I love it when stuff just works

I really love it when things just work. Especially things that just don't work in the beginning.

For those of you who are unaware I purchased a Gigabit ethernet card recently (Linksys eg1032 v 3.0) and haven't been able to get it to work. Ever. Well Sabayon, my new favorite distribution in the entirety of creation, detected my Gb card after I re-seated it (turns out the power connector for my AGP card worked it loose during my last cleaning and I didn't check).

Now openSuSE has detected the card before but it's never worked, even following the instructions on the LQ boards. So, as much for me to remember as for you to get the solution, here's what I had to go through after I re-seated the card:

run the command 'ifconfig eth1 [address]' to set the ip addr (dhcpd isn't picking it up but this is a command that can be entered in your profile script)
get knetwork manager to recognize it as the primary network device

What, you were expecting more? That's seriously it. I thought I'd have to modify config files again! No. Sabayon just detected the card, correctly might I add, selected the right driver (r8169 in this case; fucking miracle with this card I tell you...), defaulted it to Gb mode on full duplex and brought it up. I love Sabayon.

Do me a favor: if I ever change distros again please, please make sure I didn't violate my ethics and take a bribe, mkay?

Gryyphyn, out.


Long Time Coming...

My review of Sabayon Linux 3.4e has been a long time coming. It's not that I've been running it for a long time. I've only been using it for about a week. ^_^ No, it's because this is the first non-SuSE distro that I've used since who the hell knows when. So, here's a quick rundown:

What I like
1. This is the most beautiful install environment I've ever seen. You actually boot in to the distro (bootable distro with installer options from the grub menu) and the installer starts. You're in an xfce environment, which is fairly sparse, but it's an actual desktop. While you're installing you can be browsing the web using your browser of choice, mine being Firefox. So when you run in to any sticky bits you're able to search them from the installing machine rather than having to run to the next room to grab someone else's computer. Nice.

2. The startup music is fantastic. Yeah yeah, big whoop, right? While KDE has some nice music it's not very energetic. It reminds me more of MS Win95 startup sounds, to be honest (don't kill me!). Sabayon, on the other hand, sounds like it was put together by Michael Kamen or SqEnix. Seriously.

3. Pretty colors. The default theme is a nice red one. Normally I have problems with the color red but this is really well put together and ties in to all of the applications. Even Amarok's OSD shows up as red.

4. KDE is all set up (mostly). The menus are already set to transparent and it uses the new default KDE menu system that behaves like Vista wants to (did I save that or what?!).

5. It's based on Gentoo. This means that you have access to what I now believe is the nicest package management system ever. There's graphical front-ends, lots of text-based tools and huge repos full of stuff.

6. Default applications are complete. Sabayon includes almost every application you could ever need. K3b, Amarok, Firefox, etc... are all present in their resplendent glory along with a decent selection of OSS games. The distro, since it's actually a live CD that can be installed, also includes some advanced games that can be installed by default if you use Gnome and are available as separate boot games. Pretty cool.

7. Configuration is a snap. For the most part it's just like any other distro: edit config files or use the specific application's configurator. Straight-forward and simple.

8. iPod support. In a world that is dominated by the iPod it's become fairly important to support the device, as well as any others. iPods in particular are a difficult item to support for a few reasons. While mine didn't work straight off (an update was required for Amarok because they're kinda dumb sometimes and journaling was enabled on my pod) it didn't take a whole lot to get things rolling. Once I stopped being an idiot (imagine that) and checked my Amarok version I saw I was out of date. I got one error that Google was able to provide a repair link for (aforementioned journaling) I was up and going. It's so bloody simple that it's like being on a Mac (yes, you need to fix those sometimes too).

9. Ease of use. In large part this is due to KDE. However Sabayon makes things a little more simple. Installation takes less thought than installing OS X (having done it now I can say that with confidence). Most everything is set up and working for you when you first boot. There's really nothing for you to configure unless your anal (high, I'm Mr. Tight Sphincter).

10. It's all inclusive. I haven't had to download anything that a normal user would need. Multimedia, browsing, file support... it's all really there.

Let me detail quickly the problem with the iPod. It's not particular to Sabayon, it's a general problem with a general solution. First, make sure you're running the most up to date version of Amarok (it has the best iPod support from what I've seen so far). If you're running your pod from a Mac primarily then it will have journaling turned on. Linux doesn't like that much (it's a kernel thing) and will only mount the pod as read-only, which Amarok can't have. So, boot in to your Mac and hook up your pod. Open a terminal (if you don't know where that is just go to Searchlight (apple-key + space)) and issue the following command:

mount (this command will give you your volume name which is needed by the diskutil command below; look for what you named your iPod near the bottom of the mount command output. You're looking for /dev/yourJournalNameIsHere)
diskutil disableJournal volumeName (replace volumeName with the volume you found for your iPod from mount)

That's it. Next time you have Amarok running and plug in your pod it'll detect and mount it, allowing you full browsing.

What I didn't/don't like
1. The options for installing on 3.4e are backwards. When you select KDE it takes you to Gnome stuff and visa versa. I had to re-install. Make sure you're paying attention to the packages.

2. It's a long install. Yes, there is a lot of stuff to install but do we really need all of it? A granular package manager would have been very nice here.

3. Config files are loaded with comments. Samba alone, which shouldn't be more than 40-80 lines for a typical, secure configuration was ~300 lines. That's crap.

4. Java was broken out of the box. Sabayon comes with Azureus, my favorite torrent client, but the java classes are broken due to god knows what and there was no jre/jdk, both of which are required. Fixing it was easy for me but an average user is going to be on the phone with someone real fast for this problem.

5. Desktop icons are ginormically huge. I mean really fucking big. Running 1280x1024 the Google Earth icon was literally the size of a golf ball. WTF?!

I like it. I'll keep using it for a while. The problems I had were minor in consideration to the ease of use and the ease of fixing said problems. If you're bored or just want to see something else pull down the iso, burn it and boot it. You can give it a test run with all the cookies enabled (including XGL for fancies).


Gryyphyn, out.

Mac World

This is a short update about my post last night (this morning?).

I'm at the Apple store right now and just found out that if you bought an iPhone within the last couple weeks you can get a refund on the price difference with the new pricing scheme announced Tuesday. You have to have your receipt but it's available. Listened in to a conversation at the counter myself. So there you go.

Gryyphyn, out.


The World

The world, in all it's eccentricities, has decided to punish me. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it, god damn it! It's been a shitty couple of months, though things are taking a turn for the better. I'm not going to go in to it. Those who need to know already do.

So, it's been a busy two months in general. Top stories of the last two months since I've been on hiatus:

1. Apple has made a great deal of news in the last two days. If you didn't know then you need to get out from under your rock and join the connected civilization. Go watch this:
Apple makes news (again...)
It'll do you good. I do warn you, however, that the rest of the living world is either watching this for the first time as you click the link (yes, they too were under a rock) or is watching it for the ^nth time.

2. NBC done shot themselves in the damned foot. While the official announcements have just breached within the last couple of days it's a situation that has been brewing between them and Apple for a few months. They have pulled all of their television show episodes from iTunes because they're greedy mother fuckers. That's really what it is. Who in the hell would pay $4.99 for an episode of anything?! If you buy a TV series season in the stores it'll run you about $100, making it ~$3.00 per episode. iTunes charges $2.00 per ep, which, even though I don't purchase stuff from iTunes at this point, seems relatively cheap comparatively. I hate greed, almost as much as I hate stoopud come to think of it...

3. Baren has come back to the world of the living! I say that not because he's a zombie now but because I just can't imagine there being much life without being connected...

4. Macrosucks (read Microsoft) is making huge headway in the computer an gaming industry with the launch of a Halo 3 XBox and Halo 3 itself, along with the news that they will release SP1 for Vista in Q1 2008. Now, this is all in the future, but it's still noteworthy news. I still have to wonder what the hell they were thinking with the Zune and why they continue to release operating systems (can you call it that if they don't operate well?) when they know they're broken...

5. KDE, one of the many available window managers (? still don't know how to define it to be honest...) for Linux, Unix and BSD (among others) announced a final date for their much anticipated 4.0 release to be some time early Q4 2007. The myriad of enhancements made, including, but not limited to, native XGL support, will make it the single most advanced window manager (? again) in creation (is it still opinion if it's fairly accepted fact?). I personally look forward to this newest release and plan on updating my OS (again), Sabayon Linux, as soon as they integrate KDE 4.

I think that's all I want to talk about for the time being. I would like to delve deeper in to some of these topics soon, but now's not the time. Next update will be about my experiences with Sabayon Linux 3.4e. (Hint: I like it a lot so far.)

DF of the week
The whiners who complain about some of the changes made to pricing from Apple, announced 09042007. I understand why you're pissed, honestly. I was a little miffed that six weeks after I got pai, my MacBook, they dropped the price $50 and gave the same level 1 Gig of RAM and an 80 GB HD. Honestly, I understand... to a point.

Apple dropped the price of the iPhone two months after it's launch by $200. Early adopters have to suffer that. It happens, you should know the consequences. Dumbass.

They're charging $.99 to make an iTunes song, which you already paid for, in to a 30 second ring tone. Ok. First why can't your phone just fucking ring? No, I'm not using an actual phone ringer type ring tone, but that's because I can't hear the damned thing. But there's no reason in the whole of existence to have your damn phone blast some shitty rap song when someone calls! Do you have any idea how annoying that is? And I sure as hell don't want to hear your phone completely mangle The Eagles 'Hotel California' ever again. You want music listen to a CD or your (insert portable digital music player here).

I have to deal with the fact that just three months ago I paid $349 for my 80G iPod and now there's a 160G in the same price spot. How pissed do you think I should be? Not very. Even I'm searching for shit to fill the damned thing up with! I don't think I need 160G worth of music, let alone the video I hardly ever watch (I watch video podcasts on a regular basis; that's usually the extent of my iPod video enjoyment).

Please, stop the bitching. I don't care. Nobody else should either. If you're that pissed off send a letter to Apple. I'm sure they have a Capuchan who's more than willing to burn your rant for you.

DISCLAIMER: That last commment should in no way be misconstrued in to my telling anyone that Apple's customer service sucks monkey balls. I've had nothing but positive experiences with every Apple anyone I've ever communicated with. The monkey is the one with a grudge against you.

gryyphyn@motoko$:> exit