Thursday, January 1, 2009

Using Xandros is like Breeding Mules

Day 58

Mules are the result of the love shared by a male donkey and a female horse. These two animals evolved from the same creature so they are still genetically similar enough to produce offspring. Only one problem - horses and donkeys have a differing number of chromosomes (64 and 62, respectively) which means the mule is actually a genetic mess. One major side effect of this darwinistic God-playing is that mules can never reproduce - they are born sterile. 

Xandros is kind of like the mule. It is a derivative of Debian, and the version that ships with the Eee is further customized to fit the specifics of the tiny machine. This means the some .deb packages work, while others either do nothing, or can even brick the computer completely. 

I spent about four hours last night in a semi-circle of laptops trying to get them to recognize each other. Here's my arsenal.

1. Eee PC - Xandros advanced desktop
2. The wife's HP Pavilion - Windows XP
3. Antique Sony Vaio - Originally shipped with Windows 95, currently the only thing I can even get to load on it is Damn Small Linux
4. Dell Latitude - Ubuntu 8.10

My goal is to find a first person shooter game that will run smoothly on all the computers (plus two desktops, but dealing with those are simply too overwhelming right now). Here's where the mule analogy comes into play. Even though Xandros, DSL, and Ubuntu are all based on Debian, it was quite difficult to find a game that would run on the different OSes (especially cross platform). The ones the did load (Nexuiz and Alien Arena, specifically) were unable to find other players in network play. 

So if the mules can't get along, I say put them down and buy horses. I wiped both the Vaio and the Eee with intentions of putting some form of Ubuntu on them. My wife is pro Windows, but I figured she wouldn't mind if I dual booted her laptop with Ubuntu as well. This way all the machines - in theory - would sync nicely. Only one problem - the Vaio never made it through installation, and the Eee gives me about five minutes worth of errors before loading - and wireless doesn't work. 

So basically, last night was a bust. At the very least, I need to pull out my old DSL install disk, and the Xandros recovery CD just to get back to start. 

1 thoughts :

  1. jmacg said...

    I agree with you as far as eee Xandros is concerned. If you look at the 'Adding Additional Software Repositories' wiki and other stuff on the web, it's clear that adding software to the eee is a minefield. I've already broken my system once and had to do an F9 factory reinstall.

    Currently I can't get either sudu apt-get update or Synaptic to connect and update the repositories I already have - which are a couple that came with the factory install and the tuxfamily repo I installed so I could put the advanced desktop on my 900.

    Give me Windows for installing programs any day.