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Journal BobPaul's Journal: From WindowsXP to Gentoo Stage 1 2

For years I've used OSS (Various Mozilla builds, Netscape 6 briefly, Mozilla, Pheonix->Firefox, Thunderbird, Open Office, Azureus, edonkey, etc), but have long shyed away from switching to linux after I failed to catch on in 6th grade with Redhat 6.0, 7th grade with Mandrake 6.5, and then finally Gentoo (both stage 1 and 2 failed, I'm assuming because I later found I had a bad stick of memory) and stage 3 "word-for-word" left me with a windows partition half formatted with ext2. (/dev/hda1 != /dev/hdb1)

Now, obviously Gentoo left a bad taste in my mouth, but one of the big reasons was poor font support. I always had a number of Knoppix builds laying around my desk/dorm, but the fonts sucked much and KDE sucked more. My only experience with Gnome was on Redhat 6 and Mandrake 6.5, and that was in the early days and it too sucked.

I hadn't tried linux, other than knoppix live, since.

Until last week when I saw the article about Xandros on Slashdot while I relently realized the only way I could regain 16-bit app support and the existance of my "Compatibility Tab" in XP was a format--seriously, it's just gone... it's like the WoW service was disabled, but it reported perfect operation--I thought, "Fuck.. I should switch to linux".

So I popped in the Xandros Open Dist cd, had it resize my windows partition, and installed Xandros.

It sucked.

I couldn't get it to use my SBLive 5.1 instead of the secondary Ensoniq $0.50 card I use for Skype-chat cord calls and I could tell the package management was for n00bs. Where I was expecting to see a plethera of interconnected packages, I so less than 20, and most everything was installed in the "System Package". No wonder installation was a breeze... there's just one package!

So I didn't even spend a full hour with that. I immediately downloaded a Gentoo minimal and a Ubuntu live cd and rebooted.

"Ah, shit. I need the ubuntu install cd!

So I installed Gentoo from Stage 1. That was on Thursday. It's now Monday at almost 10pm and I just finished making gnome look a little prettier:
( De-Uglify Gnome, End User Gnome, Make Fonts Less Suck, Installing Gnome, Make Numlock ON)

And now I fire up Firefox and everything looks great! Gnome is fast and sleek, I have all of my extensions and grease monkey scripts, I just watched a DVD last night and I swear it looked about 50% sharper than it ever did in windows and so I head over to firefox and BAM: Suck Fonts!

WTF?!? I spent almost 2 hours emerging font packs per the instructions last night, while I simultaneously spent an hour in profuse going through all of my use variables so that I could "emerge --deep --update --newuse world" for the 3rd time in 3 days only to find that slashdot still looks terrible!

I followed all the steps in the "Fonts Less Suck" guide and everything looks great everywhere on the web I've been except for slashdot... I don't get it. They're so huge and weirdly shaped. Obviosuly AA is working, but they don't look like what I'm used to on Windows and OSX...

So, I guess I've got some more work to do...

I set my proportional to Sans-Serif 15 instead of Serif 16 and things look a little better... Did I only have 2 choices for proportional fonts in Windows, I wonder? I still don't really like it...

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From WindowsXP to Gentoo Stage 1

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  • You do only get two choices on which type of proportional font you use: serif or sans-serif. But! Just underneath that option, you should see drop boxes for which fontname is used for that type. So you can choose Times New Roman for the serifed font, and Verdana for sans-serif, for example.

UNIX is many things to many people, but it's never been everything to anybody.