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misc. woes

Hate to say it, but ancient Slackware was way easier to install.
That's from floppies to SCSI, doing video modes by hand.
I think the 486DX-25 was almost as fast as my Mac Cube,
and I'm sure my Pentium-200 running Red Hat 7 is faster.

I'll try to be constructive here. It's hard not to flame away
after missing a night of sleep, so please forgive me if I fail.

I wanted to keep MacOS around. So far, it's been useful for two
or three firmware upgrades and it has semi-working video players.
(It would be nice to have a sandbox for proprietary MacOS junk!
An API translator, NSA's seLinux... then RealVideo, QuickTime,
and that Microsoft thing could run w/o endangering the system.)

So I read everything I can find. Supposedly it is important to
put the MacOS partition last. I guessed (wrong of course) what
the MacOS setup GUI was showing and hoped for the best. The
documentation really ought to make it very clear that you can
move the logical partition numbers around as desired during the
Linux install, so initial order doesn't matter.

Of course I installed to HFS+ by accident. Apple doesn't call
it that, so why do we? Anyway... I don't have a woody CD-ROM
("woody" is itself obfuscation BTW) so netboot was looking like
the only way to install. The slim documentation basically assumed
that the server would also be running Debian, and wasn't very
clear about exactly what daemons I'd be needing. URLs for source
tarballs would have been good. RARP, BOOTP, DHCP, and TFTP all
suck and the undocumented termcap-like config file syntax wasn't
exactly fun to deal with.

So I start some daemons and tcpdump on the server, and try to
netboot my Mac Cube. I managed to serve the Mac an IP address.
The firmware and daemons just don't want to play together though,
ending with a series of Mac-->server packets that go to the bitbucket.
The Mac never did ask for TFTP; I think it died asking for more DHCP.

Oh well. It turns out that I didn't need to netboot at all.
The firmware is perfectly happy loading yaboot out of an HFS+
partition, yaboot is perfectly happy loading stuff from these,
and the kernel needs nothing more. There isn't any need to
read a drivers.tgz file from the disk.

It would be nice if the kernel would fall back to video=ofonly
as needed instead of being dumb about this. I got a black screen
without this. Now I have video=aty128fb:vmode:22 working because
Google was able to find this:

(really, video and USB input devices should be 100% autodetectable)

I'm not sure what to say about mac-fdisk. It worked pretty well,
while looking pretty bad. It has left-justified numbers,
right-justified text, and appears to violate the ISO standard
for "G" being a factor of 1000000000. It also blows past 80
columns with waste like "/dev/", " @ ", "(", and ") ".

Choosing to edit yaboot.conf by hand drops me into vi.
The boot disks have nano-tiny for this sort of thing,
which at least remotely resembles emacs, pico, joe, nedit...

Then I hit that deselect thing. The last time I installed Debian,
on a PC, that thing got a "kill -9" and I ended up using raw apt-get
to install everything. Determined not to repeat that tedious chore,
I resolved to beat deselect into submission. Let's see if I can
remember: hit SPACE to leave a help screen, but RETURN to leave a
package listing. It's the little things that really cause pain.

Xine had trouble with conflicts. So did a sound/game library called
libsdl if I remember right -- two conflicting versions, each one
required by an app I wanted to install. Same deal with Motif/Lesstif.
Tuxracer is missing.

Somehow I ended up with all sorts of crud: ISDN stuff, leafnode,
diald, aalib1, ibritish, dialdcost, wvdial, twm, and samba. I'm
glad that Debian doesn't seem to shove Scheme down my throat
like Red Hat does, so congratulations to whoever packaged GNOME.
I do seem to be stuck with aalib1, twm, and non-offensive fortunes

There isn't any advice about what would be the best way to have X
fonts work. I think I saw 3 font servers. Equally good? Hmmm...

The config for ttf-commercial gets stuck if you don't have a
path to give it. So I hit ^C, which kills the whole config
process and forgets all the choices I've made. This leaves me
with hundreds of packages in a half-installed state. This isn't
too obvious from the errors though, and I go on to beat my
head against X for a while before realizing that stuff simply
isn't installed.

After an upgrade to kernel 2.4.16, non-OF video starts working.
I get GNOME complaining that twm isn't suitable. I'm not told
what would be suitable, and a switch to icewm doesn't help.

Both versions of DOOM won't run. LxDoom is "Unable to find supported
visual setting" and PrBoom hits an undefined XF86DGAQueryExtension
in /usr/lib/libSDL-1.2.so.0. This with X in 24/32-bit color mode.

The way-too-small mouse pointer likes to take a flying leap off to
a far corner of the screen while in X, and GPM isn't working. The
mouse should be easy to autodetect; /proc/bus/usb/devices has this:

T:  Bus=01 Lev=01 Prnt=01 Port=00 Cnt=01 Dev#=  8 Spd=1.5 MxCh= 0
D:  Ver= 2.00 Cls=00(>ifc ) Sub=00 Prot=00 MxPS= 8 #Cfgs=  1
P:  Vendor=046d ProdID=c00e Rev=11.00
S:  Manufacturer=Logitech
S:  Product=USB-PS/2 Optical Mouse
C:* #Ifs= 1 Cfg#= 1 Atr=a0 MxPwr= 98mA
I:  If#= 0 Alt= 0 #EPs= 1 Cls=03(HID  ) Sub=01 Prot=02 Driver=hid
E:  Ad=81(I) Atr=03(Int.) MxPS=   4 Ivl= 10ms

I see nothing about USB speakers. I don't even get a beep out of
my computer. I'd like to be able to do normal stuff, like play a
CD-ROM or run mpg123.

GUI stuff is too slow. What ought to be faster:

Pentium MMX 200         MPC7400 "G4" 450
512 kB L2 cache         1024 kB L2 cache
64 MB EDO system RAM    512 MB PC100 system RAM
swapping on IDE         270 MB free RAM, no swap
PCI ATI 3d Rage Pro     AGP 2x ATI Rage 128 PF
Mach64                  R128
8 MB video RAM          16 MB video RAM
no DRM or AGP           CONFIG_DRM_R128, libdrm.a loaded
TrueColor               TrueColor
1152x960                1600x1024
Netscape                Mozilla
GNOME+sawfish           GNOME+icewm
Red Hat 7               Debian woody

>From fastest to slowest:  MacOS 9, x86 Red Hat 7, ppc Debian woody
Heh, MHz myth indeed! :-/

I miss getting the news too. I know, it's hard dealing with all
the proprietary crap. But gee, www.cnn.com has _three_ formats
available and not one of them works.

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