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I have been humbled ... 
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Post # 278857
Post I have been humbled ...
I've been using Linux since around 2006. I thought I was pretty good at troubleshooting and fixing problems until I tried upgrading to SM 11.0. I was truly humbled by that experience.

My first attempt at installing SM 11.0 ended a few weeks ago when I discovered that my /home partition was installed on the wrong partition, which was entirely my fault. I also made a complete mess out of the Panel with no hope of retrieving it. So I restored SM 8.5 and put off upgrading to 11.0 for a while.

Yesterday, I had some free time so I decided to try nstalling SM 11.0 again. I backed up my SM 8.5 partitions and started a “clean install” of SM 11.0 around 6:00 PM. The base installation went very smoothly as usual, and /home installed in the right place this time. The pae kernel installed without a hitch and I got the compositing effects, themes, colors, and window behavior to my liking in about an hour. Firefox 5.0 and Thunderbird 5.0 went in next, and configuring those took about a half hour. I was extremely careful when modifying the Panel, and I got it right this time. It was only 7:45, so I felt I was doing very well. The KDE system would not play .wav files, so my “You've got mail!” notification in Thunderbird would have to wait for another day – no biggie though.

Typically my systems are "pimped out" with tons of software, mostly office and multimedia stuff, so I began installing my usual laundry list of packages. It was here that I ran into some serious issues. Some of the packages I used in the past were no longer available with Squeeze or didn't work as they did before. I enabled the Debian multimedia repository and installed SoundKonverter. The recent version in that repository would simply not work. Fortunately, I was able to obtain a .deb file for an earlier version, which converted everything properly, so I pinned SoundKonverter in Synaptic and went on my merry way. (I don't like pinning packages, but I will do it as a last resort.)

I installed HandBrake and Devede next. I tested HandBrake by converting a DVD to an .mp4 file. The resulting output file was nothing but gobbledygook when I played it with VLC and Kaffeine. I didn't even attempt converting the .mp4 into a DVD.

I installed MPlayer, but its icon wasn't added to KMenu and I didn't know the command to launch the GUI. I installed mplayer-gui along with its blue skin – again nothing showed up in Kmenu and entering the command mplayer-gui in the terminal produced a Bash error.

I decided to put off the multimedia problems for another day, since it was approaching midnight. I have a few mission-critical Windows programs, so I turned my attention to Wine next. The latest versions of Wine caused problems with Microsoft Office, but SM 8.5 came with Version 1.1.38, which worked well. This version wasn't available, so I decided to use Version 1.0.1-1. My copy of Autosketch would not install with that version, but fortunately I had a backup copy of my .wine folder from SM 8.5 with Autosketch installed in the folder; however, a segmentation fault occurred when I tried to launch Autosketch from that folder. I tried other versions of Wine to see if any of them would work, but they failed with Microsoft Office. It was now well past 1:00 AM. I had spent over 7 hours installing and configuring SM 11.0 and trying to solve frustrating software problems, and I was still nowhere near being finished. It was time to get some sleep.

I know that MEPIS Community Forums could have provided help, but there were just too many problems for me to solve all at once. So I ran with my tail between my legs back to my trusty old SM 8.5. I think I'll stick with this version until SM 12.0 (or 13.0) comes out, and give that a try.

As I said, this was a humbling experience. If I had stuck with a simple, basic, no-frills SM 11.0 installation, it would be a great system. Unfortunately, numerous software incompatibilities were a show-stopper for me.

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Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:14 am

joany thanked by: carlnyc
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Post # 278858
Post Re: I have been humbled ...
joany - Wow, I started using Mepis around the same time as you, 2006!

Well, I don't use WINE or the multimedia stuff you wrote about, so I can speak about any of that (and I'm sorry to read that you've had problems with those things).

It sounds like you kept a copy of your 8.5 installation somewhere, just in case, is that correct?


Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:40 am
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Post # 278859
Post Re: I have been humbled ...
That's a shame!

FWIW: I have TB playing a .wav file (dog bark) when I get new mail, set up through TB not KDE. Maybe that one little thing will work next time.

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Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:50 am
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Post # 278863
Post Re: I have been humbled ...
Jerry3904 wrote:
FWIW: I have TB playing a .wav file (dog bark) when I get new mail, set up through TB not KDE. Maybe that one little thing will work next time.

I tried that, but no dice. The Thunderbird notification relies on the KDE sound system, so if KDE doesn't play .wav then neither will Thunderbird. I'm sure there's a tweak of some sort to get .wav files to play (I seem to remember having the same problem when I first installed SM 8.5 and Stevo provided a work-around).

malspa wrote:
It sounds like you kept a copy of your 8.5 installation somewhere, just in case, is that correct?


Yep, I always make a back-up with Acronis before doing anything major like a reinstallation. It only took me 10 minutes or so to get SM 8.5 back up and running.

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Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:54 pm

joany thanked by: iridesce
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Post # 278872
Post Re: I have been humbled ...
joany,

Quite a struggle.
I had more trouble with 11 compared to 8.5, 8.0 and earlier versions in my experience.

Good to have an 8.5 image to go back to.


But you did so much tweaking on 11, did you grab an image of that install , as a starting point for a later (maybe on another drive ;-} ) M11 install, so you don't have to get all of those applications going again.

-Jay

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Sun Jul 10, 2011 4:08 pm
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Post # 278887
Post Re: I have been humbled ...
I think the fix for .wav files is to have phonon in systemsettings set to use the gstreamer backend instead of xine.

As for the mplayer GUI, that's been deprecated by the mplayer developers themselves. I'd recommend using SMPlayer, Gnome-mplayer, or UMPlayer from the CR (also available in the 8.5 CR's to take a look at) and pair them with the mplayer2 package from the community repo (also available in 8.5)

I haven't had any trouble with DeVeDe myself either with mencoder or mencoder-mt as the transcoder, but I don't do many mp4 files. I am interested in the Handbrake failure; can anyone else confirm the problems?

Sorry to hear about SoundKonvertor--I've been using pacpl ever since discovering it--it's just too darn convenient. Just remember to install all the Recommends for full transcoding.


Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:59 pm

Stevo thanked by: iridesce
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Post # 278898
Post Re: I have been humbled ...
FYI - Soundconverter works better than SoundKonverter, or it did for me. ;)

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