A collection of opinions, thoughts, tricks and misc. information.
First off, hello there. This is my first entry. And I'm happy to be joining the world of blogs. There are a few things that I've wanted to talk about for a while now, but can't (project confidentiality agreements), and decided I can do a pretty good job of blabbing away with the non-confidential things for now.
Linux is my operating system of choice. I started using it a little over a year ago, and have currently gotten to the point that I can use it for everything I used my old Windows boxes for. Unfortunately I'm in the process of cleaning out my main computer (hp ze4420us laptop), and am using a Windows machine to try to open the service manual. It's a pdf. A very simple pdf.
I placed the file on a USB flash drive before unplugging my laptop, and tried to gain access to that file from this system, running a clean install of Windows 2000. Since there are no pdf readers installed by default, I went over to adobe.com, and clicked "Get Acrobat Reader." The site detected that I was running Windows 2000, and asked me which version I wanted to download. I downloaded the appropriate file, and attempted to install. After 30 minutes (slow machine), the Netopsystems FEAD Optimizer finished "recomposing" some strange data, and I was then told that this machine did not support the version of Reader I had downloaded, and that I would need to update.
An hour later I finished a Windows Update, and tried to run the setup application again. Instead of quickly telling me that everything would be alright, and that the program had been installed, I instead am met again with the Netopsystems FEAD Optimizer, which runs slower than ever.
Now. My experience with pdf's on linux has been quite different. After a default slackware installation, I am able to launch X, and open a pdf file with gv or kpdf, or any of the other wonderful tools that are immediately available. I find it funny that an entire OS+ every tool you would ever need and more fit on just two CDs, but for a functional Windows installation I need to install hundreds of different applications.
Let's now examine the message that I just got on my computer: "This version of Adobe Acrobat will only run on Windows 2000 SP2". That's funny, since I just updated to SP1, and downloaded the SP1 edition of Acrobat. Anyway, let me get yet another adobe download. I'll be right back.
Okay. I just downloaded the proper installer downloading tool. What happened to the good old days when I didn't have to mess around with these downloading tools. I'd much rather just download the file by my own methods. I think my problem with such tools is that they automatically assume I know less than I do. Why allow somebody who doesn't know how to download the proper file from the fastest mirror install something on their computer?
Let's say for a moment that slackware didn't come with a pdf reader. Would I be going through the same things here? No. Here's why. With every slackware installation I have, I always install slapt-get (and use apt-get for debian systems). All I would need to do would be
$ slapt-get --install kpdf
$ slapt-get --install gv
And I would immediately have the proper package. If no such package existed, I would only need to download a VERY small (in comparison) file, and set it to compile with a ./configure, make and make install. The process doesn't take nearly as long as this has so far, and I get a software build optimized for my computer's architecture.
I'm back at the Netopsystems FEAD Optimizer. The third time. And I'm pretty much done ranting. I'll be back to bitch about more later :)