[CentOS] Troubles for an non-IT beginner

Wed Jan 19 23:48:15 UTC 2011
Les Mikesell <lesmikesell at gmail.com>

On 1/19/2011 1:51 PM, m.roth at 5-cent.us wrote:
>> That's not the point.  You've had years to learn how to make a computer
>> work like a slightly smarter typewriter, and for a long time that was
>> about all they could do and everyone was happy with it.  But that's not
>> what someone starting today should expect.
> How much more do you do with it? I've pasted pictures and spreadsheets
> into it; what else do you do? Certainly, bulleting isn't as bulletproof as
> it was in my (legal) copy of WordPerfect 6.0.c for DOS, that I keep
> thinking of running under wine.

At work, more and more I am building reports with the Pentaho report 
writer to be viewed through their web service (which can generate html, 
pdf, xls, etc.) or auto-emailed.  I'm not particularly fond of it, but 
it does what they call pixel-perfect layouts and at least as of the last 
(3.7) release, has a wizard that does most of the grunge work of the 
sizing and positioning of elements.

At home, the Mac automatically downloads podcasts which automatically 
update an ipod when I plug it in to recharge - and I listen to them in 
the car during my commute.  I can also rip dvds there, and can play 
these, or music, or view photos over the network on tv's in other rooms 
through the media player in a blu-ray player and the kid's PS3.

>> OK, now it's my turn to misinterpret your position: you are saying that
>> all of the work that the upstream developers are doing has no value and
>> the field of computer science was complete when CentOS 5 was released
>> (or was it awk...).  And I disagree.
> That's absurd. What I'm saying is that much of what's added is nothing
> more than eye candy, and features that almost no one actually uses. And
> just *what* do you have against awk?!<g>  (says the guy who learned it and
> wrote 100-200 line scripts, lo, these many years ago).

The point is that better things have come along that don't have the same 
restrictions (and for the same price).  It's one thing to keep using 
something that works yourself, but something else to recommend that 
someone else start out with the less capable version.

> I also think that to some extent, CS has gotten onto a wrong tack (and my
> article on the failure of OO in general, and java in particular, will be
> written as soon as my life in the RW slows down some).

Ummm, I don't claim to be a java programmer, but more and more of the 
things I use all the time are written in java: OpenNMS, Hudson, the 
Pentaho tools, the web servers I support, and it's pretty hard to find 
fault with them, especially in a very cross-platform environment.  And 
google's Dalek variation for android seems to be taking over the world.

>> My company is fairly distributed and lives on conference calls - and I
>> absolutely need the calendar integration/reminders to track the
>> scheduling.  As far as the email component goes, I usually have a
>> thunderbird imap view of the same messages - and have used evolution
>> without any real difference in capabilities except in what happens when
>> I open (e.g) a visio file on a non-windows platform.  I can't think of
>> anything you'd want a mailer to do that would be 'hard' in any of those
>> environments.
> Setting up encryption, certificates, digital sigs, how my email is
> displayed....

I haven't set up a certificate but I thought it was a fill-in-the form 
sort of setup.  And you can change the display arrangement.

>>> Huh? I have no problem with streaming media, or playing pretty much any
>>> media that I care to. What media is difficult to serve?
>> What apps are you using for (say) podcast subscription management,
> Don't do podcasts.

I recommend it if there is ever an occasion where you'd listen to talk 
radio but can't match the scheduling.  There are some for every 
interest, updated regularly, and software that will grab the new items 
in subscribed feeds.

>> playing audio/video files, or serving them to upnp/DLNA devices?  If you
> Playing them? Realplayer or mplayer, mostly. Ubuntu wants to use some
> media player, and I haven't gotten around to doing a ps to find out what
> it is. Haven't been asked to serve video/audio.
>> are using 3rd party sources you are making my point about CentOS not
>> making a great desktop, and if you enable more than one 3rd party yum
>> repository you are setting the system up for future conflicts.
> What 3rd party software? So far, everything's in the distro.

Last time I tried, mp3 support wasn't even there. You must have added 
3rd party repositories which are not at all coordinated for RHEL/Centos 
additions.  Ubuntu seems much better about keeping the state of the 
extra repositories in sync with each other and including the repository 
info in the distribution even for the ones that are disabled by default.

>> That good software is still being developed and updates are
>> worthwhile???  Yes, I believe that.
> Yes, I agree that some updates are worthwhile, and good software is still
> being developed - don't try to suggest I was saying *nothing* new is good;
> all I was saying is that the majority of New! Features! aren't worth it.

And I'm saying that someone who hadn't already learned to live with the 
old limitations is very likely to have a different opinion about the 
value of new vs. old features.

    Les Mikesell
     lesmikesell at gmail.com