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Re: [tlug] epcEditor

> Yes, and in my experience most of the Linux installers have automation
> features that often fail, which could be called sloppy (unless you prefer
> to call it "evil"). I keep telling people how great the Debian installer
> is because it gives you *choices*, and explains in plain English what
> those choices mean. It's an uphill struggle, though -- too many people
> just say "ewww, text mode!"

Yes, the debian installer is great. It also alows you to go back and
change things, or skip steps. I was also impresed by the fact that I
could do an ftp install with ppp. 

> Before I started using Debian, I spent 3 years with RedThing, and had 
> tried out TurboLinux, Caldera, and SuSE -- all of which have graphical
> installers -- and I don't think I ever had a flawless install with any
> of them, though SuSE came close. RedHat in particular tries too hard

I have never been able to get SuSE's graphical installer to work. My
first experience with RH was after using slackware for some time. I
don't remember which version of slackware that was. It was in 1996 that I
bought the Slackware disk in a book. I wanted to learn more about Unix, so
a sysadmin recommend buying Solaris for x86. Then my friend said you
should use Linux, and I said what's that? There was no hardware
autodetect. I had to compile a driver for my network card, and it took
hours to get X to run. I had weird 3d hardware, so I had to download a
different X server I think, and use the text based configuration
utility. That really wasn't pretty, but suddenly, WOW! I had UNIX(!) on
my PC, with free compiling tools, and root(!). It was incredible, I
couldn't believe it. I never thought it would compete with windows or
anything. That is why I think it is great that people are talking about
"bullet proof install" and stuff like that. Linux is so much farther
along than it used to be, that people expect this type of
functionality. I was just happy it worked, after reading docs, saying
getting X up is the hardest part, try not to blow up your monitor while
you are at it. (Has anyone ever done that? In Neil Stephen's
_Cryptonomicon_ he features a scandinavian hacker who does this and is
crippled as a result from the screen blowing up in his face. I stand
behind my monitor everything I configure X now (no just kidding :) ) Oh
yes, there was no plug in play either so getting sound to work was a lot
of trial and error. 

So one day I am installing RH, no idea why, maybe I wanted to check it
out. The thing was I had a dual boot, because I still thought I needed
windows, and a small hard drive for the day (500MG). As a result I used
a "swap file" instead of a swap partition, becuase I was concerned I
might need more space, and wanted to adjust the size of the swap as
needed. This was described in the book I bought. So here I go with RH,
and I can't have a swap file, it has to be a partition. I am stuck and
cannot move forward. I thought, this is just like windows again, do it
their way, not my way. Then there was the Disk Druid, which seemed to
mess up my hard drive so fdisk could no longer understand it. 

XConfigurator has not worked everytime in my experience. Nor has SuSE's
configuration tool. I usually end up using XF86Setup. Right now Debian
is using some option that I am not familiar with. XF86Setup is gone, I'm
not sure if I'm even using Xfree anymore... After upgrading to woody I
selected something strange. Good thing XF8Config is still there!

> And yet there are many people who can't remember commands. I don't know
> why they can't, just as I don't understand why many otherwise intelligent
> people find it terribly hard to learn a new (human) language. But it is
> a fact that they can't, and any discussion of how to create good user
> interfaces needs to take that into account.

Hmm, perhaps this raises a difference between server needs and desktop
needs. It really depends on what you need to do. I don't think it is
possible to easily automate certain tasks without a shell language of
some kind. If we are talking about replacing windows as an OS
primarily for running user apps, then clearly a GUI will work, it works
for mac. If I need to launch an app, an icon is great. If I
want to recursively delete certain file types, a command line is great. 
We cannot leave out "man --apropos" either :). Perhaps a more advanced
command browser would be of interests...

I never thought Linux would compete with windows. First it was just
server side Unix with Sun and HP primarily. Sadly now I think it is
important for this open source OS to compete with Microsoft. I think
monopolies produce bad products, and MS has been really good at
preserving their monopoly, and taking out Sun. Sun and Mac still play by
the own the OS, own the hardware mantra. Somehow apple doesn't see why MS
has succeeded and they are just a niche market. Maybe Linux is the only


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