March 2005


I am The Cyberwolfe and these are my ramblings. All original content is protected under a Creative Commons license - always ask first.
Creative Commons License

Archive for March 20th, 2005

Some days, nothing goes right

Posted in Geekery on March 20th, 2005

Yesterday, having gotten almost everything else re-configured the way I want it, I went after getting the sound to work on my Slackware install again. Unfortunately, everything went kerplooie on me to the point it wouldn’t even boot anymore, and I was once again faced with a re-install.

Faced with the prospect of “gee, what won’t work this time?”, I decided to give SuSE 9.2 Pro a try on a real machine. (The last test was on a laptop). My roomie told me of this wonderful thing called apt4rpm, a port of the Debian apt-get tool, which should alleviate the problems inherent in an rpm distro. With that in mind, I went for it.

The nice thing about commercial distros like SuSE is their hardware-detection – I was able to set up basic 3D support during the install, and Sax2 correctly set my screen dimensions to 1280×1040 without any serious tweaking. Again, sound worked on the first try, with the exception of many of the multimedia apps being crippled due to SuSE’s worries about copyright.

The major wrinkle came in trying to set up apt4rpm. In the SuSE version, the security feature that checks the GPG keys of the packages before download is enabled by default. A handy security idea yes, but having it on by default means you can’t install the keys because the keys are unknown! It took the roomie and I some searching to figure out how to turn it off, and once we did things actually worked. Now, to install new software I can either use a command-line version or the Synaptics Package Manager GUI to simply select the software I want installed. The program will automatically install any necessary dependencies, and off I go.

The odd thing about SuSE is that they do not include Koffice in the main grouping. I prefer Koffice over OpenOffice.Org because it runs leaner, and all my email settings and website membership logins are stored in a kspread file, which I could not read in OO.o. Thanks to apt4rpm, though, I simply had to select the Koffice package group and voila! Now I can feed my email addiction :)

*Update: okay, maybe not so voila: I’ll need to upgrade KDE before I can install the current version of Koffice. I think I’ll ghost an image before I do that…

I’ll let you know in a few days how things turn out, but for right now, I am happy with SuSE again. We’ll see how long this lasts.

Y’know, Arch Linux is leaning towards a new release, and they have the pacman thing…