I’ve reverted to kernel 2.2.19 on my Red Hat Linux 7.1 installation. Now at least my CD-RW drive works again. 7.1 has not been a seemless upgrade. Truth be told, I was quite happy with 6.2 - deliriously happy in retrospect, or at least I must have been delirious to upgrade. The sorry saga is explained at more length in Red Hat’s bug tracker.
I only upgraded to 7.1 to get a decently packaged version of KDE 2.1. Ah, KDE - there’s another long and regrettable tale. The actual code itself might be reasonably stable (or might not…), but the KDE team’s own RPMs leave something to be desired. The latest build (2.1.1) not only had all the same problems as 2.1 (debugging enabled, XDM config overwritten, etc.), they also managed to build the sound handler without any sound drivers! Silence is golden, but in this case it was broken by loud cursing.
And this is where the oft-aired complaint about the lack of commercial support for free software really comes home. Because even if proprietary vendors are bloody useless at fixing their bugs, at least you have the small satisfaction of ringing up their employees and swearing profusely at their idiocy. It seems a tad churlish and ungrateful to do the same thing to volunteers donating their own time to work on software you downloaded for free. But it is frustrating.
But let’s be fair: at work, I’ve been trying to monitor some proprietary bespoke NT software by making null TCP connections to its network port. Turns out that after a dozen of these connects, it crashes. Is it fixed yet? Ha, will it ever be??