[Novalug] Why? And More4 to the Point, What Do I Do Next?
James Ewing Cottrell 3rd
JECottrell3 at Comcast.NET
Sun Apr 13 01:30:20 EDT 2008
I sympathize with you to a certain degree. Linux seems to be WAY more
complex than any other UNIX distribution, simply because tere is so much
stuff available for it. However, a few points:
 If you have been programming since the PDP-8 days, I am surprised
that you have never seen crashes. Anything before BSD used to crash
regularly, and fixing via fsck and clri used to be an essential survival
 Don't partition. Make everything be /. Actually, I do have a
separate /home partition that I mount in my multi-boot system, but
that's the only exception. What I do is chop my disk up into 8G, 16G, or
24G partitions and install a different Linux into each one.
 I will agree that various Linuxi have default fonts that suck. M$
has User Interface experts that look all this stuff over. What's under
the hood sucks, but they make sure the user gets Rich Corinthian
Leather. Actually, perhaps you should blame the X people.
 Firefox, despite all the hype, is a Bag-O-Bugs. Use SeaMonkey or
something else instead if you can.
 Debian is an acquired taste, but Ubunti, which is based on it, seems
to have made things relatively easy, and it seems to work with most new
 Fedora is a pretty standard system, and despite its 'bleeding edge'
rep, is actually pretty stable. CentOS is the unbranded Red Hat
Enterprise Linux. OpenSuse is nice too.
 Go to DistroWatch.COM and check out all the distributions. Some are
based on ease of use and are modeled after the Windows Desktop experience.
William Bean wrote:
> I have been using computers since the PDP8 (yes, I'm that old) and have done a bit of very small scale programming in FOCAL, BASIC, FORTRAN, and dBase. I am familiar with MS-DOS, W95, W98, W2000, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and Solaris. I currently run Open BSD 4.2 on our household server and Windows 2000 on our desktops.
> I have tried to use Linux. I have successfully installed every major distribution on some machine or another, and I successfully compiled my own installation from source to dual boot (with Windows 95) a Toshiba T1900 (486) with a 120MB HD and 20MB RAM. Yet, despite great eagerness to do so, I have yet to find a USEFUL 'kitchen-sink' Linux desktop (i.e comparable to Windows 2000).
> CURRENT PROBLEM
> Yesterday evening, I successfully installed Fedora (whatever its current iteration is) and was greatly surprised to find that it correctly recognized all hardware and installed appropriate drivers - the first Linux distribution ever to do so. I thought Linux might finally be ready for prime time. Then today, I tried to use it.
> 1. Firefox has unusably small fonts and colors so pale that most pages are unreadable. Does anyone actually look at this stuff before release?
> 2. Google Earth needs a font that is not installed. AND THIS IS THE IMPORTANT POINT, the instructions for fixing the problem don't work. WHY NUMBER ONE: Why is it that, with Linux, instructions are never *never* NEVER accurate? (One of the Linux gurus wrote honestly about this problem some years ago describing his futile attempts to get printing to work, BUT NOTHING HAS CHANGED.)
> 3. While working on other problems, I thought I would do something simple and update the system software. BAD IDEA. Who would think that updating NEWLY INSTALLED software would be so resource intensive that 2GB RAM, 2GB swap, 1GB /tmp, and 1GB /var would be inadequate? But it is. The process got nowhere because it filled up /var and stopped. WHY NUMBER TWO: Why is it that, with Linux, the simple things for other OSs are never simple?
> 4. OH, along the way Linux crashed. I literally cannot recall the last time any other OS crashed. WHY NUMBER THREE: Why, after all these years, is Linux still so unbelievably buggy?
> While it may appear to some that this message is intended only as 'flame-bait', actually reading the message should make clear that starting a 'flame-fest' is not the object. I desperately want to use Linux, but I do not want to spend all my time trying to work around buggy software using false 'instructions'.
> What am I missing? How can I get a modern system (forget Debian) that consistently installs whatever I want and runs whatever I install? I get this with Windows and I get this with OpenBSD. WHY NUMBER FOUR: Why can't I get this with Linux?
> Bill Bean
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