I have purchased several laptops with SLED preinstalled. Two of them are
my sister's and mine, the rest are used in my office by our employees. I
have registered my product at http://register.hp.com
Yes, we have left SLED on all of them but I usually install another OS
for dual booting. Almost always it's Debian Squeeze (stable at the
moment) and on my laptop I also have Fedora-14 for testing purpose.
Dual booting: to be able to work with laptop in case SLED becomes
unusable. Yes, SLED seems very unstable in comparison to Debian. Still
not an issue with Debian, but SLED has recently become unusable three
times (period of half a year or so) - Xserver simply didn't start after
updates. There weren't also so critical issues with the system, but
which make many features, needed at work, unavailable. For example
LibreOffice's Base is unusable. It's really disappointing to realize
that an update stopped your work for several hours. Yes, I had to
install OpenOffice to solve this but it took some time. The last issue -
last kernel update broke my touchpad - I had to find and manually
install the previous one to "ressurect" it, but I'm really afraid of
updating laptops of our employees.
I am thinking to switch to another OS, but now I can't stop work and
gather all laptops to reinstall them: too much work at the moment.
*Other distributions have a very nice and sometimes very useful
feature: at least two kernels are installed. It's great to be able to
boot the kernel you know is working when you realize the new one which
came with updates has broken something, but it's not the case with
SLED*. I wish there were the same practice with SLED. (It's about
improvement).
I also wish that the packages were tested carefully before they are
pushed as updates: LibreOffice Base bug was well known and reported
before it changed OpenOffice in SLED, but it seems nobody cares.
Purchasing laptops with SLED preinstalled I thought of having stable,
reliable and secure systems, which have quite a long term support and
are ready to be used "out of the box". Now I think it wasn't a good
investment.
Once I tried to contact HP but was informed that my laptop (HP620) with
SLED preinstalled wasn't a supported product. It's really difficult to
make a service request at Novell's also. A CID is required, but I don't
have one. To get it I have to contact my local Novell Customer Service
Center by phone, but there is no number in my country (Ukraine) and it
would be rather expensive to call abroad. Several people in my country
(and also from Russia as far as I remember) have contacted me having
seen my posts here just because they needed support in their native
language and because contacting HP and Novell is really quite
complicated (and sometimes useless as it was in my case).


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AlexDudko
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