failing like never before


Zenwalk, Elive, and Vector Linux

A little bit about Zenwalk 4.6, Elive 1.0, and Vector Linux 5.8 SOHO.

I took Zenwalk off my computer, it just wasn't for me. For the most part, it ran quite well, it was fast and responsive and configured nearly all my hardware for me. Netpkg is pretty cool, it removes the chore of building everything from source and it also has dependency checking. But I had one really stupid problem, aside from the monitor resolution detection. When I pressed control+alt+backspace, instead of rebooting X, Zenwalk simply locked up. At first, I thought that maybe Zenwalk was just slow to restart X, but after ten minutes it was still locked up and completely unresponsive. Anyways, I thought Zenwalk wasn't too bad, but it just didn't fit me.

I'm going to stick over Elive for a moment, and talk a bit about Vector Linux SOHO edition. Its also Slackware based, and is amazingly fast, just like they advertise it to be. I didn't check how long it took to install, but it seemed quite fast, and bootup times were really quite amazing, practically instantaneous. Of course, just like almost ever other distro on this planet, VL didn't detect my monitor or set the resolution correctly. But unlike Zenwalk which, set it to a fairly readable 1024x768, VL set my resolution to 640x480. And of course, my monitor stretched everything out to fit it on my 22 inch widescreen, and I couldn't see a thing. I managed to shut down X and get into a command line so I could start editing xorg.conf. (I have to say, that the "gtf" command is my hero, I don't know what I'd do without it.) After a few false starts, I managed to get my resolution all set up and was able to finally use the GUI parts of the distro. I was able to play music and watch videos without doing anything. Like I mentioned before, everything was responsive and blazingly fast. I wasn't a big fan of all the extra software included (do I really need three different web browsers?) but after all I did get the SOHO edition, there's a lighter weight edition that doesn't have all the redundant programs included. Vector also has its own package management system and dependency checking. Its called slapt-get (kinda like Debian's apt-get) and is as easy to use as Debian's. VL is a great distro, easy to use for linux noobs (as long as their monitor isn't too big) and runs great right out of the box without any configuration. Its also supposed to be able to run really old computers and restore some new life into that pentium pro in your garage.

I decided to install Enlightenment in Vector Linux (Enlightenment is amazing, I'll write a little more about it later). I'm not much of a KDE fan (VL comes with KDE) and I always end up installing GTK based apps to replace the QT based ones. Really, the only QT app that I like is KTorrent. I couldn't find Enlightenment in the repositories, so I had to download the libraries and build them by hand. Anyways, I experienced some problems with the installing proccess. Its been a while and I've removed VL from my computer since, so I can't quite remember what happened. Anyhoo, I kept VL for a bit, and then I decided to give Elive a test run just to see what it was like, and if I could use it to replace VL.

I'll write a review about Elive later, but for now, I'll just say that Elive is a pretty nifty distro, and it works perfectly for me.


Visual Studio Error Resolved

That stupid little error I mentioned earlier appears to have resolved itself.

weeee.. Visual Studio 2005.

I feel like spewing forth whole paragrahs of teenage angst right now... but that would contradcit my "vision statement" for this site.


Visual Studio 2005

I'm not a big fan of .net, so I wasn't too happy when I found out I'd be programming web services and sites in visual basic and ASP for my job during the summer. But even though I'm not much of a Windows fan, I still really like the Visual Studio 2005 IDE. Its got pretty syntax highlighting, and the little helpful hints and drop-down lists are really quite nice. Everything is very configurable and fairly easy to use. That being said, sometimes I experience some very strange things with the Visual Studio IDE. Like today.

I was doing some pretty simple ASP type stuff, more HTML and CSS really, when I decided to swtich to the "Design" view so I could get a quick glimpse of what my page was looking like (I know, I could always just hit Control+Shift+w and view the page in the browser and get a better view, but I was being stupid). But when I hit the "Design" button, the IDE popped up with this little error: "Can not switch to Design view because of errors in the page. Please correct all errors labeled 'Can not switch:' in the Error List and try again." It wasn't too big of a deal, and it wasn't the first time I had gotten this. So I checked the error list, and there was only one error: "Cannot switch views. This end tag has no matching start tag." The error was being thrown around the "" end tag in this line:

<a href="index.aspx">Chipset Info</a>

You can take a look at this screenshot to see the error in all its glory.

Now this was really quite strange. There was nothing wrong (or so I thought) with that line, and nothing above it was causing it to screw up. I figured that Visual Studio was just being stupid and maybe had some latency issues with updating the errors list. I hit control+shift+w and viewed the page in a browser instead and forgot about the little "error." Throughout the day I closed and opened Visual Studio a couple times and restarted my computer once. After the reboot, I came back to this same page and the error message was still showing. I tried moving the code around a bit, but the error kept coming up. So far, I haven't been able to make the error message go away.

I could rant about Windows and how their code sucks horribly, but for the most part, Visual Studio 2005 was working great for me. Yes, it is a really annoying bug that I've gotten, but I still think Visual Studio 2005 is a good IDE. There's a plugin for VS called "Ruby in Steel" that allows a developer to code Ruby in the Visual Studio IDE. If weren't for the fact that I run Linux at home almost all the time, I would be using VS at home, and not just at work.

"Course, theres still a part of me that says, "resist the urge! Microsoft is the devil!!!" But I'm working on not being such a narrow-minded OS fanboy these days.