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Re: Booting Debian/testing fails

Andrew Sackville-West wrote:

> On Fri, Feb 02, 2007 at 11:13:50AM -0500, Terrence Brannon wrote:
>> Well, from a user-level point of view, I have no interest in extended
>> tinkering. If Gentoo did it right out of the box, why couldn't debian?
>> It's a shame because most of hte books at the bookstore are on debian
>> linux. But I can't afford any more time on something that
>> blankety-blank simple.
>> Don't reply to this. I'm blocking out this list from now on.
> I'm curious. I've thought back over this thread and can't recall
> (without digging through the archives) what happened here that might
> have provoked this sort of response. 

I think I entirely understand the OP's frustration & response - he wants
his operating system to Just Work (and so do I), and hasn't got the time
or the inclination to continually have to dive into the bowels of the OS
setup every time he buys an external USB drive (or something) and finds
his PC will no longer boot.

He doesn't want *documentation* - he just wants the software to *work*
... and why shouldn't he want that ?

Failure to install the boot-loader, while actually reporting "success"
(or failing to report "failure") is unforgivable.

Round about now I expect some fellow list members are relegating me to
the newbie camp, and maybe starting to type a reply telling me to RTFM,
or that the answer lies in the source Luke.  I'll just mention that I've
been working with computers a loooong time, cutting my teeth on
mainframes; I've worked with various Un*xen (commercial, Linux and *BSD)
and I consider that I do know what I'm doing - and 99 times out of 100
when I break my Linux I _can_ fix it myself.  HOWEVER: every time I find
some crazy breakage, I start getting the most uneasy feeling about the
*quality* of what I'm grappling with ... it's as if the author of
whatever broke (lovely person that they are, slaving to write this stuff
 for me in their spare time) just didn't take enough care when they
wrote it.

And I'm afraid that these days *my* tinkering time is limited too, so
all too often when something seems Broken By Design then I just give up
on it and find an alternative that suits my needs and doesn't have the
same problem.  If I was the OP I might also head on over to Gentoo
(except that I can't face hanging around for the whole system to compile
every second Tuesday).

Actually, *Ubuntu would be perfect for me (and probably the OP), except
that actually I _like_ tinkering .. it's a hobby I enjoy (but only a
bit), and I love Debian, so I stay ... a bit like staying with a lover
you know you should leave.  I avoid most of the problems by Keeping My
System Simple.  I run Sarge with KDE, and would love my USB flashdrives
to automount and pop up on the desktop like Knoppix/Ubuntu, but I
haven't been able to dedicate sufficient tinkering time to making it
work yet, and apparently it's all different at Etch so I wonder what's
the point of learning ... so I just manually mount - it's not too onerous.

See my response a few threads back (Sunday, 5am) to the question "Debian
switches driver letters preventing boot" for an example of a problem I
think Linux just shouldn't have ... it's lunatic, and implies the system
design just hasn't been thought out properly.  Nobody should have to
unpack their initrd, alter it, and pack it back up again just because
they have an add-on PCI IDE controller.

[OT: I haven't actually seen proper software quality since they retired
my mainframes ... no brand of Un*x seems to have the right robustness ..
and Win32 is obviously a joke ... but that a topic for another (drunken)
conversation in a bar.]

> ... Clearly this guy is upset, frustrated, but to
> block out the list that's supposed to be trying to help is
> disturbing. 

Well maybe he's one of those who don't like getting the "RTFM / Use The
Source" replies, or gets upset when flamed (and replies on this list and
many others can all too often seem like flames - especially to those
unversed in Netiquette for at least a decade ... "it's usually nothing
personal") ... or maybe he just hasn't got the time to participate in an
endless mailing list dialogue about a small topic (most of us who've
been here a while accept this as the price of asking for and receiving
help from volunteers).

Just my 2p - hope I haven't offended.

Nick Boyce

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