15 Oct 2002 apm   » (Journeyer)

Wow, it's been a long time since I posted an entry here. Too busy to ramble on about myself I guess. Or maybe I don't find myself interesting enough to ramble about.

Still plugging away on Suneido. I'm happy enough with how it's going, although I wish there were more hours in the day. My to-do list continues to grow much faster than my done list.

Still, with the help of a few contributors, we're close to porting the server side of Suneido to Linux. It now compiles with GCC and successfully runs all the built-in tests. But this is with MinGW, still under Windows.

I'm ashamed to say I don't even have a Linux system setup (work is all Windows). But obviously, to complete the port, I'm going to need one. So, the age old question of which distribution. I ended up thinking I'd use Redhat, because it's the most common (or at least that's my impression). So I started downloading the latest version. Two days later it's still downloading. I don't know if this is a busy time or if they're always this overloaded. Or, cynically, maybe they prefer slow downloads so people will buy the packaged product. Although, as far as I can tell, no one around here carries out. So while I'm waiting for the download, I thought I'd try Debian, partly because they had a minimal download which let you download the rest later, as required.

First, of course, I had to partition my hard drive. Strangely, there don't seem to be any free non-destructive partitioning programs that handle NTFS. So I forked over the money to upgrade an old version of Partition Magic.

Unfortunately, Debian's install is not quite as "automatic" as some of the others. My first problem was the network card. I picked what I thought was the right driver and it seemed to recognize it, but it didn't work. I ended up installing a copy of Mandrake I had around to see if it would figure out the network card. It did, so I went back to Debian and picked the same driver and it worked.

I probably would have just stuck with Mandrake, at least temporarily, but it kept hanging up - judging by the state of the screen when it hung, I'd guess some problem with video drivers. What happened to uncrashable Linux? So, back to Debian. Next step was to install some more packages. Luckily, downloads from the Debian site were much faster than Redhat. The next hurdle was getting X configured. With basically zero knowledge, this was a challenge. I have a Dell computer with what I assumed was a fairly standard ATI Rage 128 video card. However, there appear to be dozens of version of this card. Eventually, after a 12 hour day, I gave up and went home. I couldn't even get it to work in standard VGA mode, which I'm sure is my own stupidity, but no less frustrating.

Oh well, I'm getting caught up on Linux, the hard way (which is often the best way). Hopefully my Redhat download will complete eventually and I'll give that a try. Or maybe if I get motivated I'll fight with X configuration on Debian.

Meanwhile, it's back to threading issues in Suneido.

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