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[vox-tech] First impressions of Slackware 10.0 (Hi, Bill!)
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[vox-tech] First impressions of Slackware 10.0 (Hi, Bill!)

Hi, everyone, and I'm online for the first time with a version of the new
Slackware Linux 10.0 release called ZipSlack. Bill, you asked about gpm
and screen, and I'll comment on those in a bit, remarking for now that one
of these programs seemed to be less my strong suit than vi -- to which I'm
new, being accustomed to GNU Emacs 19.31 or Pico, but am using for my
SysAdmin stuff. More specifically that's Elvis, a kind of "vi meets the
21st century and HTML." The other, or the drivers or whatever for it, seem
to produce some curious complaints in /var/log/messages -- but no
significant problem.

Anyway, it's been a week with lots of fun and a bit of weirdness, and a
lot of excitement as I booted SW 10 with its standard 2.4.26 kernel and
got into a bit of basic system administration with vi, a new application
for me: editing /etc/fstab to place the root at hda5 rather than the
default fd2 (typical for a ZIP drive, I guess, to which this core
selection of the SW distro is nicely proportioned). Then came the pppsetup
script, and editing the relevant configuration file to load the ppp
modules automatically by uncommenting some relevant lines.

However, although the friendly pppsetup script (nicely tailored for
someone accustomed to either a text-based or GUI environment) had written
the relevant ppp files, I encountered a problem: the modem didn't seem to
be dialing out.

Then I took a look the listing of the file pppscript helpfully made
available with some other ppp-related files in a document produced by the
setup routine -- and saw a likely problem. Somehow the AT command for the
modem to dial my ISP got placed in double quoted -- so that it was
_expected_ rather than _sent_ to the modem. Starting vi, I could fix this
easily -- and was soon pinging Google.

Anyway, Bill, I'm fascinated with the possibilities of Screen, and thought
of you when I noted that it was included in the list of packages for
ZipSlack. I want to try the split-screen stuff, and already admire the
visual bell option (nice and quiet) and the screensaver option, which I
need to learn how to get right. Often I've used multiple buffers and two
or three windows in Emacs, so this could be a neat variation. I have some
ideas to try.

Watching the startup process, I noticed mention of gpm -- and the
problem that the program expected a system with some kind of mouse. This
produced some items in /var/log/messages, but no evident problems.
However, this looks like a very useful option for people who use these
pointing devices, with Screen supporting pasting between consoles with the
keyboard -- thanks for educating me on this, Bill!

As the documentation explains, one of the ideas of ZipSlack is that if you
like it, you can freely expand with other Slackware packages, and migrate
it to a native Linux filesystem. Both the easy installation and the
traditional **IX culture and humor really have me impressed.

Most appreciatively,

Margo Schulter

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