a more simple question?

Tony Baechler tony at baechler.net
Wed Mar 6 08:35:41 UTC 2013

What Debian list are you talking about?  You can just type "aptitude" from a 
command prompt and get a nice list of packages by category with full 
descriptions.  I'm surprised no one mentioned this as it was one of the 
first things I learned.  When I got started, Aptitude wasn't really in use, 
so I used "dselect" instead which does much the same thing.  You can also 
visit http://packages.debian.org/ and browse by category.  I'm not sure what 
you mean by upgrading from an unknown site.  There is a large list of Debian 
mirrors which you can browse with any web browser or ftp client.  Look at 
ftp://mirrors.kernel.org/debian/ for one example.  All of the packages are 
cryptographically signed to prevent tampering and they're verified to be 
complete before they're installed, something you almost never find in 
Windows and DOS.

I meant it when I said doing the install isn't hard.  You can pretty much 
just press Enter at the prompts and it does the right thing unless it can't 
find your hardware.  The only exception is if you want to do your own fancy 
hard drive partitioning, but it sounds like you'll be using a dedicated 
machine so you can pretty much accept the defaults.  What I meant by being 
easily able to fix things is that Squeeze is very stable, so it isn't as 
though your system will become unbootable unless you do something really 
obvious.  The package manager won't let you do anything really bad without 
warning you.  The worst you would have to do is reinstall a package.

Yes, Shellworld uses FreeBSD, but for practical purposes, it's the same as 
far as Lynx and console programs.  Linux is a form of Unix and most Unix 
programs are portable enough to run on almost any form of Unix, whether it's 
a BSD variant or Linux.  You won't find that kind of portability in DOS. 
That's why the DOS ports of Unix programs require djgpp and dos4gw or some 
other extender.  The idea of djgpp is to be able to compile portable 
programs in a DOS environment.

Actually, I spent weeks fighting with packet drivers and dial-up networking 
in DOS because I wanted to run Lynx on my own system.  I never got it 
working and couldn't find a way to load my packet driver, screen reader, 
TCP/IP stack, dialer and web browser without it being so painfully slow that 
it wasn't worth it, besides not finding a packet driver for my network card 
in the first place, not to mention the memory issues.  I used a dial-up 
shell account for years because it was so much faster and easier, then 
switched to Windows 98.

On 3/5/2013 9:39 AM, Karen Lewellen wrote:
> smiling,
> I am in the dictionary under in most cases.
> I detailed what happened on the install attempt. I agree fixing is not hard
> if one knows what one is doing...witch's been my point.
> As for the nicely packaged aspect of Linux, I am not sure everyone agrees on
> that.
> In fact you are expected to install from unknown sites if you are going to
> upgrade and the like.
> Do not mistake me, as I said I applaud all the versatility. What I do not
> get is the difficulty in reaching that versatility.
> I asked on the debian list for example to see a list of all the packages by
> category...no one Could provide this.
> Indeed the choice of wordpefect is a choice, you might not install every Dos
> program out there...but you can find understandable information and choose
> on your own what might be worth exploring.
> because a few have hand picked for you what you really need, if you are new
> you might never find what might be useful.
> Ease in understanding is my point here.
> Individual choice should be easy to engage in, no matter if others do not
> think they need the program.
> I mean how many people use lillypond here? Or movgrabe for that matter?
> I do not expect anyone else to have to use it just because I want to.
> Karen

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