Aaron goes to DCI'm sure ... (12 Oct 2002)

Eep. It's been a while since I've updated this (but not as long as Ian). Internet connectivity is pretty much sorted out and I've been using the extra bandwidth to install Gentoo. For those who don't keep up with Linux distrib news, Gentoo is a new, source based distrib.

The current (beta, but soon to be 1.4) release uses GCC 3.2 to compile and, since it builds (almost) everything from source, you are free to set nice compile options (like -march=pentium2 -O3 -pipe etc). GCC 3.2 has some nice new code like the register colouring algorithm, which means that the generated code is pretty slick. So the idea is that Gentoo runs pretty fast and, on the whole, you can notice it. It's not jaw dropping, but it is there.

But, of course, it takes time to compile all that stuff. I gave up on OpenOffice after 24 hours (dual PII 450) and kdebase just fails to build. Gentoo does have something called the "Gentoo Reference Platform" for binary installs, but I don't think it's live yet.

So, lacking kdebase, means that I don't have my, much-loved, konqueror. Not disheartened, I emerge mozilla and mozilla 1.0 builds just fine. Shame about the code. Every time I start it up I need to rm -Rf .mozilla otherwise all I get is a blank window, creating new windows just does nothing, copying and pasting also does naut. I guess the saving grace is that it doesn't crash like my old Debian 0.9 package did. Unfortunately, a usable browser it is not, so with a quick prayer to the Stallman idol in the corner I installed Opera 6.

Damm. I hope I get konq installed soon to save my GNU soul because Opera just works, and works fast, and renders correctly and ... The only niggle I have is the oversized toolbar which is in the free version. The answer that that is, of course, pay for it.

Oh, and the department are getting some Macs so I'll have to play with more non-free software.