Whenever I read a glowing review of Redhat or Mandrake and how smoothly
everything works I am always a bit bemused because whenever I install either
of them I end up swearing uncontrollably within about 5 minutes (I guess I'd
have similar reaction to other distros if I tried them). It always takes me a
while to work around the bits and pieces. I'm not doing anything fancy, I
just try to use the tools provided. It always amazes me that the tools are
released in the condition they are. I usually end up having to do it by hand.
It's not such a chore but it's just frustrating to be promised a nice GUI but
to end up digging around in /etc/sysconfig/wherever-they-put-it-this-time.
I had read a little bit about how Rehdta 8.0 was a bit smooth on the desktop
so I decided once again to take it easy and use the various wizards and GUI
things. That's when I started hitting problems. Here's what I was going to
enter into their bugzilla until the KDE start menu decided to stay open and
cover half my screen...
I tried to set up my modem with the nice Network config program. It told me I
don't have a modem so I selected /dev/ttyS1 manually. Attempting to bring up
the ppp connection resulted in a nothing much apart from a please wait
dialogue. So I went back to the old reliable kppp which had no problem
communicating with my modem, however trouble struck again when I realised
that redhat's little ppp thingy had actually managed to bring up a ppp device
(I have know idea what was on the other end of the non-existent serial line)
and had given me an IP address of 10.122.122.122. Where these numbers came
from is a mystery to me but because this mysterious ppp0 was a default route,
the pppd started by kppp was not happy.
A quick "sudo service network restart" later and my routes were back a single
line for "lo". kppp got through and authenticated no bother but I couldn't
browse the web or ping things. It seems that selecting "high" security for
firewall while installing means no traffic in or out, a warning about that
might have been nice. So finally I'm online and happy(ish). Every time I
restart the machine I have to turn the firewall settings down from high
Time to grab some updates. I clicked on the rather nifty flashing exclamation
mark to get at the update tool. It asked me to register or login. To
register, you need to choose a username, a password, confirm the password and
give an email address. It says that if you're already a member that a
username and password is all you need. I'm already a member so in with my
username and password and click continue. It asked me to confirm the
password. At this point I knew it was hopeless, as far as computer was
concerned, I was going to register rather than just log on. No attempt was
made to log me on with the username and password. I confirmed the password
and tried again. Now it wanted an email address, I gave it the one I used
when I registered originally knowing that this just wasn't going to work. I
was rewarded with an "unkown error" and an "OK" button which closed down the
update tool. This is the front screen of one of the most important GUI tools
in Redhat and it just doesn't even make an attempt to do what it says it
While trying to submit these bugs to redhat, KDE went mad on me and blocked
half my screen with several levels of the start menu.
I can't get the preferences for the external task bar in KDE.
When I go into Chinese mode the icon on my desktop for xterm stops working.
KMail doesn't display Chinese emails properly, that worked fine on 7.3.
Pasting into some KDE dialogs doesn't work.
I know it's a .0 release but if that's what I find in the first half hour, I
just don't see the point in wasting more time. Plus, I actually prefer
Mandrake it's just the CDs I have for it was dodgy. I know I'm going to have
a few problems with Mandrake too but maybe this'll be the one that just
works. Plus Mandrake comes with lots of weird libraries that are handy for
getting DVD players and other stuff working,
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