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more computer issues

February 27th, 2003

Ok, so I’ve installed, uninstalled and reinstalled so many things in the past week (on top of all my past upgrades, which come in burst – not the best way to do it,) that my computer now has so many issues it thinks it is a weekly news magazine first published in 1843 to take part in “a severe contest between intelligence, which presses forward, and an unworthy, timid ignorance obstructing our progress.” And it seams to be leaning towards the ‘obstructing out progress’ side of the contest. At least it’s obstructing my progress.

Last we left out protagonist it was compiling gcc. That worked, took like 6 hours but it worked. So, % make World >& world.log then % tail -f world.log. An hour later: Structure has not member named ‘fds_bits’… 8000 times! To make a long story short: I gave up on compiling X but I did find a distribution of XFree86 that would install. Of course when I rebooted, the interface kept crashing, but in all our X Windows misadventures we have learned what? To make backup copies of all the init files! So it only took a few minutes to find the correct setting for XF86Config to get everything to start correctly. (Though I could not just copy the old init file in place of the new one, they changed the format, so I had to manually edit the new one but that did not take too long.)

So on to the next adventure: installing Gnome2! First off, Gnome says they have binaries for many distributions of *nix, but I only found two or three on their ftp, and of course, none for my distro. But I did find this thing called Garnome which claims to download and install all the Gnome2 components with a minimal amount of user interaction. But there are prerequisites! I down loaded all the things they listed links to and installed them, fairly easy. The last thing on the list or prereqs did not have a link though—it said I would need docbook-xml (Docbook DTD 4.1.2) + docbook-xsl (Docbook XSL Stylesheets) and Gnome’s website said that any ‘modern’ install would have that. Well an hours into running Garnome and most of the way through the compilation process I got, you guessed it, an error telling me I did not have Docbook installed.

So out to the web to find Docbook. Google knows all! So I download a bunch of tars of various components of Docbooks and untar them. Ok, these are not things that need to be compiled they are just XML and XSL files. But the tar’s did not contain any notes on where to install the files. After several failed tries to get Garnome to find the file by placing them in random places I went back to the web to find some rpms of Docbook. I found an rpm, well call him A.rpm. A.rpm requires b.so|prog, off to rpmfind.net to get B.rpm. B.rpm requres c.so|prog. rpmfind.net -> C.rpm. C.rpm req d.so|prog. rpmfind-D.rpm-Oh look no more .so|prog to find! Yea! So: rpm -U D.rpm: OK. rpm -U C.rpm: error /x/y/z confilcts with /x/y/z from install of D.rpm, exiting. If I unistall D.rpm I and rpm -U C.rpm I get: error C.rpm requires d.so|prog! Ahhh!

S—— says the solution to all this is to download apt-rpm and use it to figure out everything. So I did. And after having to uninstall several things to get it to run, I started a system upgrade—660 packages to be upgraded, 15 to be installed and 4 to be removed. That was still working this morning when I left the house. We’ll see if I can install Gnome2 tonight. I doubt it. But—”We love this stuff!”

One Response to “more computer issues”

Ug… twhat bugs more more than anything else about *nix/Linux is the sheer complexity of “upgrading”. It’s almost as if the system is only stable if you only play with the leaves… that is those parts that only seem to effect themselves. Otherwise the whole thing goes to shit.

And what about the entire concept of creating a system that is clear? Great, I actually know what /usr/local/lib, but no one else seems to fucking care.

This is why I like apt-get and the Debian system so much. Certianly, Debian folks need to work on the user friendliness, but apt-get is limber enough to actually upgrade a library within a preexisting system and MAINTIAN system stability. Fucking MAGIC IN A CUP!!!

::grumble:: Now I am going to go back and grumble and moan… flick off Rational a few more times.