More tea please.


Spent a fair chunk of today sorting out Phil’s hard disk. Mac OS X had impolitely destroyed his partition table for him. I used TestDisk to recover it. There were a couple of issues, which meant that it took a little longer than it was “supposed” to.

It located a couple of adjacent ext3 partitions (Phil’s Fedora and Ubuntu roots) and generated some overlapping numbers for them. I had to manually edit the partition table using sfdisk to get it right. I particularly enjoyed the rollback-like features that sfdisk has (using -O and -I). I had to tell sfdisk to use sector units because it defaults to cylinders.

Then Phil gave me food. Excellent. Technical support for food.

Got a couple of management textbooks out from the library earlier. They’re really boring. Seem to be stating the obvious. Joy.

Posted at 11:06 pm on Tuesday 17th April 2007


I’m watching “The Great Global Warming Swindle”, which was on Channel 4 earlier. It’s annoying me. It’s trying to claim that a great proportion of environmentalists are anti-capitalists. Apparently it’s completely absurd to say that “economic growth” is a bad thing (note that I’m not saying that it is a bad thing, I’m pointing out that it’s not necessarily a good thing).

I will have to read some real things, rather than watching heavily biased documentaries…

Posted at 11:20 pm on Thursday 8th March 2007

Fedora or Ubuntu?

Quite a difficult one this. I have been a user of Fedora for a couple of years now, and it very much feels like home. Times are changing, and I can feel the pull of Ubuntu.

One major thing that sways me is Tapioca. I’ve tried the rpms from the repository that the Tapioca site links to. They install fine. They just don’t work. I have not succeeded in having a conversation using Tapioca yet. I’ve visited the IRC channel and spoken to people about it, and they all appear to be using Ubuntu. Ubuntu with functioning Tapioca :-(

However, there are some things that push me towards Fedora. Fedora appears to have decent test procedures in place for packages and stuff, which, despite Fedora being ‘bleeding edge’, means that things tend not to break. In my experience of using Fedora, it’s only broken once, and that wasn’t a fatal break: booting didn’t work under the new kernel, but it did under the older one (fix: use older kernel!).

Then there’s this whole other debate about yum or apt. As far as I can tell there’s no real feature difference between rpm and deb (except for deb’s “other packages you may be interested in” feature, which to me seems a little superfluous). I haven’t had any trouble with yum on my machine. Howard managed to corrupt part of rpm by switching his machine’s power off during an update, but still that wasn’t anything to do with yum.

Justyn, a housemate, seems to complain about yum continuously and I just don’t know why. I run local mirrors of the fedora repositories to save bandwidth (there are now 5 people in this house who use fedora), and have absolutely no trouble in using or maintaining them. Justyn complains regularly that yum seems to fail and die. I’m still waiting for him to show me such a case.
My one complaint about yum is that it’s slooow. The situation is apparently a lot better in FC6 because it uses yum 3.0, which has moved the xml parsing into a C library. apt seems to be uber-fast, which is good.

I’ve read and heard a lot of people say “Ubuntu just works”. This is great. However, I read that apparently this has a lot to do with the Ubuntu developers hoarding patches and not sending them upstream.
It looks like I’ll stick with Fedora for a while yet. I feel the need to experience FC6.

Posted at 1:58 pm on Sunday 22nd October 2006

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