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  linux install...the saga continues  (Read 4512 times)
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Offline jbanes

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« Reply #30 - Posted 2004-07-25 15:59:43 »

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That would be OK, except it looks like it could easily be just as bad as RH's linuxconf: only partially effective, and frequently having to delegate to "manually edit the conf file".


That's kind of a rude comparison, blah. Sysinstall simply manages the installation of your system. Nothing more, nothing less. There are no files to edit manually, no fragile scripts to break. In fact, there really isn't any area of the system that's hacked up with large chains of scripts like RedHat or a similar distro. About the only system scripts are the rc.conf scripts. These scripts are actually easier to manage than the System V design of Linux.

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That is a fair question. However, most CLI's have the same number of problems IME - mainly consisting of unhandled errors and implicit unhandled assumptions/assertions in the (usually script-driven) CLI.


Not everything is about something being script driven. For example, I could run a fetch or wget on a set of packages I need downloaded from an FTP server, then run a 'pkg_add *.tgz'. That's going to be way faster than pointing and clicking each file.

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Usability is not only about time taken to click/type/press. Even if it were, then GUI's would *STILL* be best, since it's been proven that it's generally faster to initiate actions with a mouse than with keyboard given appropriately(sensible)-sized GUI buttons (if you had a resizable keyboard that could add/remove physical keys at speed-of-electricity then they'd be as good as each other).


That's not my observations from watching data entry departments. It takes the key punchers far, far less time to type everything in a CLI and hit 'transmit' than it does to enter it into a Webpage or GUI and click submit. The problem is that GUIs are designed for a combination of keyboard and mouse and can often slow down someone who's efficiency depends on keeping their hands on the keyboard at all times.

In any case, this is academic. The FreeBSD interface works. I and many others have used it and can attest to that. Arguing something you haven't tried just results in a lot of speculation being thrown around. Trust me. FreeBSD is not Linux. If you want a stable OS that Just Works(TM), FreeBSD is the way to go. Smiley


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Your argument sounds vaguely reminiscent of when C++ programmers talking about java say that complex pointer-arithmetic is an inherently faster programming paradigm - both in "time taken to code" and in "time taken to execute".


Actually, this is more like Java vs. C/C++. Java can do just about everything, but there do exist places where it is better (or sometimes the only option) to write code in C/C++. An example of this is JOGL. Someone had to write C code to interface Java with the underlying hardware. Even if OpenGL was written in Java in the first place, it would still need C or C++ code to send the commands to the hardware. Java doesn't have that ability, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Smiley


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Given the rest of this thread, that has to be a rhetorical question Smiley. I know the (lack of) quality of nvidia-authored drivers - so good that linux support lists (used to) get very evangelical about "don't use the nvidia driver, use the open source one instead - it's so much better!".


Ack! You've definitely been spending too much time in the Linux camp. The NV driver is 2D only, and must use MESA software rendering to accomplish OpenGL. If anyone tells you to use the NV driver, tell them to take a long walk off a short pier. They're probably gullible enough to do it! Grin


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Thanks for the pointer. Probably weill skip it though since I've had great success with tiny distros before, come to rely on them, and then they disappeared Sad.


Knoppix is not small. It's currently considered a major distro. However, if it worries you, Mandrake puts out a Knoppix-like CD called MandrakeMove. There's also Morphix which is software that allows you to do a very easy "roll your own Knoppix".

The one other advantage to a CD based distro is that all your info stays safe on a CD key or shared file system. The OS cannot become trashed, and it won't trash your files in the process of trashing itself (i.e. Your data is on a separate and safe file system). Upgrades are as easy as burning/rewriting a new CD, and you can always move to a more permanent OS at any point in time.

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Yeah. But...you have to get really really mad at your OS before you can gather sufficient courage to do it Smiley. And the realization that you're going to miss a deadline anyway because OO + X + mandrake deleted/corrupted/lost your hard work is a great motivator to starting. Smiley


Actually, it sounds like a great time to pop in a Knoppix or Java Desktop System Demo CD and finish your work. THEN you can play with new distros. Wink

In any case, I'm glad to hear your system is working. I hope you haven't lost too much time.

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I'm not actually looking for this data, but keep running into it by accident. E.g. I just noticed that I wouldn't have a mouse if I installed FreeBSD - my graphics tablet (the most common, most popular, best supported Wacom Intuos series) driver won't work because, according to the authors, there is some problem with getting FreeBSD to run linux-compiled stuff that uses USB within XFree86. Shrug. This is why I mentioned some time ago that whenever I see OS-level emulation I get worried; I've been down this path before and know the game .


Actually, it looks like USB tablets don't work period (or don't work correctly, there seem to be conflicting reports). That has nothing to do with the "emulation" (which isn't emulation) and everything to do with FreeBSD's hardware support. It does appear to support the Serial models. You MAY be able to get the USB model to work by downloading a binary XFree86 driver from http://linuxwacom.sourceforge.net/. XFree86 used OS independent binary modules, so the "Linux Wacom" name is a bit misleading.

I'm afraid I don't have a tablet, so I can't tell you if it works or not. All I can say is that FreeBSD, USB, and XFree86 get along fine otherwise. I use a Microsoft USB Optical mouse, and Linux is the only OS that doesn't support it correctly. Smiley

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Offline blahblahblahh

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« Reply #31 - Posted 2004-07-25 16:59:27 »

Quote


That's kind of a rude comparison, blah. Sysinstall simply manages the installation of your system. Nothing more, nothing less. There are no files to edit manually


I was going by the excerpt quote on the page you linked to - it showed a situation where you were being asked to manually edit some config files?

Quote

Not everything is about something being script driven. For example, I could run a fetch or wget on a set of packages I need downloaded from an FTP server, then run a 'pkg_add *.tgz'. That's going to be way faster than pointing and clicking each file.


Why assume you'd need to point and click each file? That's just cheating, by saying you'd compare a bad GUI against your CLI Smiley.

Quote

That's not my observations from watching data entry departments.


Sure. I'm not interested in data-entry though, I'm interested in normal usage. Data-entry is all well and good, but again is a very narrow subset of actual usage.

Quote

Actually, it sounds like a great time to pop in a Knoppix or Java Desktop System Demo CD and finish your work. THEN you can play with new distros. Wink


I see what you mean; If I had confidence it would be 5-minutes to get working, rather than 5 hours of discovering and correcting lots of quirks and use of inappropriate drivers etc, then yes. But experience suggests that it won't be 5 minutes, and if I'm going to invest that time right now (when I need to be minimizing time expenditure) it's better to invest it in something I'll definitely be keeping.

Quote

Actually, it looks like USB tablets don't work period (or don't work correctly, there seem to be conflicting reports). That has nothing to do with the "emulation" (which isn't emulation) and everything to do with FreeBSD's hardware support....You MAY be able to get the USB model to work by downloading a binary XFree86 driver from http://linuxwacom.sourceforge.net/.


The linuxwacom group you quote say that FreeBSD is impossible because of the alleged USB - X86 - FreeBSD problem I cited.

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
Offline jbanes

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Projects: 1


"Java Games? Incredible! Mr. Incredible, that is!"


« Reply #32 - Posted 2004-07-25 18:18:49 »

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I was going by the excerpt quote on the page you linked to - it showed a situation where you were being asked to manually edit some config files?


That's just part of the interface. After you set everything up, you can optionally view the configuration and manually tweak it if necessary. It's one of those "power user" features that some people find useful, but it's not a requirement in any way. Smiley

Quote
Why assume you'd need to point and click each file? That's just cheating, by saying you'd compare a bad GUI against your CLI Smiley.


Actually, I'm assuming that no "standard" interface exists for the task. With GUI apps, you're SOL without a specially designed GUI. With the command line I can accomplish the task by stringing together generic commands. The end result is that the command line can allow you to accomplish tasks faster and easier.

Quote
Sure. I'm not interested in data-entry though, I'm interested in normal usage. Data-entry is all well and good, but again is a very narrow subset of actual usage.


It's still a use. You pointed out that the CLI was dead and was useless in ALL cases. I merely pointed out that data entry is an example of an area where the CLI remains king. It's probably worth mentioning that data entry is by no means a "specialized" area either. Just about every major company needs key punchers for some form of data entry or another.

Quote
The linuxwacom group you quote say that FreeBSD is impossible because of the alleged USB - X86 - FreeBSD problem I cited.


I said it *could* work. The reports are a bit conflicting. Officially, only the Serial version is supported. :-/ As I said though, this has nothing to do with Linux programs.

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Offline William Denniss

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« Reply #33 - Posted 2004-07-26 00:31:51 »

blar*3, is the machine in question a Dell Laptop?

Linux support isn't as good on laptops as it is desktops due to less-standard hardware that's normally used.  You have a fighting chance on the big name brands at least.  Dell hardware I'm guessing is not as good as IBM etc, so it could be a bit harder - at least however you have a lot of other people with the same machine.  The problem with my old laptop was that I think only about 3 were ever sold so getting stuff like the internal modem working was very hard.

I have given up on Linux on laptops - too much effort, so I now have a PowerBook (zero effort - everything is supported and supported well!) Smiley

Linux on desktops is a piece of cake these days, I use Fedora and have not had any problems (beyond a faulty IBM HDD).  My linux desktop machine and Mac laptop communicate very nicely so I think I'll keep the current setup (mac for the laptop, linux for home).

Red Hat Enterprise Linux is a good option too - it's stable, and supported and a little more up to date than Debian.  White-box enterprise linux exists if you don't need the support and don't want to pay, but I havn't tried it out.

Will.

Offline Jens

Senior Member




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« Reply #34 - Posted 2004-07-26 07:18:53 »

Quote
I have given up on Linux on laptops - too much effort


This depends entirely on the laptop. Problems are more likely than on a PC (because of exotic hardware), but if you search the net for possible problems before you buy the laptop you probably won't have install troubles. That said a PowerBook isn't a bad choice either. Smiley

http://www.linux-laptop.net/
 

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Offline blahblahblahh

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« Reply #35 - Posted 2004-07-26 09:40:28 »

Quote
blar*3, is the machine in question a Dell Laptop?


Yes. But these days that's largely irrelevant for three reasons.

1. Laptops are now almost exclusively using ultra-common components; I guess partly because of the huge price competition (forces them to source as many common parts as possible).

2. It *seems* as though completely new types of hardware have been created more slowly than linux has been adding drivers for them. This is just a guess, based on the fact that it's now been a long time since I installed linux on a machine where all it's hardware - no matter how bizarre (and not even supported in windows!) - is considered "run of the mill" by linux (and which includes stuff that I know wasn't just a few years ago).

3. The broken nVidia linux drivers - cause of many of the Dell problems, e.g. the fact that they deliberately disabled ALL system power management for several years, to work around bugs nV couldn't be bothered to fix! - have finally been brought up to scratch, by the looks of things. At least, I've noticed power management suddenly *actually working* in linux (e.g. suspend when I clsoe the lid, restore afterwards. Suspend-to-disk when on low battery, etc), and all I changed was to upgrade the nVidia driver...

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Linux support isn't as good on laptops as it is desktops due to less-standard hardware that's normally used.


I agree theoretically, but c.f. above - it seems that linux now has practically all the non-standard stuff covered too Smiley.

Quote

Linux on desktops is a piece of cake these days, I use Fedora and have not had any problems (beyond a faulty IBM HDD).


c.f. the previous linux thread. Installed latest supposedly stable and working Fedora on a desktop server (Dual Pentium-3, but with only one CPU, approx 1 gb RAM, a very common SCSI card, etc) and it broke itself on install. Even with experience of every redhat back to 5.2 I still could NOT fix the major screwup performed by the Fedora install. I could run X, but almost nothing else. The package database was *broken* on install! Networking was broken because the install program had used the wrong damn syntax for it's own config files! This is not small problems Sad...

Quote

Red Hat Enterprise Linux is a good option too


Haven't tried it, but it makes sense. I'm more than a little suspicious that Fedora is deliberately (and subtly) crippleware as far as RH are concerned. Wouldn't be surprised to see a corporate memo leaked in a few years telling staff to mildly damage stuff whenever creating new patches Smiley.

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Offline Mark Thornton

Senior Member





« Reply #36 - Posted 2004-07-26 10:09:02 »

Quote

Even if OpenGL was written in Java in the first place, it would still need C or C++ code to send the commands to the hardware.

Not true, it could be done entirely in Java. Just as you can have an OS or a JVM written entirely in Java.
Ok, so the Jikes VM isn't quite entirely in Java, but that was a matter of convenience rather than necessity.

Offline cfmdobbie

Senior Member


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Who, me?


« Reply #37 - Posted 2004-07-26 11:18:53 »

Quote
Not true, it could be done entirely in Java. Just as you can have an OS or a JVM written entirely in Java.


"Could" being a nebulous concept that doesn't actually exist yet.  I quite agree that you could write an OS entirely in Java, and then you could implement OpenGL drivers in Java.  But until someone writes such a system, Java needs to push everything through an operating-system specific binary layer - usually written in C/C++ - to get at the hardware.

Hellomynameis Charlie Dobbie.
Offline William Denniss

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Fire at will


« Reply #38 - Posted 2004-07-26 11:46:07 »

Blar,

Personally I like the idea of the RHEL/Fedora combo - the former is a professional, stable, supported system (we use it at work, and I can vouch for the stability and the good support staff).  The latter is more community orientated and cutting edge, great for my home PC Smiley  They serve different goals, it's not like they get RHEL, remove stuff from it and tada: Fedora.  I was critical of their decision at first too, that is until I started using both operating systems and realised there is a place for both.

Jens & Blar,

I am aware it's quite possible to get Linux running on a laptop - I had a very hard time finding a laptop with a half decent graphics card from a brand which advertises Linux support (e.g. IBM).  Some had the "pro" OpenGL cards, but I wanted a gamer card (I'm writing games after all).

I actually ordered and paid for a Dell laptop before I decided that I was sick of stuffing around trying to get things working and cancelled the order (that is another story...).

I researched the Dell laptop I was getting, and a lot of people reported success with it - but there was always one gray area - something that didn't work.  Things like the trackpad not behaving, lack of power management, stays on when you close the lid, no internal modem.  

Getting stuff like Internal modems to work is just an uphill battle - yeah 56k modems are crap, and internal ones even more so.  But... It's annoying having hardware that you cannot use in the operating system of your choice!  There are times when that is all you have.

Why I picked a PowerBook is I decided I would be no less productive - and I wouldn't have to waste all the time struggling with hardware when setting it up, and it had an awesome graphics card (as I said, the better IBM's have the pro OpenGL cards which were not what I was after).

I'm not trying to argue here, I think Linux is truly great.  On my PC, I can have Fedora installed in under 30min, with full hardware support - far less time to install/patch/get-3rd-party-software&drivers with Windows.  However, I'm not going to waste hours setting up a laptop only to have partial hardware support when I can have a PowerBook up and running in with all my favourite linux and java tools in no time.  I look forward to the day more laptops are Linux certified.

Will.

Offline jbanes

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« Reply #39 - Posted 2004-07-26 14:26:22 »

Quote

Not true, it could be done entirely in Java. Just as you can have an OS or a JVM written entirely in Java.
Ok, so the Jikes VM isn't quite entirely in Java, but that was a matter of convenience rather than necessity.


As cfdobbie said, "could" is a bit nebulous. Yes, you can write an OS in Java. That's what the JNode people are doing. But they're also creating non-standard hardware interfaces (using JNI & assembly) along the way. In the standard version of Java, no such hardware interfaces exist, and Sun has no plans of adding them. Until such hardware interfaces are added, you cannot directly access hardware without native code.

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