University week 1

by davidnielsen

The first week is now over, lots of beer (way to much beer, I keep forgetting at 27 I should not drink with the 18 year olds.. their livers are young and fresh) and I still find the whole place a bit confusing but then again my sense of direction was never all that well centered.

Pleasant discovery number 1. my assigned study group consists of one german war driver (debian/kde), one Foresight Linux developer, a young Windows guy who despite his selection of OS is extremely nice and then naturally me. This is honestly one of the first places I have been where Linux users outnumber Windows users.

Pleasant discovery number 2. The college network admin is very nice not to mention funny. In the introduction to the network he mentioned that all their Linux  machines run Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, so anywhere I go on campus I turn to see machines available with a Linux OS. There are also Mac and Windows machines but I suspect they are fairly few in number. During his talk he mentioned that the university used to run Fedora but that they had to switch to RHEL due to the upgrade cycle which apparently caused them considerable problems with management (who tend to get upset when things change every year or so just because the admins think new is shiny). That didn’t stop him from recommending Fedora to the freshmen for their personal machines which in my book makes him a hero.

Another discovery, we will be taught Java as the primary programming language on these RHEL machines, I am not a big Java fan and would have liked .NET via Mono better. That being said, I am looking forward to these classes, the BlueJ environment seems very backwards to me though, this is the first programming book I have ever read that does not start with hello world and talking about constructs and operators.. very odd indeed but I am told this is because the Nano Tech people also need to take this course and they find programming hard so we need the point and click approach.

I found one thing changed in me the past 5 days, Monday before I started I began writing an impassioned case for turning the Fedora releases into rolling updates. So that the maintainers would only be forced to maintain 1 GNOME stack e.g. in a scheme where Development was used for the unstable releases and post release a service pack would be issued to updates-testing for GNOME. Mono and such when the SIGs were happy with the stability and had been able to push everything at once. What changed largely is that now I have much less time, I want my machine to work, I wish development would slow down a tad and I suspect I have become boring. I don’t have time to test things on a weekly basis, I just want my OS to work and have suitable components – this also presents a problem for me in that I run Fedora since we tend to push a whole lot of stuff and cause all manners of regressions, e.g. now on F9 my DVD tray acts mighty fun and several other things broke with upgrades as well. I still want the latest applications available though, when I install Banshee it should be the most recent we have in our repos. Upstream in those cases do not support anything except the stable releases and not having them is doing everyone is disservice. All in all I am much more conflicted on the issue of updates now than I was before.