Out of the box I got pulseaudio sound, which I have no issue with, and Adobe's Flash Player, as I had selected Yes when prompted during the install. I think I'm using the nouveau drivers as nothing nVidia offered itself during the installation or after. However, I have both my monitors working at the correct resolut and I only needed to specify their orientation to have working TwinVew-like setup. This is a very good start. OK, Pardus will offer to install propriety graphics drivers during installation but the openSUSE implementation of KDE gives a more solid, robust feel. Purely subjective again, but OS choice is and should be entirely subjective.
I stumbled across one or two of these one-click installers and I really like them. OK I release some control over how software is delivered to my machine, but unless you are building everything from source you do that anyway. Every time I step back and allow any GUI tools to just do it's thing I relinquish some control. The installation of nVidia proprietary drivers went well and after some fighting over those USB dependencies I even had the Ergodex working properly.
Reviewing my installation I have proprietary graphics drivers, Adobe's Flash Player plugin for the slightly less than completely free Firefox (5). The next natural addition to my system would normally be mp3 codecs. However, as free, as in speech, software is becoming more important to me all the time, while still refusing to don a hair shirt and really suffer, I decided to bite the bullet and migrate to Ogg Vorbis. I hope I'm correct in my upstanding that Ogg is free and open or this will be a very irritating process. I figured the sooner I grasped the nettle the less painful it would be long tern as my music collection is unlikely to get smaller.
GtkPodder is as buggy and clunky as ever. I'm sure all these 'error' messages are valuable, however, I often question whether a process has completed correctly when nine out of ten times it has. So what value the verbosity? To me none, so I wish I could turn most of it off...and I probably can.
To refocus on the underlying operating system briefly, I still have some issues with the KDE menu, the Lancelot layout is included in the default deployment, but neither are quite there. KDE is simply not as intuitive as the Windows Start Panel or as simple as the Gnome Panels menus. OK I can get to where I'm going, but navigating back clicking the narrow 'back arrow' strip on the left of the panel is a touch fiddly. The menu panel is good but it could be a lot better. Task management follows a more familiar Windows Taskbar/Gnome Panels formula and for this I am grateful. I love fiddling with new interfaces and new ways of accomplishing common, regular tasks in an OS, but when the fiddling is done you have to use the interface to do some work.
I forgot all about application launching and task management while using Ubuntu with Gnome Panels. All of these issues became relevant again with the advent of Unity and Gnome 3 Shell. So reflecting on these issues again in a review of openSUSE KDE is pertinent. KDE, Gnome and Unity users are once again pressed together cheek by jowl to debate the relative merits of their GUIs. Whatever the problems with Gnome 2, Panels should be re-tooled to run with Gnome 3's tech as Gnome Shell currently fails to cut it. Unity is change for changing for small and touch screens sake and fails to justify itself completely on the desktop. KDE is closest to delivering a productive management environment that disappears into the background and allows one to focus on tasks carried out by applications.
The times ahead look bright and exciting, whether Linux sceptics like the chaos of our choices any better is beside the point. As a community we should embrace choice even if some of our choices seem unappealing. If you want to stop fiddling with elements of the DE and get down to something productive install, configure then forget openSUSE and get some work done.