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Creation Date: 2002-09-23
Greetings. If you haven't seen the first four pages of JF Final Scene 1, then you are missing out. Click the links.
Scene 1, Page 1
Scene 1, Page 2
Scene 1, Page 3
Scene 1, Page 4.

So, I didn't do JF Final Scene 1 Page 5. Why not? Well, today was a bit of a resting day. I thought that I would slow down my pace so that I can do a MWF thing again. And since I didn't give you that, I give you this. Tonight, I've been downloading Slackware GNU/Linux. This is a huge step forward in my quest to convert my computer to Linux. I will be formatting my old 6 GB drive and installing Slackware on it. Slackware is no small file, though. It is about four CDs worth total. I've downloaded 86 MB (A series, N series, and X series) compressed of ?? MB total. It's going to be a battle. It will take another day to get it all. Burning the CDs will take an hour or two. Installing should only take an hour or so. If everything goes correctly, I'll be sitting pretty. I've been downloading from Penn State University. Thank you Penn State! I get a solid 20 kbps, so I am super grateful. I started downloading from ftp.slackware.com using Opera, but it was too way too slow. I mean, in tears slow. I would never finish it, considering that I would have to click each link. Then I remembered that I have WS_FTP. Home run! I just select a list of files and click a button and it downloads it. When it finishes, it screams "BLEEBLEEBLEE!!!" into my headphones. Then I go to the next list. I went onto EFNet #linux and asked about installing Slackware one series at a time. I could get the A series, install it, and then download the rest. Well, my first problem is that I need the N series to use the network. Secondly, the A series has no graphics. I assume that means it is a console style OS. That's right, back to the days of DOS and Scorched Earth. Well, I can deal with that, but not downloading Linux from command line. My third mistake was that I need to pack the CDs very tightly to get essential Slackware to fit on 3 CDs. Another thing that I mistook was that Slackware is a 1 GB download. That would be insane. It is 1 GB uncompressed. Using tgz compression, it is a fraction of that. Another thing that I wasn't aware of is how user-friendly Linux in general is. Microsoft people like me think that Linux is a command prompt that fits on a floppy and has no support, no documentation, and no real use. The opposite is true. Linux has KDE and Gnome user interfaces. Most distros fit on a CD set. Slackware has ZipSlack that can fit on a ZIP disk. Just about all the distributions have support, and even support for people who downloaded it (like me). Downloading it is really only for really crazy freeloader types like me. Most linux distros are commercial products. The difference, though, is that the money made by Linux distros feed hungry programmers who spend all their time hacking Linux. Also, all programs have extensive documentation that rival the size of the program (unlike Windows). The thought that Linux is less powerful than Windows is a joke. All the programs in Linux are so much more powerful than Windows, that it pales in comparison. It is no wonder that Linux users look down on us Microsoft geeks. Just look at a simple program like cURL. There is cURL for win32, but you have to find it. cURL comes with Slackware. cURL is a hacker's paradise. It puts a tear in my eye to see the ability to manipulate cookies, save HTTP headers, manipulate POST form data, and download full sets of files. If you want to hack* many servers (websites, ftp, telnet) on the web, that is the way to do it. But get this, cURL is open source. What does that mean? It means that a hacker like me can take cURL and modify the source code to make it do something even more sinister. Muhahaha!

*When I say hack, I mean just explore interesting stuff that Joe Schmo doesn't see everyday. No illegal activity is implied. I've never broken the law in my many years of hacking.

So, what does this picture have to do with downloading Slackware Linux? Well, it is a flowmap of the Linux process for me. First off, I want to confess that I made the picture in MSPaint, which is an insult to all Linux people. I apologize, but I'm too lazy to learn how to draw in GIMP, yet. Now, onto the picture. It doesn't have all the intricate KDE, Gnome, etc. It has what I have to deal with. The first is Linux. The lovable penguin is the mascot for Linux. The penguin alone has done more for me than could a dozen testimonials. Knowing that the creators were convinced that their creation was worthy of a cute little animal made me want to switch. Microsoft has a set of flying windows as it's mascots, you can see how confident they are. But really, you have to agree with the Open Source, Free Software, and Linux system (or at least agree to benefit from it) in order to convince yourself to switch to Linux. The second is to find the right distribution. Linux is just the kernel. The operating system comes in a few flavors. The most popular are: RedHat, Debian, Mandrake, Slackware, SuSe, and Turbolinux. In order to switch to Linux, you must choose. That is tough because no one will tell you: take this one or die. They say: "it doesn't matter," or "you'll be equally disadvantaged with any," or my favorite: "get all and mix and match". I can tell you right now that mixing and matching distributions is not very wise. Looking at the table on Distrowatch, you can see what versions of each package that each has. You can also see if they are multilingual and if they have Asian language support. This was a big one for me. I wanted Japanese language support, but you can see that only a few have it. Slackware doesn't have it. It does have a good reputation. Linus Torvald used it and it was the first to become popular. Does that mean that it is better? No, but it has a reputation, you see. Will I survive? I am certain that I will. I assume that there is some way to get Japanese language support on Slackware. Perhaps I'll just have to download something. Okay, so next up is the tools. I gave three examples out of hundreds. You got Apache, the most widely used web server. You got PHP support with it. Then you got your Gimp which is a sweet image manipulator. Then you have Blender 3D modeler (recently made Open Source, hooray!). These are all great programs. One thing that I haven't mentioned is that all of these work in Win32. I actually have used each of these programs in Win32. However, there are a few icky bugs in the Win32 versions of each. I am told that the Linux versions run faster, better, and never crash out like Win32. I will believe it when I see it. If I never get another BSOD (blue screen of death), it will be too soon. ^_^

What else do I want to say? Oh yeah. Some people say that gaming in Linux is limited. Well, UT2003 will have Linux Support out of box. Hoo-wah! Quake3 runs on Linux. Counterstrike Servers run far better on Linux. And with developers like me, there's going to be a lot more linux games coming out. I'm already working on porting the AS3D Engine to OpenGL and Linux. Then I'll Open Source it so that Win32 programmers can port it to Win32, hahaha. G'nite!
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