Re: Back to the Dark Ages.

Subject: Re: Back to the Dark Ages.
From: Kevin McLauchlan <kmclauchlan -at- chrysalis-its -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 19 Jun 2002 14:55:53 -0400

On Wednesday 19 June 2002 09:00, Bruce Byfield wrote:

> I'm fairly sure that all the major distributions make ISO
> images available. [...] although SuSE was a
> little slow in posting the image for its latest version,
> possibly so that it wouldn't interfer with sales of the
> box version.

Or... they didn't consider it a priority until after the
release, and then it took some poor slob a while
to trim it all down to manageable/downloadable size.

> >or like SuSE -- which includes nearly
> >2500 apps in addition to the kernel and core files --

> True, but since many of those apps are duplicates of each
> other,

Just saying it like that sounds kinda bad.
What you really mean is that you get a choice of
several apps for each purpose, like three or four
word processors (of varying complexity and size),
ditto for the other office applications, 6 MP3 players,
several CD players, each with somebody's idea of
the best mix of features, umpteen editors, from the
grandest down to the tiniest, several browsers,
several bitmap/paint programs, several vector graphics
drawing programs, umpteen versions of simple games,
a few versions of more complex games, endless
varieties of network tools, a couple or three CD burners,
a variety of e-mail programs, servers for darn near
anything you want to serve, an array of database
engines and associated tools.... etc.

There's a full gamut of toys and tools that work best
under the K Desktop Environment, and then a whack
of equivalent toys and tools that work best under GNOME...
and then a bunch of X-Windows compatible tools that'll
work with either, or with plain old X. Did I mention a
plethora of window managers and file managers and
desktop themes, to satisfy the lust of customizers and

> or for specialized use, I don't suppose many
> people would install all of them.

Well, I guess I'm not "many people"... :-)
I'll never use most of it, but it's there when I want
to tinker and explore, or when somebody explains
how something works better for my purposes, or is
the version that a guru has used, so I'd better switch
if I'm going to get his help...

For no other reason that "because I can", I installed
SuSE 8.0 with GNOME, used it for a while, and then
switched to KDE3. I may switch again when GNOME2
comes out.

KDE is solid, comfortable, and friendly, but GNOME does
have a nicer selection of screensavers, and that's
important... <g>

> In fact, SuSE has
> recently announced that it was going to pare down the
> apps in its distribution, apparently so that users
> wouldn't feel overwhelmed by so much choice.

Or so that they can offer yet another version for sale.
They've got Personal and Pro workstation versions,
and one or two Server versions, so far. Though, you
can pick the set that suits you and then use it as a
basis to roll your own customizations, without needing
to re-invent most of the wheels.

> Having been in the Linux retail box business twice, I can
> tell you that one of the problems is that, by the time
> the box is in the store, newer versions are available.

Well, the extent of my adventurousness is to install
an "N.0" version. To play it safe, I should have
waited for 8.1...

But, SuSE has a push-button Online Updater facility
that goes looking for updates and new versions of
whatever you have chosen to install on your system.
It then labels them as security updates or a
couple of other categories, and classifies them as
"urgent", "recommended" or just available.
Or, if you don't care to get that involved, you can
tell it to do the updates automatically.

I should mention that the online updater is looking
at the SuSE site, where all the proferred updates
have been tested and validated for use with the
SuSE distribution. It doesn't offer you untested
trash from the web at large.

> Another development: Walmart is now selling computers
> with Lindows pre-installed.

Ooooo. They must be as reliable as appliances, if Walmart
is selling them.

Anyway, I'm about six months late implementing my switchover
to Linux for production tech writing, but I seem to have
"good enough" tools available now. No doubt they were
"good enough" before... it's probably just my comfort level
that's been reached. :-)


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Re: Back to the Dark Ages.: From: Kevin McLauchlan
Re: Back to the Dark Ages.: From: Kevin McLauchlan
Re: Back to the Dark Ages.: From: Bruce Byfield

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