Update 20091219: Debian Lenny on New-Old Laptop, etc.

I’ve been tied up with family and work issues, so I’ve been unable to update the blogs as intended. After having issues with X crashing in PCLOS Zen Mini, I decided to find something a bit more stable. For me, that more often than not means Debian, a RedHat clone, Slackware, or one of the BSDs. I opted for Debian Lenny via net install.

I decided on the standard Gnome desktop (the default for net install to a computer intended to be used for a workstation), even though I’m primarily using JWM. I’ve also installed ratpoison. You can see my jwm tray has buttons similar to Gnome’s default top panel. It’s a work in progress; probably no need to add a bottom panel. I took the pager out of the tray but I’m using two desktops. I just switch by keybinding.

As you can also see in the screenshot, I chose Xemacs over GNU emacs this time. No particular reason, just haven’t used it in a while. I was going to stick with vim until I saw that I’d have all kinds of bullshit to install due to the packaging. Come on. At least with Xemacs there are several options beyond X and nox. That’s actually not an option for Xemacs — try MULE versions and Gnome versions. Like most of my applications that only open one window (GIMP sucks like that), it opens maximized without any decorations or borders.

No complaints, everything works like it’s supposed to. I had a few tweaks (permissions issues) to sort out for my printer and had to add the non-free repository to my sources.list to acquire firmware for my card. Piece of cake.

The packaging is a bit hefty compared to what I really want but it owns the full hard drive. There are a few things I wish were packaged differently. I had to go to debian multimedia to get mplayer without the skinned GUI; unfortunately, that version was compiled without dvdnav so I have to count tracks if a DVD has more than one. Wouldn’t you know there’d be one packages not bloated enough for my tastes.

I have a few things to write about third-party repositories and what users most often add to their systems with blind trust, but I want to do in the context of something I left hanging at the TinyCore forums a couple weeks ago. Hopefully, I’ll have time to do that tomorrow both there and here. Stay tuned.

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