[ltp] thinkpad 310ED

Madhusudan Singh linux-thinkpad@www.bm-soft.com
Mon, 22 Oct 2001 12:32:01 -0400

This is a ThinkPad mailing list, so your comments about Desktops are 
irrelevant. But could not resist addressing your comments about distros.

On Monday 22 October 2001 10:43, Tod Harter wrote:
> Well, Mandrake seems to be about the best desktop distribution around these
> days. Sometimes it has a few rough spots, as they tend to try to be very
> "bleeding edge" with their packages (and they seem to have by far the
> largest selection of packages available, plus 90% of RH 7.x packages work
> fine on Mandrake, which is nice).
> I would NOT really call it a "light" distribution, BUT with 8.x you can
> pretty easily pare it down to a reasonable subset that you can live with.
> If you use just one window manager/desktop and don't install a lot of
> development and server packages you can get an install thats well under 1
> gig. If you really push it you can get it down to around 350 megs (and
> probably much less, but for smaller installs than that I'd go with one of
> the micro distros).
> I have been running Mandrake 7.2 and 8.0 on a 380D and an A20p for a few
> months now. 8.1 is out now, which would probably be the way to go.
> Debian is a great and wonderful thing, but it has 2 major problems. One,
> its a hobbyist effort and doesn't necessarily cater to people's real needs.

Though debian is purely GPL, I would not dare to call it unstable. It is 
perhaps the most stable of all Linux (another "hobbyist" effort :) ) distros. 
Most experienced admins go for Debian as their first choice. And something 
that is that stable cannot be in justice called a "hobbyist effort". If 
anything, it shows professionalism.

> Take for instance the BS with Debian and KDE. That was just dumb.

I do not think that remaining on the right side of the copyright law is very 
dumb. Troll Tech had some licensing issues with qt (which have since been 

> Personally I don't trust the Debian people to put first priority on user
> needs over some kind of philosophical mumbo-jumbo I could care less about.

Putting the right of users to see and modify the source code for their own 
needs is the basic premise of open source. It is hardly philosophical mumbo 
jumbo. Ask Dmitri Skylarov. Maybe his stint in the jail was also 
"philosophical mumbo jumbo" :)

> 2nd its just NOT that easy to run. Eventually you can make it work very
> slick, but its packages tend to be way out of date and it doesn't give you
> much in the way of easy admin tools.

apt-get and dpkg are extremely capable package admin tools. 

It is no more out of date than the sources of packages are. And everyone 
knows that sources are released far before rpm's are. Not to mention that for 
many packages, you have nothing but the source to work with.

I am myself a Redhat user, but I would think twice before saying that other 
distros are bad. Each has their own role and own strengths and weaknesses.

And I have not tried it but I have heard that SuSe is a wonderful distro for 
laptops in general.

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