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Comment Re:Default installation? (Score 1) 503

Using the netinstall CD, GNOME is installed if you select the desktop environment option from the task list the installer presents you with. If you don't select that task, GNOME is not installed. On this score, all install modes (expert or standard) are the same. It's easy not to install GNOME if you don't want to install GNOME.

Comment Re:BBC Documentary (Score 1) 177

Cool ... thx for highlighting this.

I am not a gamer. On the plus side, that made it much easier for me to ditch Windows some years ago, since I never cared about this or that beloved game that I couldn't play without Windows. On the minus side, it means I generally skip over a lot of Slashdot articles.

But there are two computer/arcade games I love -- Tetris and PacMan. Pong was fun for about two hours, the first time I played it on my friend's dad's Apple something back in the late '70s. I've never grown tired of Tetris, though -- here's to the next 25 years.

Comment Time Warner big and decentralized (Score 1) 94

The problem with the notion of Time Warner making AOL an exclusive media outlet is that Time Warner isn't the monolithic corporation many like to think it is. This is less true today than it was back when the merger (which was really, as others have mentioned, AOL buying Time Warner, even though it was spun to the media as a merger) took place, but it still operates in a somewhat looser fashion than many corporate behemoths. Time Inc. was always fairly decentralized, with different divisions setting their own policies and procedures. The Time Inc. & Warner Communications merger that created TW made it moreso. The idea that the corporate powers on high would just hand down orders to the music, publishing, magazine and movie divisions about where they would distribute their product or whom would be their "outlet" is pretty ridiculous if you knew anything about how Time Warner operated, about the wide-ranging, across-the-board autonomy most divisions had even while being wholly owned by Time Warner.

Then there was the problem of Road Runner, which no one ever solved. Road Runner (now, I believe, Time Warner Cable) -- rightly, in my view -- saw AOL as competition, not as a potential partner. Road Runner was profitable and growing. Even the most fervent AOL champions within Time Warner didn't want to piss off Road Runner, nor be seen as responsible for killing the golden goose (or, at least, for slowing its production of eggs). Road Runner had done just fine striking its own deals with Time Warner properties (like HBO) and non-TW properties alike. The truth is, Time Warner could have done everything it hoped to do with AOL on its own -- it already had the necessary ingredients under the corporate umbrella -- and it could've done it without ruffling the feathers that the AOL deal ruffled or introducing yet another foreign corporate culture into a mix that was already a wildly divergent mix of sometimes clashing cultures. The mystifying thing, to me, about the whole fiasco is why Time Warner ever thought it needed AOL.

Comment Re:Now I know who to blame (Score 1) 226

The problem being that if the book goes into the public domain immediately upon the author's death, what's the publisher's incentive to make a large up-front payment?

How many publishers would be willing even to publish, let alone pay a lot of money for the rights to, a book by an aged or ill author? Just wait till the author kicks the bucket, then everything is public domain. Age becomes a disincentive for everyone involved, author and publisher alike.

Comment MEPIS, to see what it was like (Score 1) 739

I used Mepis Linux first, the liveCD version (which was also an install CD). I had been making a concerted effort for some time prior to use only OSS on Windows, and had pretty much succeeded with that. So I thought it was time I checked out an open-source operating system. D/l'ed and burned Mepis, booted into it, and viola. I liked it and though I hadn't planned to, went ahead and installed it on my HD, which was pretty painless, thank goodness, because I didn't have much of an idea of what was going on. I did, at least, understand what I needed to about partitioning.

I think the only downside to the whole experience was that out-of-the-box KDE wasn't terribly well-configured back then and I thought it was ugly. Fonts, especially, were hideous. It was sometime later before I figured out that KDE can look quite nice, but I've never been much of a fan probably because of that first exposure.

Comment Re:To avoid this.. (Score 1) 396

Do that enough times, and you'll start to get horny when you see the object.

Personally, I find that repeated exposure to the same image/object results in loss of erotic stimulation. If what you're saying is true, there would only be about 100 or so porn flicks, and some combination of those would satisfy everyone forever.

A viewpoint held by a large number of people in society, is that homosexuality is not a good lifestyle choice.

People have lots of viewpoints. Should, say, Catholicism be suppressed because a large number of Protestants think it is not a good lifestyle choice? The fundamental values that inform our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution hold that we are entitled to self-determination, including the right to think, say, and be things that others might disapprove of. There has to be concrete, verifiable reasons to interfere with this entitlement. You have offered none. Instead, you reframe the issue as:

if someone's position is that homosexuality is not something society has vested interest in promoting,

This is where you are off-base. "Someone's" position doesn't matter except to that someone and his loved ones. "Society" doesn't require a vested interest in promoting anything to let people live their own lives as they see fit. "Society" must have a rational basis for restricting people's rights to live their own lives as they see fit. You are starting with the wrong default position, that there must be some good reason to allow liberty. This country was founded on the premise that there must be an iron-clad reason to restrict liberty.

Comment Re:Does anybody ever visit "linux.com"? (Score 1) 231

Well, I did, for one. Actually, I subscribed to the Linux.com feed and would regularly read the articles that interested me. There were a pretty fair number, usually focused on a particular topic, like round-ups of audio tagging tools available for Linux or vim tips or an introduction to services and run levels. I have a number of these types of Linux.com articles bookmarked and some I refer to still.

It was definitely haphazard and catch-as-catch-can, but I feel I got a reasonable amount of useful information from it. I tended to skip past the articles about this or that school or company switching to Linux. Not being a developer or programmer, I didn't read the more technical articles about kernel development and whatnot. I agree that I tend to rely more on sites like Slashdot and Ars Technica Open-Ended for Linux and OSS news stories. For me, Linux.com was good for tutorials and tips and ideas about things that aren't necessarily all that complicated but that I probably wouldn't have known about otherwise, certainly not stuff that Slashdot or other news sites provide.

Michael

Comment Re:Another one! (Score 1) 305

Just because a song is catchy, doesn't necessarily mean it's good.

Don't get me wrong, I like "Karma Chameleon" (there, I said it!) ... but I can think of other songs that got stuck in my head that I never liked. Excuse me, I'm now going to bang my head against the wall for a while to try not to think of them...

Comment Alternatives? What's a hapless *nix user to do? (Score 1) 450

Here's a funny thing. I was using Epiphany under GNOME, and discover that the mis-named "Epilicious" extension has not worked with Delicious for some time, but it did work with Magnolia. So I go to Magnolia only to discover that the service had just gone down (this was on or about 30 Jan. 2009 -- what timing!). So I'm still on Delicious, and now using Iceweasel (that's Firefox to most of the world) because it's the only thing that works with Delicious.

My question is: What other options are there? I have found some good links and some very useful information (especially in the area of *nix and OSS tutorials) on Delicious, but strictly speaking I don't need an account there to continue using it as a search engine. I do like having my bookmarks available from any computer I happen to find myself on and I'm aware that there are other ways to achieve this, but I'm not sure how or what the best methods are. When I say "hapless *nix user," I mean I can get by in Debian just fine, but I tend to keep things pretty simple ... no advanced server set-up, no tricky configurations. I no longer use GNOME, preferring a simpler Openbox set-up. I've gotten pretty good at navigating around my system in the terminal, using mc for file management, even writing a few very basic bash scripts, but networking especially remains something of a black art to me. I'm not a programmer or web designer and have no desire to be; I use Debian because I like the philosophy of OSS.

So what are the easier more-or-less "point-and-drool" methods of achieving remote access to one's bookmarks, without having to mess with SAMBA or NFS or similar complexities? Do they exist? If cloud services like Delicious and Magnolia are inherently risky and soul-suckingly closed, are there any safer, more open alternatives that are as easy to use?

Comment Re:Spontaneous upgrade for me... (Score 2, Insightful) 386

Generally speaking, it's a good idea to use the nicknames in your /etc/apt/sources.list, rather than the generic names. So use "lenny," "squeeze," "sid," rather than "stable," "testing," "unstable." That way you won't be surprised by a release.

Though, really, Debian releases are so few and far between, it's a pretty infrequent "surprise."

Check the release notes in advance of upgrading to be aware of potential issues. If you just change your current list from "stable" to "etch," you won't have any of the new stable flowing into your system. Etch will be supported with security updates for another year.

Comment Re:So wait a second... (Score 1) 501

"...there are so many packages included in the default desktop that I don't want."

I can understand this to a point, but I think people can get somewhat obsessive about it. I've yet to figure out the drawbacks of having a few extra bits of software here and there, at least not in proportion to the apoplectic state some *nix users are driven to when they discover some dependencies they don't like.

On Debian, I use Openbox as my WM, without a DE, but I do have GNOME installed, just because having GNOME installed takes care of a lot of background settings that I'd otherwise have to fiddle with. Sure, that means I'm sitting with Rhythmbox (never use) and a bunch of small games I never play and software for making internet phone calls (never done that), but so what? I have the disk space, none of these things are difficult or time consuming to update, and the added "ease of use" factor in not having to configure numerous things by hand is worth the minor accumulation of wasted bytes and bandwidth.

I guess it's just a matter of scale -- if I didn't use a substantial amount of GNOME and GTK2 software, I'd remove the DE. But I seem to run across a fair number of *nixers who use many of the same apps I use and yet refuse to install the full DE because they're afraid of cruft. I have to wonder, what are they so afraid of?

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