Linux Crap

I bought a copy of Red Hat 9 today. I've got the hang of installing new linux distros. Just don't format over the /home and /usr/local partitions and remember where you wrote down the phone number for your ppp connection. And don't forget that the modem is /dev/ttyS4, not /dev/ttyS0; that mistake cost me an hour.

My review: Not much different than 8.0. It feels more like a point release. Does not come with Windowmaker, so I'm not sure how well that will work on a older machine. I'm back to using Bluecurv-themed Gnome. It works okay.

Problems with Gnome 2:

  1. No shortcut key to logout. (I submitted a bug report on that.)
  2. needs to run 'xrdb $HOME/.Xdefaults' on login. (Fixable)
  3. Not as fast loading as Windowmaker (but faster than Gnome 1.x).
  4. No native gtk music player. Xmms simply isn't good enough; it looks like crap.
  5. Fonts in Open Office need fixing. I hear that Ximian is working on this.

To make a usable system, I have to install the following software in /usr/local:

  1. Phoenix with nice fonts - browser.
  2. Flash plugin for Phoenix.
  3. mpg123 - tui mp3 player.
  4. mplayer and w32 codecs - video player.
  5. scripts for '/sbin/ifup ppp$N' and '/sbin/ifdown ppp$N'.
  6. BladeEnc - mp3 encoder. (Yes, I know about Ogg Vorbis; but until both of my mp3 players support it, it doesn't work. I keep waiting for Apple to release a software update for the iPod for Ogg.)

Overall, I'm suprised at how few things need to be in /usr/local. I went through and cleaned up that partition for the first time in years.

To do:

  1. Try to get my iPod to play nice with linux. With previous kernel versions, using the firewire card caused kernel errors. Ick.
  2. Get dvd playback to work nicely. The easy solution is to go buy a video card with mpeg-2 decoding on it. Why does software decoding work so much nicer under Windows than Linux?

It snowed this morning! In April! Crazyness!