Team Murder No Brain No Headache.

19Jan/07Off

By The Way, I May Have Inadvertently And Permanently Dyed The Bathtub Orange

Every couple of years I get some crazy notion that I should try to make a go of one of the BSDs on the desktop (or, in this case, laptop) and it seems that this length of time is exactly long enough for me to completely forget what sent me scurrying back to Linux in a hurry. That feeling of 'almost' is upon me again as I've installed DesktopBSD on one of the less essential laptops and have found myself at a sort of stopping point. Because it's a laptop with built in wireless I've long since plumbed many of the dark depths of getting ndiswrapper to work with decidedly non-native drivers and actually made a pretty stable environment out of it over time. I struggled with this in the BSD environment for the better part of two days before eventually giving up and wishing that I hadn't bothered. The conversion of the Windows driver seemingly worked as did the loading of the resultant module into the kernel. The disappointing part came when I tried to actually use the wireless chip: hard freeze every single time that required a reboot, cursing, and pouring even more coffee. I bought Linuxant licenses for both of the old laptops so I always have an easy cheat if ndiswrapper is being too difficult but this wasn't an option with the BSD kernel.

After all of that headache inducing struggle and even more coffee I decided that I should at least mess around with installing some things through the ports system. That lasted for about an hour as every combination of things that I tried to install (except nano) failed miserably. Using a subset of BSD makes it impossible to determine whether the distribution or the ports system is the broken piece of shit to blame but it did give me a whole lot more respect for the Gentoo way of doing things which I've criticized endlessly in the past for being somewhat perilous. Compared to the errors that came from both make commands run in the directory and the portinstall utility, Gentoo is really easy and sensibly arranged. Jesus. For the sake of time, I'm going to slap a quick Debian install on it and forget that I can't deduct those lost hours from my income taxes.

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