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  • #2258735

    Get Jack’d

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    by jack wallen ·

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    • #3215661

      Get Jack

      by jack wallen ·

      In reply to Get Jack’d

      Get Jack’d is a throw back to my old column from the days of LinuxRepublic and TechProGuild. It’s all Linux and all attitude. So if you want to read the point of view of an old-school, world domination Linux user, you’ve found the right place. Plenty o’ Micro$oft bashing and plenty of penguin petting. Oh, and you might learn a thing or two in the process.

    • #3214249

      those were the days

      by jack wallen ·

      In reply to Get Jack’d

      I remember when using a computer was something special. I remember when knowing Linux meant you had serious skillz. I remember way back when Linux users swore one day their favorite OS would enjoy world domination. I remember when computing was all about bottom line, TCO, and rollout. I remember when computing was fun.

      I also recall the times when us proud Linux devotees had to fight, tooth and nail, for credibility over the Micro$oft dogma machine. Ah those were the days.

      But now things are different. Now most everyone who knows their way around every bit and byte of the PC is quite aware of the BS pumped out by M$s PR. We know their OS will cost more than we want to spend. We know the hardware requirements will be higher than necessary. We know the MS/Intel cartel was created so that one company would benefit from the other’s gain. We know the next best Windows OS will be late, full of bugs, and cause most all IT pros one long headache.

      We also know that M$ will fail at most every promise they offer. But then, that is business as usual. And all the while we know the Linux community will slowly churn out quality, secure, efficient code that fulfills most all promises M$ can’t seem to keep.

      • It’s on schedule.
      • It’s secure.
      • It’s cheap.
      • It’s reliable.
      • It’s proven.

      Now I know there are more M$ zealots out there than you can shake a mouse at. And I know how the M$/Linux war goes – I’ve been fighting it for over a decade. I also know that the entire computing landscape has changed drastically over the last decade. Gone is the underdog feeling that Linux held so dearly. Gone is the near 100% marketshare that Internet Exploder had over the browser war. And Gone is the idea that Linux is just a drop in the bucket.

      And now, with M$ Vista somewhere on the horizon (who knows exactly where that horizon is), I know that M$ is losing the war all on its own by putting off and putting off and, now, charging people to try out a beta version of software.

      But I do miss the days (in a strange, strange way) where Linux had to scratch and fight for every toe-hold it had in the industry. I still think world domination is coming. The big difference is that I think M$ is now unwittingly fighting for the opposition.

      • #3209550

        those were the days

        by justin james ·

        In reply to those were the days

        I remember when there were like 4 people using Linux, and the best one out there was Slackware, downloaded off of the Walnut Creek FTP site. I remember loading it, it took me the better part of a day. I remember being delerious happy to actually get DOOM running on it. Without sound, of course, because that required a full kernel compile, despite me having the industry standard, basic SoundBlaster card. This was well before X was really usable, and KDE & GNOME did not exist. The Jargon File could actually be used, in a sad, sick way, as a form of documentation, because of the legend and lore in it was still applicable to current stuff. I remember people telling me, “oh, don’t bother with Linux, BSD is the real deal.” I still beleive BSD is the real deal, at least server side. BSD is too miserable in its current state for desktop users, but it seems to be aimed at rock solid stability and security, not trying to be a Windows alternative. I see BSD as trying to be a Solaris or HPUX or AIX alternative, and that makes me happy. Things like Fedora Core really turned me off from Linux… I need a computer to transparantly work, no muss, no fuss. I am willing to sacrifice cutting edge functionality and half-finished features in exchange for no hassles. I always wonder what will happen to the world of Linux is Linus Torvalds gets hit by a bus. I fear that it will devolve into an 18 month long power struggle that rips apart and discredits the community, just as the NetBSD/FreeBSD/OpenBSD ruckus made people wary of BSD. I am not a huge fan of Solaris, but Sun’s engineers are top notch. Sadly, Sun doesn’t understand that the modern crop of *Nix user got their start with a Knoppix LiveCD and is slowly working their way down to learning the ins-and-outs of the CLI, fstab files, /etc, rc.d, inetd, and so on, instead of working their way up like you and I had to do. It is kind of scary to me, but people who learned *Nix is the last few years learned a *Nix that tries way too hard to replicate the Windows experience, instead of learning how to do things the *Nix way. I cringe when I see a server running KDE or GNOME. As far as I am concerned, if you cannot admin your server purely through SSH/telnet, you have no business calling yourself a *Nix admin. But this is what I see. I know “Linux experts” who call me to ask how ifconfig works. I have seen longtime Linux users baffled at the prospect of unpacking a tar file. These are the people who are the *Nix admins of the future, and it worries me. It is a good thing that Linux comes locked down out of the box, because far too many Linux users simply do not know how to run a *Nix outside of the comfortable confines of KDE or GNOME.

        Sorry for the long winded rant, I am quite tired, and felt that I had to get that off of my chest.

        J.Ja

    • #3214951

      The magic of Ubuntu Linux

      by jack wallen ·

      In reply to Get Jack’d

      My love for Linux started WAY back with Caldera 1.0 and Red Hat 4.2. Back then Linux was, quite honestly, a huge challenge to work with. But when it did work it was magic. Sure the resolutions sucked. Oh yeah getting a modem that worked was next to impossible. Sound? If you’re lucky. But eventually you had everything going smooth and freaky-like.

      That was then, this is now.

      After many years of loyalty to Red Hat Linux we all had to jump the shark over to Fedora Core (that is if we wanted to continue with the layout of the land we had mined for so long.) Life with Fefora Core was, well, less than splendid simply because we were working within the confines of a “test-bed” operating system. Fedora Core’s initial mission was to roll out releases quickly and remain at the head of the pack as far as “cutting edge”. It did that for a long time. And with every new release you had to fight with getting hardware that had previously worked to work yet again. Sometimes getting your system back up (after an upgrade or fresh install of the latest-greatest) was certainly a task no Micro$oft admin would even consider undertaking. But for us Fedora folk, it had become par for the course.

      After five releases of the Core I found myself with a bit of a bad taste in my mouth for Fedora. Red Hat had long since left behind the cuddly hacker it helped to primp and preen into post-puberty ‘l33tn3ss. The new, improved Red Hat was looking more and more like the M$ of the Linux community.

      So where was a long-time Linux zealot to turn? Where else but a community of people who will ship you, free of charge, as many Ubuntu CDs as you wish just so you can spread the love. Yes, Ubuntu was the OS for me.

      And not only did their world-hugging attitude attract me but so did the fact that the Ubuntu OS was the first to successfully get the broadcom chipsets used in the iBook airport cards to work. So I grabbed a copy of Kubuntu (the KDE version of Ubuntu) and loaded it up on my trusty white companion. And it did work so wonderfully. I was free to use the programs I had so long ago grown accustomed to using. Scribus.The Gimp.GnuCash. They all worked without the hassle of fink or darwin. I was one happy boy! Giddy, you might say.

      And so, after many many years of sporting the Fedora redly, I have moved over to a fresher, debianier, huggier operating system. It’s a welcome back-to-the-future leap to how I originally felt about Linux. Now, I’m working with something special again.

      • #3212414

        The magic of Ubuntu Linux

        by groenem9 ·

        In reply to The magic of Ubuntu Linux

        I also started out with Red Hat, then tried Mandrake, and now I am using Kubuntu. Linux from the beginning was meant to be a free OS. It was not “free” anymore when the big distributors came in the picture with everything bundled together (understandable). To download the entire ISO image is expensive in South Africa, so I was forced to pay to get CDs ordered and delivered to my address.

        When I discovered Ubuntu, and that their whole mission is to make Linux totally free, I was in seventh heaven. I think what struck me most, is the fact that they are the only distributor that sends the CDs for you free of charge! They make you feel like wanting to give them donations to help them fund their work, not forcing you to buy something to have a PC working.

        I must admit that Linux still has a road to walk to be as user-friendly as M$ (hardware compatibility and configuration), but it is a small price to pay for the freedom Linux offers. I will rather struggle a bit to get something working in Linux, than to pay a lot of money for something that forces you to follow their way of computing. Through the struggling, I find that I learn more of computers and feel more like a “Computer boffin”. I also like to be different than the majority. Kubuntu Linux offers me more diversity and more software at one single location than any other OS.

        For a OS to be run completey off a Live CD, without installing it on your PC – whow! My friends can’t believe me when I tell them that.

        Linus Torvald (and all the Linux developers out there) – you are my hero!

      • #3202251

        The magic of Ubuntu Linux

        by mist271 ·

        In reply to The magic of Ubuntu Linux

        I have been trying versions of Linux for several years now, And also just about every version of Windowz, Point and click is the name of the game for me. Alas Linux was sadly lacking untill now. I contacted the Ubuntu people, who have sent me several versions of Ubuntu System. Now this is where the fun begins, The last one was Edubuntu, and wammy it does everything I want with no hassles, even the updates download and install all with just a click, no terminal needed, seemless install. also i can now access my hdd etc similar to windowz, USB no problems, and the other thing is it has the largest amount of educational stuff for the kids I have ever seen. Furthermore I will make a statement that Ubuntu will be used world wide within the next couple of years. Nice peacfull people I love them. 

      • #3202136

        The magic of Ubuntu Linux

        by jack wallen ·

        In reply to The magic of Ubuntu Linux

        I totally agre with all you say. Ubuntu, in my opinion, has brought back the what Linux stood for for years but lost to the big corporate feel.

        I applaud Ubuntu Linux and their efforts. I am sold on their product and will pimp it as often as I can!

      • #3202127

        The magic of Ubuntu Linux

        by jack wallen ·

        In reply to The magic of Ubuntu Linux

        I totally agre with all you say. Ubuntu, in my opinion, has brought back the what Linux stood for for years but lost to the big corporate feel.

        I applaud Ubuntu Linux and their efforts. I am sold on their product and will pimp it as often as I can!

      • #3199278

        The magic of Ubuntu Linux

        by dnevans ·

        In reply to The magic of Ubuntu Linux

        I have tried several distributions over the years, but still consider myself a
        newbie to Linux because I’ve never felt comfortable enough to use it as my main
        OS and ditch Windows. I’ve tried Redhat, Mandrake, Xandros, Fedora, Simply
        Mepis, SUSE, and now Ubuntu. I was reasonably comfortable with Simply Mepis but
        my main problem was it didn’t recognise my Netgear Wireless PCMCIA card, so
        I benched it in anticipation a future release would automatically detect my
        card.

        In the mean time I was particularly keen to take a look at SUSE 10.1 as I’m Novell certified
        and feel some loyalty to their offerings. It took me an hour to install SUSE on
        my older P3 1GHz PC and I couldn’t walk away as I was prompted for responses
        before it could continue to the next step. I eventually finished the install,
        but was disappointed that I could not set my screen resolution higher than
        800×600. It also seems to run quite slow.Then along came Ubuntu LTS 6.06
        – 6 steps to install and completed in half the time (on the same PC). Once I
        logged in and started looking through the menus I started to get a good feeling
        when I saw things like Add/Remove Programs & a pop-up notification
        for Automatic updates. I know the reason being is that these were familiarities
        which I had become accustomed to with using Windows for years. Admittedly, I
        still had to install Flash Player & Java Run Time Environment manually using
        the Terminal, but was pleasantly surprised when my Skype for Linux download
        automatically installed when I double clicked on the application icon (just like
        it would in Windows). The Synaptic Package Manager is fantastic but there are
        still some apps you have to install manually.

        I believe if Linux software
        developers could distribute their applications to install like they do as simply
        as the Skype install did (Windows like), then your average Joe Bloggs who just uses their PC to send/receive email & surf the Internet would be
        much more likely to convert from Windows to Linux. With the latest user friendly
        version of Unbuntu, I think I’m on my way.

        Edit:
        I have know successfully installed Ubuntu LTS 6.06 on my wifes PC, my
        laptop (it automatically detected the built in wireless network card!),
        and one of my PC’s. I also worked out how to install Flash Player & Java Run Time Environment from the Synaptic Package Manager after a little help from the Ubuntu Forum.

        I’ve still got one PC with WIndows XP which I’ll
        keep. But that’s purely for testing an study purposes. After all I work
        in IT & I still have to know the ins & outs of the MS OS until
        Linux becomes the preferred commercial desktop OS. 🙂

        Many thanks to the Ubuntu
        community.

    • #3209627

      email and linux

      by jack wallen ·

      In reply to Get Jack’d

      I’ve run the bases with Linux email clients. From Pine to Balsa to Arrow to Evolution to Kmail to Thunderbird the list leads like a science text book. But I’ll give you one guess as to which client I always seem to return to. Did you guess Pine? You guessed correctly.

      Email is one of those Microsoftian double-edged swords that can totally make or break your day. Any given email can bring down your email client due to scripting, corrupted attachments, memory leaks, yadda yadda yadda. And every one of them caused me headache after headache – except for Pine. Pine is the little email client that could. Sure Pine is a text-based only client. Sure Pine can’t view images or html email. Pine can’t show little smilies and allow you to click on a link to view a url. Pine won’t hit a game winning home run. But Pine can serve as that trusty outfielder always waiting in the green for that long ball to sail into its glove.

      What I like about Pine is its simplicity. It’s text-only so its footprint is tiny. It’s text-only so it’s reliable. It’s text-only so it can be used via a secure shell or (heaven forbid) telnet session. Pine is simply flexible.

      Sure I know most emailers are hooked on bells and whistles that the Microsofts of the world have pimped. But this old-schooler knows that, when push comes to shove, the one networking application that I can always count on is Pine.

      It may not be for everyone, but Pine hits a home run for me every time.

      Pine. Its what’s for dinner.

      • #3209601

        email and linux

        by jmgarvin ·

        In reply to email and linux

        I love pine, pico (aka nano), and the joys of not using vi 😉

      • #3209555

        email and linux

        by justin james ·

        In reply to email and linux

        I grew up on Pine too, on SunOS 2.6 boxes… and I agree, for what I do with email 95% of the time, Pine meets my needs. For the simple task of sending a text message across the Internet in a way that the recipient recieves it at their leisure, Pine cannot be beat. Then again, if I am really in a hurry, I’m the kind of person who will directly interact with sendmail (or its drop in replacement, whether it be postfix, qmail, etc.). That is a throwback to my Perl web dev days, where every app you wrote would eventually open a file handle to sendmail or pipe something to it after a pass through sed…

        Ahh. Nothing like a trip down memory lane. 🙂

        J.Ja

      • #3209507

        email and linux

        by sawan gupta ·

        In reply to email and linux

        Pine is fine… but for me… I needed a way to access my mails whether
        I was in Windows/Linux..so I use Thunderbird on both  so that I
        can access mails from both OS (Dual boot).

      • #3230235

        email and linux

        by crake ·

        In reply to email and linux

        I, too, have explored the unwieldy depths of open-source, cross-platform MUAs and have discovered that I tend to fall back on one in particular.

        I’ve become quite attached to Mutt… especially after I discovered the little “msmtp” application that alleviates the need to buy another static IP and configure an MTA to send mail. On Windows, I run Mutt with msmtp in Cygwin. I have no problem using vi, but Nano is usually my editor; and sometimes Jed.

        My fondness for Mutt started with its powerful threading options. This became extremely useful for managing messages on my Majordomo list server. Since then, I’ve become more adept at various Mutt configurations and am always amazed at what Mutt can do.

        Most importantly, I can have Mutt use all my favorite pretty colors.
        It even wags it tail for me!
        What more could one want?
        🙂

    • #3230136

      Get Jack’d

      by jack wallen ·

      In reply to Get Jack’d

      Get Jack’d is a throw back to my old column from the days of LinuxRepublic and TechProGuild. It’s all Linux and all attitude. So if you want to read the point of view of an old-school, world domination Linux user, you’ve found the right place. Plenty o’ Micro$oft bashing and plenty of penguin petting. Oh, and you might learn a thing or two in the process.

    • #3230117

      New Old School Window Management

      by jack wallen ·

      In reply to Get Jack’d

      Since we’re on the subject of old-school Linux computing I thought I’d bring up a topic very near and very dear to my heart (and one that tends to make M$ users drool with “trapped computing envy”.

      Window Mangers.

      I’ve used pretty much every X Windows Window Manager there is. ICEWm. AfterStep. KDE. Gnome. BlackBox. FluxBox. Fvwm. Sawfish. Metacity. WindowMaker. XFCE. The list goes on and on. And throughout the years the one thing that seems to always bring me back to a particular Window Manager is configurability. I admit it – I am an eye-candy junkie. But we’re not talking about the “Dashboard” kind of eye-candy junky. We’re talking about Transparency-kinda, animation-sorta, font-laden, color-rific eye-candy junkie the likes only a Linux Window Environment can offer.

      Recently I went on probably my longest jag with one particular WE – KDE. Why? It was darned pretty and it did most everything I wanted. But it was missing two key elements – flexibility and old-school charm. Let’s face it, there’s something to be said about dropping into a text editor and changing the configuration of your Window Manager. Bork up your configuration…drop into console mode (Ctrl-Alt-Backspace) and edit the proper configuration file. Worst case scenario…remove the WE director in your ~/ directory (using Evolution type “rm -rf ~/.e16”) and then restart x (“startx” works nicely.)

      But it’s not just the old-school charm that brings me back. I really desire my WE to be able to look EXACTLY the way I want it. I spend a LOT of time at my desktop and I don’t want to waste that time looking at something less-than-sexy, so why not work in an environment that is far removed from the “task bar/system tray” of Windows-land?

      So with that in mind I jumped the KDE shark and hopped back onto the Enlightenment ride. And I have to tell you it is one fun ride. Sure it’s not nearly as easy to configure (you might just have to open up Pine and edit a resource file) but it sure is flexible and fun. And what’s more? When people gander at my desktop they are once again going “Oh cool, make my computer do that!” “Well…” I get to happily say, “If you run Windows, your computer can’t do that.”

      Oh sure there are some instances where some key-happy hackers have ported some of these WEs to Windows. But those ports tend to be flaky at best. I recall installing WindowBlinds once and seeing a top of the line machine come to a stand still as if it had been infected by every known worm and virus available.

      Nope. You want a cool desktop, you use Linux. Of course you could drop the duckets and use OS X but where is the fun in that? You might get some groovy features but, once again, you are trapped in a room that was created by the “Jobs Farm”.

      And I realize a lot of you are saying “I’m an IT pro, I don’t have time for fluff like this!” Don’t lie. You’re a nerd just like me…you like things EXACTLY the way you like them and you rarely settle for anything less. So the sooner you stop denying this fact, the sooner you’ll install one flavor of Linux and then start playing around with different WEs until you find your desktop Nirvana. It’s there. It calls to you. And it’s siren song can not be ignored for long.

      So go – do what you know you must do. And when you have questions about a particular Window Environment, send me a line at jlwallen :at: monkeypantz :dot: net.

    • #3212722

      Hey Buddy, Linux has a Great Install Tools!

      by jack wallen ·

      In reply to Get Jack’d

      Yeah, you read it right…so stop throwing stones at Linux’ abilty to install/upgrade applications. Why just over this weekend I was cranking away with Yum, Synaptic, and Adept to work on installing Enlightenment onto my iBook. and my desktop. And, I have to tell you – they all rock! But what’s the difference? Let me see if I can “enlighten” you. And, in typical fashion, we’ll do this one system at a time (per blog entry of course). First we’ll take a look at:

      Yum

      Yum (Yellowdog Updater Modified) is an interactive, automated update program wich is used to maintain systems based on rpm. Say what? Yum is a text-based front-end for rpm. But I thought rpm was a text-based…I know, I know, it gets a little cloudy. But it’s very simple to clear away with one little sentence. Yum handles all the package dependencies that rpm tends to create. Ah, I see! Although a tried-and-true means of installing packages, rpm can quickly become a nightmare with dependencies. I’ve spent plenty of days and nights trying to resolve certain dependencies with rpm. But now with Yum, all of that is taken care of. Yum also comes with it’s own means of updating packages (and distributions). As the root user you would simply type:

      yum update

      and the system would begin checking the database of known installed applications.

      Installing with yum is also very simple. Let’s say you want to install Firefox on your desktop. From the command line (as root) you would type:

      yum install firefox

      and Yum would do it’s thang. And if there were any dependencies to resolve, Yum would take care of them. Of course, being an interactive application, you will have to answer [Y]es or [N]o in order to go on with the install.

      Group install

      Yum has a very handy tool within it’s pocket called group. With the group switch you can update, install, or remove groups of packages. Let’s say, for example, you set up a text-only server but now you want to be able to use some of the graphical tools to administer the server. Installing that horde of packages with rpm would be a nightmare. So it’s Yum to the rescue.

      First you will want to run:

      yum grouplist

      to find out the names of the listed groups available. From that list you would see both X Software Development and X Window System. You would want to install both of these packages so you’d run:

      yum groupinstall “X Software Development” “X Window System”

      and the necessary packages would be installed.

      Smooth as Chef (before he left South Park that is.)

      As you can see Yum is a very handy tool to get to know. Take a read of the Yum man page to learn more of the switches and arguments you can use. And next time we’ll take a look at one of the sexy little graphical installation tools! Yummy!

      • #3212672

        Hey Buddy, Linux has a Great Install Tools!

        by justin james ·

        In reply to Hey Buddy, Linux has a Great Install Tools!

        If RPM is so hot to begin with, why does it need an add-on like Yum to do what it is incapable of doing? If Linux had good package management, it would not need a half dozen different pieces of software to build on each other.

        I hate to say it, but dependency resolution, installation/removal or software, and other basic tasks are areas where Windows has *Nix beat hands down. The fact that there are 50 different ways to attempt to install software on a *Nix (all of which can be trashed simply by doing a manual compile on a poorly written make file that decides to trample your lib directories, or worse, hardcodes the lib directory names in) is a sign of an area that needs major improvement.

        I would posit that software installation is such an incredibly basic task, that it should be standardized into one way of doing things. No user actually gives a fig which installer/package management system actually gets used, as long as the one that gets used actually works and is easy to use.

        J.Ja

      • #3212626

        Hey Buddy, Linux has a Great Install Tools!

        by jack wallen ·

        In reply to Hey Buddy, Linux has a Great Install Tools!

        Are you forgetting how easily the Windows platform can be hosed by an installation that will not give you an error upon attempting to install. I’ve had a number of issues where a software on Win2K installed, bonked my registry (without warning), and brought either the OS or the application(s) to a crashing halt.

        I”m not saying that standards wouldn’t be nice – they sure would. But applications like Yum, Syanptic, and Adept have tried to overcome a lot of the dependency issues brought about by rpm.

        And if you cause a problem because of a poorly hacked makefile – that wouldn’t be the fault of rpm, yum, etc. That is the problem of either poor administration of poor application development.

      • #3212493

        Hey Buddy, Linux has a Great Install Tools!

        by justin james ·

        In reply to Hey Buddy, Linux has a Great Install Tools!

        “Are you forgetting how easily the Windows platform can be hosed by an installation that will not give you an error upon attempting to install.”

        You are right, a bad install of Windows software is nearly always much more disastrous that a bad install on a *Nix. That being said, my experience (which means that all I have is anecdoctal evidence, nothing hard or provable) has been that a fouled up install on Windows is much less likely to occur.

        For example, I have a BSD machine with a mail toaster setup installed on it, as per the directions. Every single time I run “portupgrade perl” to upgrade Perl, the mail system goes haywire because the Perl upgrade does not retain its previous module collection nor re-install the modules. As a result, the mail cleaning daemon procedes to douse itself with gasoline and light matches in an attempt to send 60+ MB emails every few minutes that are filled with the message “Could not find module…” As a result, I have a server in production use that really cannot be touched. All because I used a particular set of software to get a server up and running. Note to self: never do that again. Was it my mistake? Sure, I had a part to play in the resulting mess. It was also my first time setting up a mail server on BSD and I had a very tight deadline to work with.

        “But applications like Yum, Syanptic, and Adept have tried to overcome a lot of the dependency issues brought about by rpm.”

        To me, the whole idea of RPM is to deal with dependencies is the first place. Windows did a very good job at nearly entirely eliminating “DLL Hell” quite some time ago. Meanwhile, I watch *Nix systems consistently require a dog and pony show to get running. If you don’t beleive me, try to install Java on a non-Linux, non-Solaris *Nix, such as BSD. It took me quite some time to track down all of the dependencies, and th standard BSD ports/packages did *not* work.

        “And if you cause a problem because of a poorly hacked makefile – that wouldn’t be the fault of rpm, yum, etc. That is the problem of either poor administration of poor application development.”

        I can agree with that 100%. This is a case where on the one hand, you simply do not have this issue in Windows. On the other hand, you do not get to do a custom compile on Windows either. Definitely a case of “your milage will vary.” For people who do not give a fig about custom compiles, makefiles (and their attendant hazards and difficulties) are hassle with no payoff. For those who want the custom compile, the Windows mindset is horrible. It all depends on where you sit on that fence.

        J.Ja

      • #3201872

        Hey Buddy, Linux has a Great Install Tools!

        by badiane_ka ·

        In reply to Hey Buddy, Linux has a Great Install Tools!

        I always had difficulties with RPM since my early days with RH.  The first time I tried Debian eons ago I automatically disliked dselect (because I didn’t read about it before using it; but it still was a convoluted tool), so I stayed away from Deb ian.  Debian has been my favorite Linux distro for the past 5 to 6 years simply because of package management.  It’s very flexible.  Like all applications in order to be used properly one must learn about it.  Unlike windows great parts of Unix/Linux operating systems are based on modular building blocks instead of monolithism that is employed by windows.  One cannot approach Linux with the concepts of Windows and substitute the latter for “computing”.  The reason you have many tools that help the basic system is in part the same reason that other people have different takes on solving a problem and I’m thankful for that; I would have to be stuck with one tool that is badly written from the standpoint ot logic, objectivity and rationality; this is not to imply that Linux/Unix are these things by default but for example when administering on Windows and having a few windows open and the information needed is in two windows below I often have to close the topmost windows, look up the info and then paste it where I need it.  In Linux if a tool ever did that there would probably be another that would interface with the basic infrastructure to allow me the user to do what I want.  Synaptic I believe is origianlly a Debian tool, Yum was implemented as an afterthought on RPM distros because of the absurdities of RPM.  Debian was built with package management in mind.  I have installed servers, put them away and then back in service after 2 years and just did and dselect update, cleaned the working repositories from the errors from the first run, then proceeded to upgrade the system with apt-get -f dist-upgrade (a apt-get -f upgrade should be done first but hey give me the bad new first); of course it’s not without it’s problems especially if there have been major distro changes but besides that it’s very nice.  Once thing that helps a lot is understanding the package management infrastructure.  Debian now offers about 18K+ packages (I’ve been using unstable for a very long time so I learned how to get around my problems).  I now run most of my servers on XEN and I have multiple Debians on one machine running mail, web, file-server, fw on a single machine.  By the way, to the windows fan, can you explain why when I’m removings some applications they asked me if I want to remove files on the system that other apps are or might be using?  That always scares me.  My question is, did you place these files on the system?  If so, are they shared filed and have you a manner of recording their use?  I don’t want to have to make that kind af a call.  In Debian it will tell me if it’s being used by another software and if I want to force it I can but it’s at my own risk.  I can then run deborphan and clean up my system of “dead” files.  I have used NetBSD 3.0 and I like it as an OS, and it’s nice to have an affinity for Unix/Linux in order to appreciate any variants of the OS group, but it’s package managment, as my experience relates to Debian, was not up to par.  I couldn’t easily look up what was available in in the repository and do some stuff that I easily do in Debian.  Again I have approached that experience with a Debian mentality but none the less I couldn’t easily find a way to do it.  If what I have encountered is all there is in NetBSD then it lacks when compared to Debian.  But the reason I decided to use it is worth it; I’m running a NetBSD server on a Thinkpad 560 with 72MB of ram and 1GB drive; next it’s going to go on my PM6500 and PM9500; (I have Debian running on a WallstreetPB with 512MB).  I have web, database and other services running very well.  I started playing with computers in the days of the Atari 400 not when Windows came around.  So I had experience with computing for its sake and not for the sake of an economic machine and my expectations are still the same.  That’s why I looked for an alternative.  I couldn’t understand why I should deal with a crappy os that crashed so often and did so many illogical things when it was making so much money.  It could have fixed them a long time ago.  They didn’t care.  Windows is getting better and it’s because of competition.  I’m always willing to make an effort to learn what is new and don’t expect that what is new should look like what I have known before; that’s absurd.  To the author, put Ubuntu on your Ibook and you will have a much better package management then YDL or if you want to squeeze every bit of juice from your CPU use Gentoo and I hear that their portage package management is great and it also has support tools.  I have a G4 Sawtooth that will probably be running Gentoo with a 1.8GHz CPU upgrade.  It’s a different way of working.  I love the command line and don’t have a problem with it.  Vista will soon incorporate the concept of superuser in the manner of Linux/Unix.  They will be including things that “we” have taken for granted a long time ago.  People’s needs are different, and the way to determine what is “correct” is based on the context of the work and the skills of the one using the system.  Some need more help than others and I’m glad that the baseline for my tools is not the more needy.  Give me as many tools as I can have. As a human being I will find the one I need and someone else will enjoy theirs.  

    • #3166836

      So Novell Is “Passionate” About Linux?

      by jack wallen ·

      In reply to Get Jack’d

      Warning: If you’re a Novell Zealot, you might not want to read what I have to say…

      I read a story from Infoworld about how Novell is spouting off about their passion for Linux. It was November 2003 when the company known for Netware took over the popular German Linux distro with the chippy lil’ chameleon for a mascot. Everyone was SURE that Linux would be busting at the seams of popularity. Everyone KNEW that Linux was about to go mainstream.

      Soon after the purchase of SuSE, Novell took over Ximian (Miguel di Icaza’s brainchild and company behind the Linux mail/calendar/todo/contact/kitchensink application Evolution.) Again everyone thought Novell had all the makings of a sure thing.

      Soon thereafter Novell pretty much squealched Evolution. The development process crawled to a near stop. Not only that but they pigeonholed the developers such that the releases were no longer readily available to every distribution (I’ve had a 2-year old out-of-date release of Evolution on my desktop that I stopped using because the update process became so too much for this Linux veteran.)

      And did Novell deliver on their promise to integrate Linux with their Netware servers? Hardly. Most of the Linux community had thought Novell was about to deliver the Active Directory killer LDAP wanted to be. Nope. Lost out on that one too.

      And now, three years after the fact, Novell is claiming they have Passion For Linux? Come now. Novell has nearly killed the SuSE operating system by making it just another Red Hat corporate take-over distribution. Heck they even created OpenSuSE to compete with Fedora Core. Couldn’t they see where Fedora Core was going?

      Now you all know I’m a Linux zealot. I love the OS and will always use it. But for a company to claim what Novell has continued to claim irks me simply because it seems nothing more than shallow promises or dangled carrots. And I really think the Linux community gave up on Novell’s promises long ago.

      I wish someone from Novell would read this blog and explain to me, and everyone reading, just what they planned to do. Why have they dragged their feet on this only to lose more ground than they’ll probably be able to make up.

      And in the meantime – Ubuntu continues to grow stronger and stronger.

      UPDATE: It does seem that 22,000 Indiana students will now be switching over to the Linux desktop. No one specific distribution has been chosen to lead the program (each school is allowed to choose which distro it wants to put roll out)  SLED 10 is of course one of the distributions being implemented. Maybe there is hope for SuSE and Novell’s attempts at Linux after all.

      • #3166789

        So Novell Is

        by justin james ·

        In reply to So Novell Is “Passionate” About Linux?

        What did you expect? Novel has Midas’ Brown Touch… everything they touch turns to dog poop. Look at Netware. They went from a commanding lead (80%? 90%? of the non-mainframe market) to… having to buy Linux just to have a product that someone wants. They had the best directory out there, and managed to let Active Directory beat them in that market too, well before Active Directory was even usable. Anyone who likes a product might as well stop using it the moment Novell buys the company. Like Borland and Sun, Novell is filled with some pretty brilliant technical people, yet no one there should be running a business bigger than a coffee shop.

        J.Ja

      • #3166552

        So Novell Is

        by jack wallen ·

        In reply to So Novell Is “Passionate” About Linux?

        I did fail to mention that long ago I used to chat with di Icaza (back when I was editor for TechRebpublic’s Linux content) on a regular basis. It really suprised me that he was willing to let Ximian fall into the hands of Novell knowing that Evolution could easily fall prey to the Anti-midas touch you spoke of.

        At first I was really disappointed because I was a die-hard Evolution user. But then after the upgrades became a pain in the tucas I dropped Evolution and migrated over to KMail (and then quickly dropped KMail for Thunderbird.) So even though everything worked out in the end (for me) it was a sad day for the Linux community when Ximian went to  Novell. Remember the Mono project? Here much about that lately? 😉

      • #3229662

        So Novell Is

        by justin james ·

        In reply to So Novell Is “Passionate” About Linux?

        Yerah, it is always sad to see a good project die a slow, painful death.

        And regarding Mono… I wrote about just that last week! If anyone every wants to see .Net properly supported on *Nix, Microsoft or someone else will have to do it, not Novell. I am sure now that Mono is a hoax. It works just well enough so that no one else wants to bother trying to do the same thing, but not well enough to actually be useful or usable. I am becoming more convinced that this is on purpose, Novell knows that if someone got their act together and made a quality .Net for *Nix, the ball game would be over for Java, because at that point, most languages would just target the .Net CLR and say goodbye to cross platform problems for good.

        J.Ja

      • #3230874

        So Novell Is

        by too old for it ·

        In reply to So Novell Is “Passionate” About Linux?

        That Novell survived the dot-com bust could be its major accomplishment.  Didn’t they have their hands on WordPerfect just long enough to lose 99% of the market?

      • #3230812

        So Novell Is

        by yves.roy ·

        In reply to So Novell Is “Passionate” About Linux?

        You folks are probably to young to have been at work in the days when Ray Noorda was Novell’s CEO. I’m not, and I can very well remember the early 90s when the marketing people at Novell were explaining to the customers and the NUI members (NetWare Users International, a late user group) that the future of Netware was named either Unix (a brand they bought from ATT) or Unixware (as they finally sold it to SCO). A previous comment in this blog evoked WordPerfect, another great moment in Novell’s “strategy”, very similar to what is going on now. I’m still a Novell customer (rather doubtfull and mainly stuck to Netware) but I can’t prevent from thinking that Al Gore should have been more careful before choosing Eric Schmidt, another former Novell’s CEO, as a director for his presidential campaign (although ES ‘s present job at Google seems much more valuable) 😉 .

      • #3283744

        So Novell Is

        by justin james ·

        In reply to So Novell Is “Passionate” About Linux?

        Yves.Roy –

        Yes, I am old enough for that. I remember those days well. Granted, I was 11 or 12, but I read a LOT of IT magazines regularly, even then. 😉

        I am still convinced that the Novell/WordPerfect deal was some ploy to funnel some tax free dollars around Utah…

        J.Ja

      • #3283650

        So Novell Is

        by grouper1 ·

        In reply to So Novell Is “Passionate” About Linux?

        I feel the same way about SUSE.  I switched to SUSE around 6.0 based on a recommendation.  I was a Slackware user for years before that and I found SUSE to be so much easier to get it up and running.  I skipped out on Linux for a few years and returned to SUSE 10.0 which I loved.  Then, I upgraded to 10.1 and its been nothing but hell all because of the funky new package management.  10.0 works so much better than 10.1, even with the package management fix.  With that said I dunno where else to turn for a solid desktop OS.  I tried FC5, didnt like it.  I tried installing Ubuntu 6.06 and 6.06.1 and the installer keeps bombing out on my machine so for now i’m sticking with SUSE 10.1.  There’s no way i’m paying for SLED though but I definitely do see SUSE heading in the same direction Redhat went and I dont really buy Novell’s intentions.

        Of course this is all for the desktop, i’d always go with Debian on a server.

      • #3209148

        So Novell Is

        by jack wallen ·

        In reply to So Novell Is “Passionate” About Linux?

        How is the Ubuntu installer bombing out on you? Is your desktop connected to the network when you install?

      • #3209083

        So Novell Is

        by grouper1 ·

        In reply to So Novell Is “Passionate” About Linux?

        It bombs around 32% everytime.  The only thing I havent tried is the non graphical/compatibility install or whatever it is.  I gave up because I do prefer SUSE anyway.  I’m running Debian Sarge on that box now and SUSE 10.1 on my main desktop.

      • #3282503

        So Novell Is

        by calithor ·

        In reply to So Novell Is “Passionate” About Linux?

        NetWare…not Netware

      • #3282495

        I like SLED

        by shannonsnowden ·

        In reply to So Novell Is “Passionate” About Linux?

        SLED is my OS of choice on my notebook. It runs and looks great. I use Evolution as my primary email client connected to several POP accounts and one Exchange server with no problems. The primary photo viewer, f-spot, is a mono project, so it’s not dead.

        Given I work around techies, but when they see my SLED running, there are a surprising number of converts. Novell said they had over 200K downloads in the first 20 days of the SLES/D 10 release, so they do have some interest in their products.

        Novell did drag their feet and fired Messman a little late, but now I hear they are putting all of their marketing dollars in Q4 toward the “Your Linux is Ready” campaign so they are finally trying to expand the interest out of the tech-level and into the C level where it can do some good.

    • #3229585

      My morning coffee

      by jack wallen ·

      In reply to Get Jack’d

      I know, I know…I promised to chat about the various Linux install tools. Don’t worry, I’ll get to that. But I wanted to post a short entry about a Firefox extension that has become one of my “must use” daily tools. The extension is called Morning Coffee and this extension rocks.

      I don’t drink coffee – but I do drink Diet Pepsi every morning (so I get the whole “must have caffeine” thing) but when it comes to my morning ritual, MC is now deeply embedded. So what is this lil’ miracle? Well my darlings it’s one heck of a time saver (and I know you’re all about time savers). What MC does is, when you click the lil’ coffee icon in the tool bar it opens all of the sites you’ve set up in different tabs. So now, instead of having to go to each bookmark individually, I can just click a button and HOLY COW every site I view in the morning is there waiting for my beady lil’ eyes.

      Installation of MC is as simple as any extension. Go to the Morning Coffee extension page, click “Install Now” and then, from the extensions window, click “Install”. Of course you’ll have to “Windows” Firefox and restart the browser to finish up the installation.

      Once the install is complete you’ll see a new icon in the toolbar that looks like an adorable coffee cup. Isn’t it cute? Now here’s where the fun begins. Open up a tab and go to one of the sites you view every morning. Once the site is up click on the Coffee icon drop-down menu. From the drop-down list you can click Add To My Morning Coffee and then choose what day of the week you want to have the page open. I tend to visit the same sites every day of the week so I just add them to Everyday.

      To add a new site, simply open the site in the tab and repeat the process. Very simple, very easy. Mmmmmm coffee.

      No this extension isn’t going to keep your company’s network up and running but it will certainly save you a little time as you down your Pop Tarts and Diet Pepsi in the morning. Click the coffee, speed-read, and go!

      Mmmm good to the last slashdot!    

      • #3229983

        My morning coffee

        by beth blakely ·

        In reply to My morning coffee

        That definitely sounds like something I can use. Thanks.

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