Over the past month I have been getting to grips with using Fedora 14 on my Laptop, Netbook and Desktop. The install replaces the previous Gentoo installs. My primary reason for switching distribution has been updates and time. To keep machines upto date with security patches Gentoo needed to recompile alot of packages in some cases. This for some things could take time to compile and compile errors would sometimes occur. When things didn't compile it sometimes broke the system in such a way that it would be unusable until it was fixed, this could mean waiting a day or so, especially with the compiling errors. So enough was enough, Fedora with its pre-compiled binary packages was the answer.
Fedora by comparison still updates most days but the packages, being pre-compiled, only take as long to update as it is for them to download and install. This can be in 10-15mins rather than hours for Gentoo. This means I can have my system upto date and still be able to get on with an actual task rather than trying to find fixes. Fedora 14 is not without its flaws, currently my laptop which had been running Fedora 13 has lost the ability to dim the LCD, not a big flaw but its nice to have reduced glare with tired eyes. On the desktop the proprietary AMD/ATI still isn't easily installed without possibly breaking the system this means I lack 3D enhancements to the desktop. That said on install it chose a 2D driver, set the screen resolution correctly and otherwise was the easiest install of an operating system I have ever done.
The community side to Fedora is a little alien, having been used to the focused Gentoo community forum and a handful of 3rd party websites. Fedora likes its wikis but they don't seem to contain the information that I need to use. Maybe this is something I can contribute to in the future but for now its a minor annoyance.
On the netbook Fedora has been a real success, no major issues, it just works. Removing the need to do lengthy updates and compiling on the atom processor has made it easier to use more regularly.
Niggles aside, I like Fedora. I miss some aspects of Gentoo but that might be down to having spent so many years using it and having configured it alot myself. So I'm going to give Fedora a good chance, any distro that can setup a fingerprint scanner automatically and tie it into authentication for applications is a winner in my book.