Fedora 9 on a Dell Inspiron 9200 Notebook

I’ve used Fedora since the beginning and Red Hat before that but the upgrade of my laptop to Fedora 9 has been one of the most frustrating. I guess I had gotten soft with the easy upgrades through Fedora 4, 5, 6, and 7 (skipped ‘8’) and I was lead astray by the easy install on my wife’s Inspiron E1505. The problems started with the initial installation. The installation would crash with a “this is probably a bug, please file a report” message. After doing a little Googling, I found a few others that had similar problems (medium checks OK, works on other computers). Following one suggestion, I did a minimum install. That worked. Of course, I am left with the problem of figuring out which crucial packages I am missing. (And the Add/Remove Software program is not very useful.) The next problem encountered is that my Dual Head setup didn’t work. And even worse, my 1920×1200 notebook screen came up with an incorrect resolution, leaving my panels corrupted (e.g. although displayed, I couldn’t access the System menu). After much Googling I figured out that I could modify the configuration with xrandr and that my old setup with two separate desktops was no longer supported with the radeon driver and X1.3 (oh, and fglrx doesn’t work with Fedora 9 yet). I have finally gotten a working desktop but losing the separate desktops is going to be a problem. I have my external monitor on the left which means that screen postion 0, 0 is now on that monitor. If I use my laptop without the external screen, 0, 0 will be at the left of the internal screen which means that all the icons on the desktop as well as default window positions will be shifted. A further annoyance is that Evolution in F9 seems to have problems when logging off and back on if it is not closed first. It comes back up with an error messages about protecting the user by messing up what panes are being viewed. Argh!