19 August 2007


Recently found a new Ubuntu toy: Automatix.

This is vaguely akin to the PLF (Penguin Liberation Front) repositories under Mandriva, except that it’s a little more willing to step outside of the boundaries for items like codecs, Opera browser, TrueType fonts, etc.

Altogether this makes it quite handy for that handful of little annoyances (inconveniences) which are typical of a new setup.

Welcome though this is, it still doesn’t magic away the handicap of a 500MHz Celeron pushing an ancient video chipset through SD-RAM, so this beastie is going to transform itself into a twin-CPU Athlon driving a GeForce chipset through DDR. The difference between that & the absolutely cheapest CPU/mobo/video combination I can buy new is about $17 — definitely not worth the messing around.


Melissa (elkbuntu) said...

I think you ought to read Matthew Garrett's technical audit of Automatix before gushing further praises about it.

You can find the audit at: http://mjg59.livejournal.com/77440.html

Leon Brooks said...


Thanks for the link, interesting reading.

It seems that Automatix is fine for someone like me who can beat his head against the odd problem without tending to suicide, but it appears pitched at the complete newbie. Not, from what I read there, a very clever move even with its little disclaimer page.

As to "gushing further praises..." well, I'm guessing that you lead a fairly sheltered life. (-:

In concert with many who posted to mjg's blog, I think Automatix mostly needs a bit of refining. To actually achieve this will probably require some major developer changes, so it might work out better if someone starts a NotManualix project to integrate just the straighforward upgrades.

I tend to agree with Mr "Rake Your Own Leaves" that while one learns from dealing with the installation of relatively trivial chunks of software, a good place to start might be a simple HOWTO which tracks what Automatix wants to do. That way, a prospective Automatix user has an immediate option to do stuff alternately by using copy-&-paste into a shell.