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Re:Re:Deploring *nix Philosophy ( Was Re : Splitting archives across floppies )




Hello Mr. Erik & Mr.Robin,


I thank you both for taking the pains to respond in such details. I am trying to clarify my position ( to myself first and the list ) help make issues clear.Dear List,please excuse me for the lenght.I can't help.

I felt you both were mistaken in understanding me. Maybe that stems from our different understanding of 'Desktop Installation'. I understand by 'Desktop Installation' - installation on a single home PC shared by different family members but not networked or similar.Though all resources are shared, timespan is different and for one only at a time. I expect a good OS to be able to figure out what settings are required in this condition - either through the choice of installation type or even by the absence of a network card and network settings. I setup user accounts for different family members and root account is managed by the more knowledgeable member of the family or in combination.

Now I have soundcard, modem to dial-up,Cd-Rom / Cd RW and floppy which all of us use.I appreciate the ability in Linux to setup the usage patterns differently for each according to needs. Question is, how does the installation itself sets them up? Every member should have sound, should be able to connect to Internet and read and play CDs ( not everybody write, if you prefer )

Consider fstab as a fresh Fedora installation gave me.Even if you have floppies and CDs automounted, as user I couldn't unmount ( permission denied or device busy , even after one has closed all file manager and application windows ) and hence eject it.You are stuck. You have to either sudo or go to root account to wriggle out.Now either I share root password with each user to enable them to change CDs and floppies when they need it, which compromises system health or go to fstab and change the entry there, which I did after much digging into the OS and after a few days. OS has no clues or helping scripts,or GUIs to help me.( Till I know about mount / unmount and fstab file ) I can't go to help - in the windows way - search on CD or floppies and get all the information the system has to offer. Mind, I am new to Linux. Now,my question is, if this is the way this needs to be done - security compromised or not compromised - why the installation script itself doesn't do it understanding that from the installation type chosen and options exercised ? Why should I be required to do a research on the subject, distracted from my main work ? There is Autofs built in Fedora which can be used to sense and mount and unmount automatically any removable media without your knowledge, inobtrusively. Fedora doesn't set it up either - not using one of Autofs's abilities.( I do not know why it doesn't want supermount )

Ditto about modem and dial up. A user cannot run kppp or wvdial out of the box. You must sudo or be root itself . On this I was helped by the list. But even to go to the list or HOW-TOs, I either had to work as root - again compromising security or go to Windows and do it. Now,if Linux is really so security centric, isn't it wrong for it to force me to be root to use the main resources of my computer or does it expect me not to use them , to keep them as decorations ? Or the other option - going to Windows ? Should any self - respecting OS expect you to use any other OS so that you can set it up ? Ultimately you have to change the original scheme of security as given by installation to be able to use them, why shouldn't the OS or installation be designed to enable all these fundamental resources of a PC ( without which PC is useless ) to it's normal users and offer them full security, data integrity and all ? That way - not being root where you shouldn't be, or fiddling with security scheme given - are you going to enhance security or lower it ?

Presently I have a problem with using my sound as normal user - again some permission issue.( Which I only realised today after asking on the list a question about initialising the sound card ) But the above examples explain enough my expectation and position.

Now RH itself is a decade old and in it's 10th version . I believe it wants to be in PC space - the one I explained which makes up the biggest chunk of PC consumers where the original Unix paradigm is irrelevant.But wanting to be in this space, but not understanding the changed paradigm itself, what does that speak about RH ? But RH is not alone in this.I have tried Mandrake, Knoppix ( debian ),ElxLinux. All of them do ditto.Whose cause are they serving - Linux's or the Redmond Giant's ?

Let's come to Erik's example . Should a driver of a car be a Mechanical or Automobile engineer and be a master of Engine , Transmission system, Sophisticated Instrumentation and all other things that go with them ? If I am an Economics professional and want to drive my car to workplace, do you expect me to study the internal mechanisms of the car or have a technician seated beside so that I can drive my car ? Over and above, if this car can recognise me and does not let my wife and son anywhere near - how do you think about it ? Cars are what they are because their manufacturers were not foolish enough to expect that of their users and ditto for Windows.( Yes, for all its failures )

I believe I have been fair ( and forthright ). I have no hesitation in correcting myself if I am not.

Parameshwara Bhat


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