Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Why the DCC Alliance needs to love Synaptic

Filed under
Software

Debian users have always boasted that their Advanced Package Tool (APT) was the best and fastest way there has ever been to install and delete software. They were right, except for two details: First, many computer users are scared of the command line -- and APT is a command line utility. Second, even for users not afraid of the command line, setting download repositories and other parameters was not easy unless you spent enough of your time administering computers to remember all the text commands it took to make APT do what you wanted. Then came Synaptic, which promised to make Debian software installs GUI-friendly. Not long after that came a version of Synaptic that didn't crash every time I tried to use it. And finally, in late 2004, Synaptic became so lovable that I would no longer want to have a desktop computer without it.

We can go on and on about how the GUI (Graphical User Interface) administration tools are only for lame users, but the reality is that most people use their computers as office machines, Internet terminals, and entertainment devices, and have no more interest in learning their inner workings than most car owners have in learning how to balance tires.

As long as it took command line skills to administer Debian, it was not a good distro choice for most computer users. If they wanted to have Debian's benefits they were better off using commercial Debian derivatives such as Xandros or Linspire, which worked to hide Debian's complexities behind a friendly face. Otherwise, they were probably better off sticking with SUSE, Mandrake (now Mandriva), and other RPM-based distros that made administration as easy as they could for the technically unhip.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Why we use open source - Australia’s Immigration agency explains

Why choose open source? “In some ways, [the open source software used by the agency] is effectively more capable” than commercial products, he said. “In terms of cost-effectiveness, [it] wins hands down: no license/maintenance fees, extensible architecture [and] global open source R&D.” The team uses an open source software package called ‘R’. Read more

Emacs & the obsessive email mongerer

I had already mentioned in passing here that I am using Emacs for a variety of tasks: outline, project management and planning with Org-Mode, IRC (go figure, my default email client on all my machines is Emacs’ ERC), notes editing or quick scribbling with the Scartch buffer (happens to me all day long), and regularly, albeit less frequently than in 2013, various editing of html pages, javascript and sometimes even Python when I dare to edit one or two things in Python scripts. A consequence of all these use cases is that I have Emacs open almost everyday on almost any of my machines. Read more

MIPS tempts hackers with Raspbery Pi-like dev board

Hard to choose between Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone Black, and MinnowBoard Max? Now there’s another choice: the open source MIPS-based “Creator CI20″ dev board. In a bid to harness some of the energy and enthusiasm swirling around today’s open, hackable single board computers Imagination Technologies, licensor of the MIPS ISA, has unveiled the ISA’s counter to ARM’s popular Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone Black SBCs. These days, every processor vendor simply must have a community supported dev board in order to engage with the developer communities. (Incidentally, Intel’s is the MinnowBoard Max and AMD’s is the Gizmo.) Read more

Samsung announces the Gear S while LG officially unveils the G Watch R

Samsung announced yet another smartwatch, Samsung Gear S that runs Tizen and comes with a 3G wireless radio. I have seen some call this the Gear Note because it does have a long two inch curved Super AMOLED display. The Gear S has WiFi, Bluetooth, and 3G radios and antennas inside so you can use the watch when your phone isn't handy. Turn-by-turn pedestrian navigation is powered by HERE. It has an integrated GPS chip and can be used for exercise, again without a phone connection. Read more