There's a Waikato Linux Users Group meeting on Monday:
Tom Butz will be doing a presentation on Arch Linux
--Tom Butz's blurb about Archlinux--
A computer's software ideally has the follwoing features:
#operating system loads quickly/uses grub-loader (not lilo)
#programs load/run quickly
#there is a reliable/endless supply of packaged software
#the system is secure
#the system supports/emulates your favourite legacy applications
#the system supports your favourite old hardware
Archlinux has no problems with 1) .. 6) - maybe only with 3). See below,
Archlinux allegedly was created by former Crux Linux people. There you had to compile the
operating system kernel and your applications. Often applications didn't compile, and
you had to hunt around to find out why. Bit of a worry when you needed things now; okay
when time wasn't an issue.
Archlinux doesn't expect you to compile either your operating system's kernel or
your applications: they come precompiled - though for nothing less than a 686-CPU. Tough
if you've got something less/different, but then you could always go for Slackware
instead (there everything's compiled to run on a 386-CPU!).
A program called 'pacman' does what 'synaptic' does for Ubuntu and Debian.
If for some reason you want to run, say, Slackware programs, you can easily do that. Just
make sure the libraries are there compatible. But remember, Archlinux packages are
compiled for i686 systems, and therefore usually faster. By the way, 'pacman' will
respect 'alien' software and simply refuse to install over it.
What did +I+ select?
X-window manager 'blackbox' - it's anything but a 'black box'.
Firefox, sylpheed (email), geeqie (image viewer), totem (media player). I've used
mplayer/xine/vlc before, but I think totem's the better player. mplayer, however,
comes with a lot of encoding stuff such as avisplit etc., so I've kept it, just in
qemu emulates my old Windows 3.11 system: now I can still use my fax-machine (even as a
printer). qemu also emulates a Sinclair ZX running very old games (the emulator's
written in MSDOS assembler).
Archlinux also has a Commodore C64/PET 2001 emulator (vice), in case you've got
programs for these veterans (supports C64 sound!).
Archlinux supports a parallel printer port, be it for talking to another oldie using the
PLIP-protocol, be it for reading from/writing to an IOMEGA Zip-floppy (not being sold any
more, though pretty much alive).
I also run Open COBOL on Archlinux to manage my video-clip library in a COBOL database.
Much handier than using a clip-on database. But that's largely a matter of taste.
COBOL supposedly is dead, but somehow must have managed to rise from the dead as Open
#Debian's repositories are expected to have eternal life, but would the same apply to
Archlinux' pacman repositories? Not sure.
#If you migrate to another system that's not a 686, tough luck.
#If you decide that you want to upgrade your +whole+ system that could take a whole night.
Sometimes that's what you need to do (continuous/rolling releases vs releases at set
dates). Very hard if you're on dial-up.
#If you're on dial-up - like me - you need to install, say, Slackware's dialler.
Archlinux doesn't come with one. A bit of a nuisance, but some recent UBUNTUs
don't support dial-up either, or so I'm told.
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