Sep 292009
 

Those of you who know me–who am I kidding, the only people who read this site are my personal friends so OF COURSE you know, I have been trying to find the least sucky operating system for years… and I have YET to find one that meets my basic criteria of “non-sucky”.

Most (if not all) of you have asked, what is my criteria, and I have tried to define it from time to time. but frankly, there is not enough room on the interwebs to fully pull that answer from my ever-expanding butt. So in a nutshell here it is:

Every OS has three points that must be considered:

Point 1> The good.

Anything that the OS does or has that is good is placed in this category these items typically have a value I like to give them numerical values of 1 to 3.

  1. Linux Mint integrates the desktop effects menu into the same applet as the wallpaper, themes, and  such. This is a gee-wiz feature that LOOKS good but doesn’t really DO anything to make the OS run better. (+1pt)
  2. In Debian the Network Manager applet connects to wireless networks in 1/3 the time it takes in Fedora, Mint, and OpenSUSE. This is a functionality IMPROVEMENT.(+2pts)
  3. Debian and OpenSUSE have an additional applet that assists in package installation, for instance, in Debian, I can run “aptitude” instead of “apt-get”, aptitude will check the install package and its dependencies for conflicts and RESOLVE them, while apt-get does not do this. This is a functionality ADDITION.(+3pts)

Point 2> The Bad.

Any item or function found in an OS that functions badly, or in some cases, functionality that is plain MISSING is placed here. like the good, I like to place numerical values to each item like thus:

  1. “What the–where’d THAT go?!? A perfect example here is the same as the good, Linux Mint has the desktop effects in a place that makes sense… so much so that now every OS that DOESN’T have a similar setup gets a bad mark here. This is an example of MISSING features.(-1pt)
  2. In Fedora, OpenSuse, and Arch Linux, the network manager takes a full 15 to 20 seconds to find and connect to a wireless access point, this is an example of functionality degradation over Debian.(-2pts)
  3. In Arch Linux, it is possible to install and use Pulseaudio, but pulse in arch is so broken that it is basically unusable. Seeing as how Arch is one of the few Linux Distributions that has poor–no, I should say, NO implementation of Pulseaudio, this is an example functionality loss.(-3pts)

Poinf 3> The Unforgivable.

These points have skewed values compared to the last two points because these are the points that are so damaging that they make the distro almost (if not fully) unusable.

  1. I have mentioned this one already, but it is ALSO an unforgivable… In Arch Linux, it is possible to install and use Pulseaudio, but pulse in arch is so broken that it is basically unusable. Seeing as how Arch is one of the few Linus Distributions that has poor–no, I should say, NO implementation of Pulseaudio. Under normal circumstances one can sidestep Pulse and just use Alsa… unfortunately in linux applications use multiple sound systems, for instance; rythmbox (a music player) uses gstreamer, while vlc (a multimedia video player) uses Alsa, and the gnome sounds use esd (a sound daemon). with all these variations on sound systems it’s easy to loose one sound output over another… IE: you can be listening to music and open a video and NOT hear the video sound, nor hear the system sounds and such. Pulse addresses this by pulling all the linux sound systems under one roof. with the lack of pulse in arch, some audiophiles (such as myself) Will have a problem with this. This is UNFORGIVABLE excusion. (-10pts)
  2. If you happen to have an nVidia video card, in Debian you have the unfortunate need to make a choice of how you can use you card, you can use the open source driver built for the card, which will cost you 3d support rendering the card useless for any 3d application including CAD and 3d gaming. You can Use the nvidia installer to install the video driver, which will break your desktop forcing you to reload your OS the next time X is updated). OR you can install the nvidia driver “the debian way” which will require you to use multiple “unstable” repositories, generating the possible–nay, PROBABLE system failure due to conflicting packages as they migrate from “unstable” to “testing” generating the SAME result as installing the “nvidia way”. either way, you’re screwed. This is an unforgivable FUNCTIONALITY loss (-20pts)
  3. Some distributions have the dubious position of being backed by bigoted politics. while this is NOT a slight on the OS itself, it IS a slight on the maker and thus reflects on the OS. Linux Mint has the audacity to hijack the search engines of all web browsers installed on the OS to FORCE you to use a page muddled down with advertisements geared to line the developers pockets with advertising monies. While this in no way limits the functionality of the OS, nor does it cost me money, NOR do I have a problem with a good programmer making money on good programming. This is a tactic that coerces me to do something against my will. Normally I would be able to overlook it, IF I were given the option to use my own search engine, OR theirs. Heck! If they gave me the option, I’d be one of those people kind enough to actually USE their search engine because Mint is just so darn good otherwise! but the Mint developers take it to the unforgivable by FORCING their hijacked search engine on me. And they take it one step further by implementing their hijacked search engine in every update! I fix it, they update it, I’m back in “coercion mode”. This is an example of UNFORGIVABLE DEVELOPER POLITICS.(-30pts)

Now these are my basic criteria for deciding what OS doesn’t suck… Thus far, no OS has rated above Zero. The one that does will get the privileged of permanently residing on my Hard Drives.

Until then, NUKE ‘N PAVE BABY!!!

Please note, that in ALL my criteria, I have not made an example of Microsoft, Mac, nor BSD. this is because I don’t use either… If I did, I’m sure my criteria could be made to include them.

Apr 222009
 

Ok, I’ve been running gui free for a week now and I noticed something I never expected…

At first I caught myself repeatedly reaching for a mouse that wasn’t there, then I started to get used to the command line functions… and now I hardly have to look at my little cheat sheet.

Though lynx has a lack of functionality that I find annoying…

The thing is I noticed my constant use of command line has forced me to be less visual. Now I think about what I’m doing and my focus seems to be improving.

I find physical activity eaiser, I find I have more energy, and I find it’s easier to get up in the morning… I’m not sure WHY any of this would be caused by using command line… but it all started when I started using CLI exclusively…

meh.

 Posted by at 1:08 PM
Apr 202009
 

You can never beat the rush of configuring a wireless internet connection from a base install of Arch linux using nothing more than the install cd and your own knowledge of the Linux command consol!

Guess what operating system, I’m running NOW!!!

 Posted by at 11:56 AM
Apr 192009
 

I can’t wait until some idiot cop decides to storm my house looking for contraband!

Unfortunately for the legal system, I have enough foundation knowledge to know that if the day that comes I find myself computer-less, post assault and seizure, there will be many a lawman lacking in employment, and several companies will be set back a few years.

You see, I will openly admit the following: I break copyright law.

That’s right! I admit it!!! But you see the problem therein lies with HOW I break the law…

I OWN a copy of two seasons of Stargate SG1 (the TV series), the Stargate movie (the ORIGINAL movie), and several other DVDs I have procured over the years… now for the fun part, did you know it is ILLEGAL for me to simply watch these movies? It’s true! I am not allowed by copyright to play the movies I have paid good hard American cash to have the privilege to watch! does that seem right to you?

You see I don’t run windows, I am ANTI-windows. I refuse to pay a dime to that worthless excuse of a crap-company, Microsoft. Ironically there is no such thing as a DVD player for Linux! So in order to play MY DVDs, I have to install a program codec called DVDcss. This is basically the decoding software needed to read the DVD through the encryption. In order to play the movies I have paid for… unfortunately DVDcss is somehow illegal in the united states! I have to break the law… does that seem fair?

Now it is argued that viewing legally obtained DVDs with DVDcss will never come up in court… but therein lies the problem, I am NOT just guilty of using DVDcss, I also use w32codecs, so I can play the simple videos sent to me by my friends and family… these videos are mostly unlicensed so legal for me to play… but to play them I have to use a licensed codec that had to be reverse engineered! add to that the modified flash player, wine binaries, and the 8 odd gigs of MP3s I’m doomed for the big house!

Now, all of my digital possessions were legitimately obtained! I have a full suite of Microsoft Applications, all obtained from Microsoft directly (Via an MSDN account I once had) My programs came packaged with my hardware, and most if not all my MP3s came strait from a batch of music CDs I myself–or my previous wife–purchased! Unfortunately the original cds have become scratched or damaged or lost, I don’t keep COAs as they are difficult to manage and maintain, and no, I don’t have receipts… per the MPAA I no longer have the right to play my music, watch my movies, or install ANY of my applications!… is this fair? no.

I am fairly certain the day I am arrested my case would open the door to counter suit after counter suit, as countless others like me retaliate against the MPAA–among other companies–that would pave the way for the demise of DRM (Digital Rights Management).

You see, like you, the judge would have to consider his own media library… the same library I’m sure he has paid a fairly hefty sum for… same with the Jury. I guarantee every one of them have media that the MPAA would consider illegal to possess… how do you think they would find? I’m not a criminal, I’m a good person, I pay my taxes, I pay for products that are WORTH paying for. so why should I have to pay a SERVICE fee for a PRODUCT?!?

MPAA: your days are numbered. Mark my words, you will press this until the people scream enough, then you will die on the very sword you have been so diligently forging.

Would it be easy? nah, I’d be computer-less for a while… but man, it would be SO worth it.

NOTE: yes, likefood, this means I no longer use/possess illegal software, all that I found usable I have paid for and all I find useless, I tossed. My “krackware” directory is now empty.

 Posted by at 11:47 AM
Mar 272009
 

You know? It’s been a REALLY long time since I was actually excited about linux… up untill today, it was just something I used… Don’t get me wrong, that by no means suggests I actually was bored with linux. Judgeing by the alternatives I was basically pleasuring my PC as compaired to the virual infections they call Windows and Mac OS…

Sorry for the image there folks… it’s what I do. deal with it.

But tonight, I decided to knuckle down and install Debian again…

In the past, I have been loathed to do this task because while Debian is a clean and smooth OS, it take more lovein’ than my original analogy claimed! Debian requires finnessing that no ordinary Linux nerd can muster, and on a laptop… well, let’s just say you gotta be surgical about that beast!

But I did it… I took the day and installed debian, beginning to end, and I gotta say it, I am actually pleased as punch with the results! My little Lappy has never run so hapily… I can almost hear it’s little hard drive gleefully puttering arround with itself! Startup is quick, Wifi is clean and actually connection times and latency are MUCH better… I must say, Debian, you have done me proud… again…

Well, I know now, SOMEONE will point out my appearent drifting love affair with multiple OS’s and I now feel the need to point out the fact that I have two Hard drives for Hermes here… one for testing and one for USING… Debian is now on my USING drive… testing will probably keep mint for a month or two more before I nuke it… Frankly Mint is the SECOND best Linux distro out there, and if you are starting out, instlal Mint… just MAKE SURE YOU ALSO INSTALL OPERA!!! Mint’s version of Firefox if crap. also opera has their own tech support group that specialize in Linux… frankly it’s the first Omni-platform browser that actually works!

 Posted by at 8:45 PM
Feb 192009
 

Well it appears to be that time again… you know… when I start to flip through the Linux world in search of a new distro… I do this from time to time.

I just noticed Debian has come out with a new release… v5, they’re calling it lenny (oddly appropriate) so I’ve kicked off a VM install… we’ll see how things look on the USABILITY side before we dive in.

Last time I installed Debian I had a few issues;

For starters, I HAD to use all lowercase letters in my username… this is just lame. I mean, COME ON!!! Debian appears to be the only distro with this issue and it’s really easy to overcome (by simply installing kuser and creating a new account as desired) but seriously, this is just the most retarded thing to me…

Next I had issues with proprietary drivers… for instance the Nvidia driver was a friken pain to install… I mean it was ridiculously hard to get in there. and of course that spurred a Kernel rebuild that took out my wifi and eventually fixing both led to my sound going out… it was absolutely retarded.

Which brings me to my last gripe… Support. Debian support is… well… there is none! I tried several forums for assistance on my little video driver problems and got many “helpful” posters telling me how easy it was to do, but in reality NONE of their “helpful directions” worked… one group told me to do it the “debian way” involving some ridiculous kernel module build app that never worked, another recommended an addendum to the same telling me I had to build a deb for it… which made NO sense considering the fact that if all I needed was a deb then why the heck hadn’t someone else just posted their deb for me in the first place? Then add to all that the fact that the gcc compiler version was screwy (there was a link to a gcc compiler that was out of data and not removed, easy fix but still annoying).

the ting is, I have loved Debian for some time now… it’s clean, simplistic, and unbloated. I like the fact that as fast as I want to work Debian works that fast… I have no complaints there… it’s just the build that’s a pain… if this release has fixed all those problems, I am sticking with debian!

 Posted by at 6:50 PM