<p>Well, I have to say I&#8217;ve never been a fan of Red Hat linux, but their new version 8 (V8) seems to finally be what the &#8220;Linux People&#8221; have been claiming about earlier distros for years&#8212;an easy to install operating system that works as advertised.</p>

<p>Earlier this week I installed RHLV8 on an old Dell (PentiumIII 450/256MB RAM), and it was nothing more than shoving CDs into the drive, selecting packages, and rebooting.  I was duly impressed.  Even more important, the application I wish to use, <a href="http://www.radiance-online.org">Radiance</a>, compiled on the first try, with no modifications to the makefile required.  Now, <strong>that</strong> is even more impressive than the easy OS install.  </p>

<p>I have an extremely poor track record for getting Linux up and running and getting Radiance to compile, but I am slowly moving toward using Radiance in a production capacity at my job, so it&#8217;s time to get over that learning curve.  My PowerBook, and particularly OSX have been instrumental in getting a working Radiance system together for my learning pleasure.  But I can&#8217;t exactly leave my laptop running all night to do lighting simulations, and besides I can buy a lot more CPU cycles for my dollar with an Athlon box to chew on these Radiance calculations.  So it was time to finally get a Linux box up and running. </p>

<p>In the past, I had tried RHL but had problems compiling Radiance.  My friend <a href="http://www.schorsch.com/info/about.html">Georg Mischler</a> suggested I try SuSE Linux, which was a good deal easier to install, but soon after I got that distro up and running a fire in my apartment building destroyed that computer.  A couple of years went by, and OSX came out, and well the rest is history.  I always knew I&#8217;d have to return to Linux; for some reason I picked up Red Hat&#8217;s new distro, on a whim.  Again, I can&#8217;t believe how easy it was to install, and I&#8217;m thrilled that Radiance compiled without a hitch.</p>

<p>It remains to be seen if my experience will be as pleasant on newer hardware, but I hope to find that out soon enough. </p>