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Michael Cree cree@p...
Thu Aug 15 09:42:03 NZST 2002

 > things are however configured from variables in pretty obvious files in
 > /etc/sysconfig/, SuSEconfig dies a great job.

I would agree with that, and do use that facility - but not through yast :-)

 > Yast has been discontinued because all of its functionality is now in
 > yast2. Yast is a symlink to yast2. What do you think happens when you
 > crank it up as yast? Right, it starts in text mode with ncurses
 > interface. Likewise if $DISPLAY is unset.

Yes, I know all of that.  By yast I mean yast2 since that is all that exists
in Suse 8.  It is just too bad that the ncurses terminal implementation in
yast2 is inane and unnecessarily difficult to use.

I updated kde recently because the kde 3.0 distributed with Suse 8 has some
extremely annoying bugs that I seemed to be tripping up over just about
every day - to the point of causing a complete crash of the console almost
on a daily basis. I _had_ to shut down X completely to do the package
updates so the choices were: use the ncurses terminal implementation in
yast, or do it myself.  I did it myself after 20 minutes of getting
absolutely nowhere with yast.  Now I have a shell script that will be very
useful for package upgrades in the future.

 > What do you do when yast2 doesn't configure things the way you want?
 > You drop a line to feedback@s..., that's what I do. More often than
 > not it's in the next release.

An idea I hadn't thought of, admittedly.  Maybe I should try it.  But then
again the idea of using the debian distribution which apparantly, so I'm
told, doesn't have an inane kid's interface to administration also seems
to be tickling my fancy! :-)

 > > Btw, what is the long way to configure a machine?  Use a disassembler and
 > > edit the object code whilst it is in memory and then force it back to the
 > > disc?  You can rest assured that I have long ago given up such practices!)
 > Somehow I don't think you're old enough to have ever really needed to
 > do this... :)

I have done that.  I was programming in assembler, sorry, I meant I was
programming directly in object code (I didn't have a symbolic assembler at
that point!) when I was a third former.  I recall that with the help of a
friend of mine, later we made patches to the object code of the Apple II
DOS, to implement features we wanted.  We also contemplated adding in a
virus to the DOS since it is disc loaded and would spread quite nicely
aroung the school.  We never got around to doing it, but unfortunately some
prat overheard us talking about it and implemented a virus but stuffed up by
clobbering some essential code in the DOS in the process.  Spread
wonderfully (as we knew it would) and also caused a lot of havoc and
distress because some essential function in DOS had been clobbered.  It was
quite nice to see someone else take the rap and be severely disciplined for
an idea we were developing but never got to around to implementing ourselves

 > > Well, that raises interesting questions.  I admit that I have found that
 > > standard lpr (BSD lpd), from my experiences with other Unices, is pretty
 > > limited and assumed that the case would be similar on Linux.
 > It would be, if you use BSD lpr. Nobody does any more.

Hmmm.  We are doing so on our Alphas.  Your claim has just been proven
false.  Taa daa!

 > versus lprng, big difference. By the way the SuSE default is lprng.
 > Yast support is good. Support for lprng via their mailing list is
 > extremely good, very active bunch. It looks to me to be very fine-tuned
 > software. SuSE's print filters for lprng are very good too (they don't
 > use the one which comes with lprng, I guess for a reason).

What I would like to know is what is that reason?  I note looking at the
lprng documentation that they recommend the ifhp filter for interfacing via
the JetDirect port (9100) of HP network printers.  That is what I would like
to have.  But Suse implement a connection to the lpd port (515) of the
printers (I used yast to implement a printer queue via lprng to see what it
does), and we all know that lpd is a pretty limited protocol.  Why do Suse
choose to do that?  And how do they do page accounting if they use a direct
postscript printer?  The lpd port does not provide any means for the printer
to respond with page use/errors etc.  The JetDirect interface does.

 > Switching between cups and lprng with yast is pretty painless
 > (misc->printers under cups/lprng). Switching from cups to lprng does
 > not preserve the cups config. It costs less than 5monutes to try it
 > out.

It took me longer than 5 minutes using yast.  Mainly because yast buggered
it up and didn't make the correct changes to shut down the cupsd and run the
lpd.  I had to find the problems yast introduced and fix up the config


 Dr Michael Cree                Email:     cree@p...
 Dept. Physics and Elec. Eng.
 University of Waikato
 Private Bag 3105               Fax:       +64-7-8384835
 Hamilton                       Telephone: +64-7-8384301
 New Zealand

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