[conspire] Fc5 & Netzero

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Mon Sep 11 12:39:31 PDT 2006

Just now catching up on your discussion, John.  Other people seem to be
doing a fine job of assisting you with implementation details, so I'll 
stick to general matters.

Quoting John Andrews (jla1200 at netzero.net):

> -I installed the Java JRE (thanks to posts on this forum!) and then edited 
> runclient.sh from the /opt/nzclient directory to point to my installation of 
> Java.

Just a general comment:  Fedora Core 5 has some characteristics you
should be aware of:

1.  It's a "development platform", which you should read as "fast-moving
beta", i.e., as the saying goes, if it breaks, you get to keep both
pieces (and should bother complaining, because people will just look at
you funny and wonder what you expected).  Despite that, it's been for
the past year quite stable and is well respected -- but it's explicitly
_not_ a stable, enterprise platform suitable for deploying slow-moving
corporate software on.  It's primarily for developers.

Thus, if something like a dialer written up in Sun-specific Java in a
package for a very different distro doesn't quite work right on FC5, I'm
not very surprised at all.

2.  It deliberately omits proprietary and patent-encumbered[1] software.
That includes Sun Microsystems's Java JRE & JDK.  Keeping Fedora core
free of proprietary packages skirts legal issues, allows the entire
system to be rapidly developed without backwards-compatibility
headaches, and permits creation of (among other things) supersets that
add proprietary components while keeping the core reusable by everyone
for any purpose.

You as a person seeking to make your Netzero dialer .deb's contents work
on a system (FC5) with an incompatible packaging system (RPM) inherently
were taking on an extra responsibility:  Since you were unpacking and
implementing that .deb's contents manaully, it was actually up to _you_
to know what was in it, and what its dependencies are -- since those are 
precisely the tasks a functional packaging system takes care of for you.

In particular, you needed to remember that the Netzero dialer software
was/is Java code requiring the Sun JRE.  Fedora Core wasn't going to
take care of that for you, and you're _damned_ lucky that somebody else
here remembered that detail, since normally you'd be SOL.

If you're going to venture out into places like Fedora Core, and
especially if you're going to crucially need software outside its
packaging system, _you_ need to be on top of such things.  It'll save
you a lot of time and grief.

> It turns out that the Kubuntu 6.06  alternate .iso was copied to
> my users root directory.

I believe you mean the root user's home directory, which is "/root".

> I opened it with K3b and burned a iso9660 disk.

Whoops!  I can pretty much guarantee that you made a toaster.  Why?
Well, you may recall that I was copying the contents of that CD to your
hard drive when the **#$#-damned GNOME automounter kicked in about 600MB
in, hanging my copying process.  Thus, that image file is pretty much
guaranteed to be at least incomplete, if not basically garbage.

Next time you come over, or at the SVLUG installfest next Saturday, you
can get a good copy.  Meanwhile, you should throw away that iso file.
(If I'd had time, I'd have deleted it myself and made a new, good copy, 
but you may recall that it was after midnight already, and we really
needed to shut everything down.)

> To run it live do you choose "boot to first hard disk"?

Nope.  That's a "fallthrough" startup option to boot whatever's the
installed OS on the hard drive, _instead_ of the CD.

The Ubuntu "alternate" image is not a live CD.  For that, you would want
the "desktop" image.

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