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Re: Help!

Angelo Bertolli wrote:
> I'm not going to disagree with your philosophy, but
> personally I'd love to have something "easy" with nice defaults, that I
> can accept and grow accustom to.  Because I've become increasingly more
> likely to just use the set defaults so I don't have to remember
> everything if I want to reinstall.

    You've had that for years.

dpkg --get-selections > my.preferences

    Now all your installed programs are in "my.preferences".  Take that file
to another machine....

dpkg --set-selections < my.preferences

    That machine now has them all set.  IIRC (been a while since I've done it)
all you need is one apt-get or aptitude command (apt-get/aptitude install) and
the second machine now has the same software your first machine has.

    The problem is you want someone else to think of what your preferences are
and somehow, magically, make those the defaults.  Defaults don't work for
everyone.  Chances are you'd not be pleased with XFCE.  You might, but you
might not.  I use it a lot and love it.  I certainly don't expect Debian to
make it the default GUI.  Conversely I loathe Gnome.  I think that project
should die a horrible death.  Yet inevitably loads of "desktop" defaults
install Gnome and not KDE.  *shudder*

> But wait!  Doesn't that mean that Debian makes you lazier?  Debian's
> package management and upgrade path is so much nicer and easier than
> anything else out there.  You don't have to even have to find the
> pre-compiled binaries to install, you can just apt-get them.

    There's a difference between intellectual laziness, IE "I don't wanna
learn anything, everything should be handed to me", and mechanical laziness,
IE "This is a series of repeatative tasks for which a machine can perform for
me.  I shall learn how to operate said machine."  It can be illustrated with
the simplest of programs that every neophyte learns; in Python syntax for your
reading pleasure:

while 1:
    print "Hello world!"

    The computer now prints "Hello world!" over and over until I tell it to
stop.  Of course I could sit there and type...

Hello world!
Hello world!
Hello world!
Hello world!
Hello world!
Hello world!

    ...to the same effect.  But instead I learned there was a way to automate
the process and implemented it.

    As an aside I blame the willful ignorance of most users as the root of
Window's horrible usability for anything outside games.  On a recent job I had
to take a plain text report and pull the 2nd column of unordered numbers, sort
them and then remove all the duplicates so I could use those numbers to pull
tapes from a data center.  I had to do it with just base Windows, no unix in

    No sort.  No uniq.  No awk or cut.  No editor with a column delete.  An
operation that takes me about a minute on the command line in unix took me a
good 10m in Windows.  But, hey, it was "easy".

         Steve C. Lamb         | I'm your priest, I'm your shrink, I'm your
       PGP Key: 8B6E99C5       | main connection to the switchboard of souls.

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