27 Jan 2004 donscarletti   » (Master)


When I first started using advogato my plan was to include as little personal content or introspection as humanly possible. Well I messed that policy up with the last entry and I am starting to feel a little uncomfortable having it on a publicly accessible page.

My Beloved Filters

So on to technical matters: My filters are going on quite nicely, I have the framework for them running and the only thing that doesn't work is actually the loading of them from a file. Filters should be supported in a shot time.

The Odd Gentoo Experience

A friend of mine installed gentoo yesterday, the thing is that he had never used linux before. I don't know why I ever told him about it, but really it was the only livecd I had lying around. I warned him against it passionately, suggesting redhat or debian instead but he refused to download another distro's ISO (he was on dialup).

The odd thing is that without any more experience with unix than using OSX he booted the gentoo livecd. Then he proceeded to bootstrap gentoo from stage 1 without my help or the help of any other linux geek. I was shocked, I thought that bootstrapping gentoo would be enough to turn anyone off linux if that was the first time they had used it, but no, he's was loving every second! When I finally got around to his place to help him set up he was half way through emerging the base system. I apologized, because I was a little embarrassed since I knew he thought that all distro's were as counter intuitive as gentoo because this was his first experience of it. He needed no apology however, he seemed to be frolicking around in front of his keyboard like a happy little squirrel having more fun than I have ever seen anyone have. I then unpacked my computer, set up apache to share my distfiles directory, plugged it into his computer with a cat5 network cable and set his gentoo mirror to my ip address. This impressed him no end for some strange reason as the files retrieved almost instantly. We then set it to emerge his base system and went to chat up the hot chicks on the beach. We were not that lucky on the beach, a pretty group was just leaving when we got there but there is always another day.

We got back, the base system was done, so we configured the kernel (2.6.1), it worked perfectly the first go, even though my newbie friend configured most of it and soon enough we had booted a gentoo installation off the hard disk. We got X and gnome installed and eventually we installed dvd ripping tools and other such stuff.

Now my first-timer mate is thrilled with his installation, he loves its speed (he can encode divxs twice as fast now), he loves how one can customize and optimize it, and he loves all the fun things one can do with it. He wasn't at all annoyed about how long stuff takes to compile.

I have never really recommended gentoo to anyone, I use it myself, but I am constantly frustrated by it. It has driven many a seasoned hacker to annoyance, I was certainly hesitant about helping this guy with it, however it is strange that someone who has used nothing but macs for 15 years with a little bit of XP for the last six month was able to set up his gentoo system almost independently, and I am sure he would have been able to do it even without me.

"A gentoo user is a debian user with too much time on their hands" --Caleb Moore (me)

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