Friday, September 17

Make no assumptions

So I decided to try out a new Linux distribution, as the present setup is not quite as stable as I like. But then that is basically my fault for running bleeding edge stuff, I also think there may be some faulty memory in the box, but I digress. So I went over to Distrowatch to see if anything new and exciting was available and picked a Brazillian distribution called Kurumin
and proceeded to download. There are a couple of reasons this one appealed to me. One was the size versus feature set (333MB and including Open Office), the other was that I had though about giving this one a try previously, so why not.

So the download process begins and I decide to check out the website to see what distribution specific details I might need to know about. That the site was in Portugese only probably should of tipped me off, but what the hell, most of the distrobutions come with an english locale package, and if necessarry I can get through the portugese install process and change the language settings after the installation. Download finishes, CD burned, reboot, and suprise suprise its a live CD, which means that I can run the OS (operating system) from the CDROM drive. I also see that there is an option to copy the OS directly to ram, which makes for a snappy system.

So I selct copy to ram and wait for the system to boot up and find myself in KDE, and in portugese. It looks like I can select english, but it doesnt seem to take. In reality, I should have stopped at this time done a bit of research and possible try another distribution. Did I?
Hell no what fun would that be. Maybe (I think to myself) there will be an english installation option, so I go for it. No English option, but Ive done enough installs, plus I did have that latin and greek derivatives class in highschool many moons ago, plus I did teach myself a small amount of french (hoping to get a job working at the Tour de France) 7 years ago, so I should be able to recognise most of the critical steps. Anyway I do manage to install the new system, without wiping out this one, booted up and started looking for a way to get the thing speaking English. After a couple of hours, and partial succes I realize that the necesarry locale files are not available, and that this is also mucking up my ability to set up the DSL connection so I can't download the needed files.

A lilo (linux loader - a versatile boot manager) reconfiguration to get the present system bootable fails (for reasons beyond understanding I get a Kernal panic looking for a filesystem that is not on any of the hard drives). I find the Installation CD boot it up reinstall Grub (another boot management program) and voila, I am back in the saddle with the old system.

Moral of the story, if it is a smaller distribution (under 350 megs) and the web page is not in english, then you might want to get the english language locale package so you can have it available if you need it. Another note, regarding the Portugese keymap, I have no Idea where the forwrd slash is (absolutely necesarry when trying to edit files), turns out that the forward slash key returns a semi-colon, the semi-colon places some wierd assed character on the screen, but the rest of the keys are pretty much the same. Thus ends the travails of spending the afternoon on a Portugese Computer. And now I can see what Bush has screwed up today, or if Iraq still exists.