenting with transcoding parameters .
I'm not a slack user, but I feel this is pertinent.
From the issues I see posted on LQ, and the posted solutions, it appears that if I were to install slack I would be taking a step back in time to when I was expected to compile drivers and configure scripts to get my modem working. To be Frank (and why not, Franks a nice bloke) I don't need that "excitement" anymore. Fedora, for me, gives me steady updates, on the edge but not losing so much blood that I die. I am also working on a degree, and I have no "stability" issues with Fedora, but then I'm still on 12 as traditionally, odd numbers are bad news in any incarnation IMHO.
For me Fedora gives me Bluetooth, LVM, reliable and consistent naming of external devices, cool graphics, power and adaptability, all without the hassle. Maybe that's not good to learn on, but it does the job. I still can't forgive them for taking the "open terminal" option out of the context menu, but there are ways around little things like that.
I'm not bashing slack, but I would rather spend my time doing rather than attempting to do.
(p.s. I will attempt to install the latest slackware (as a VM) this weekend, just to see which end I'm speaking out of)
Besides the normal web, media viewing/listening, general office, games (playing Amnesia now), I
Capture, edit, encode, and produce DVDs of my Niece's and Nephew's school/sporting events, and give them to the parents. I use, Gimp, Kino, AviDemux, mjpegtools (mpeg2enc + yuvfilters, mplex), once in a while KDEnlive, DVDStyler or dvdauthor from commandline, Gnome Wave Cleaner, aften, sometimes Audacity and/or ReZound.
Rescue and recover infected Windows operating systems. Mount the suspect drive locally on Slackware, run various CLI scanners to clean, disinfect the system. Replace corrupt system files. Find, edit, recover lost password. And other Windows related repairs. - Fuse plus ntfs-3g, antivir, f-prot, and various tools to examine hive and sam files.
Remotely log in to other person's PCs for remote support and maintenance - both Linux and Windows OS's. Mostly with TeamViewer, or ssh for Linux machines, and rdesktop for Windows machines if available for the client.
We also run 2 servers.
One Mythtv Backend with an HVR1600 (ATSC HDTV and analog cable) plus 2 PVR150s (analog cable). Gives us 4 tuners. With 2 500GiB recording drives, and 2TiB of storage space for our movie/music archives.
The other server is just a simple file server. Runs VM's exported to our local PCs. Runs a private FTP and HTTP server (I keep the extended family's photos archived). Keeps disaster recovery system images, compiles and keeps a local repo for our Slackware machines, rsyncs with Slackware stable and current, runs ntp, plus holds a bunch of other crap.
There's 2 dedicated MythTV frontends.
I have 2 PCs plus a laptop, my Girlfriend has a PC plus a laptop, our room mate - she also has a PC plus a laptop, I keep two home work PCs for our nieces and nephews, and a lone dusty WindowsXP game machine. That's 13 Slackware installations and one WindowsXP machine.
I have had, or have maintained, similar setups using other Linux Distro's, and different Windows versions. They all have a learning curve. And given enough time, effort, and thought, each are just as capable as the other. It's just I decided to chose Slackware, and have never regretted that choice.
I'm guessing that most of the server stuff would fall under other. I have my website/mirror running Slack, along with my mail server and pretty soon, my firewall. I use Slack for pretty much anything I need to do.
I have tried a number of distos in the past, FreeBSD, Redhat, Mandrake, Ubuntu 32/64 Desktop/Server, and Slackware. I have settled on using slackware for server purposes. Why? Slackware just seems to be able to handle an incredible load without compromising performance. This is especially important to me at home where I have just one slackware server taking care of business for us and the workstations.
Here is what I use a 1300 Celeron with 256 M Ram to do.
sc_serv //Shoutcast Server
mangos-worldd //World of Warcraft Server Emulator
mangos-realmd //World of Warcraft Realm Server Emulator
q3ded //Quake 3 dedicated LAN server
Thats about it Unless I am using iptables to forward and or filter traffice which I do frequently on that box. I may have missed a few minor things but thats the bulk of it.
ALthough my application of slackware in the home setting seems to not fit into anything but the other selection, it does excel at what it does.