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Author Topic: 10 things to do after installing Linux  (Read 13695 times)
Bjorn_Bear
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« Reply #25 on: November 07, 2009, 12:19:09 PM »

Thank's, I check that.
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iphigenie
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« Reply #26 on: November 08, 2009, 05:22:38 AM »

I guess as a long term user of both I might put my 2c in

Wireless

Is a big issue *everywhere* - I have had problems with my windows machine, usually not with drivers but with getting the right settings and connecting to networks. On most machines on windows the driver comes with its own wireless manager tool, and more often than not some network settings work on the native wireless tool but not the manufacturer's tool, and vice versa. People who dont travel much dont have that problem, but if you do, you have encountered it. Now we have perhaps forgotten how nasty it was on windows even 2 years or 1 year ago...

Most cards have decent driver solutions on linux - at least it is well documented what works and doesnt so you can avoid trying on a hopeless machine - but the "connect to a network" bit is the same mess as on windows - several different "supplicant" layers available, and lots of trial and error to figure out how to set up the different kinds of networks you encounter.

Too many cooks:

But the biggest obstacle to switching to linux on the desktop for me is: the mutually exclusive choices you have to make when it comes to desktop environmnent, sound and multimedia (and perhaps others). It is not always even clear what the choices mean you are giving up.

I have been using linux and bsd on the server side for ages and am totally convinced there - but there are no mutually exclusive choices on the server side linux. Installing Apache does not somehow prevent you from using entire sets of tools and software.

On the linux desktop, on the other hand, choosing to run one set of apps means you cannot run another set - your choice of desktop will suddenly limit what apps you can use, and sometimes not very clearly (better know which key library set your chosen set up uses, and not get gtk apps on the wrong desktop etc.). Yes, it is kind of possible to mix some but at a risk of weird problems, and certainly at a high performance cost.

Say you've got your distro installed and you read up on what apps might do to replace your photo management app, music player, screenshot editing tool, desktop recording, information manager, email clients etc. tools. It's very likely you might find apps that tick most boxes for your most wanted features. But what is also likely is that they will need different core libraries and desktop environments and you wont be able to run them all on your distro comfortably. Eg: you cannot have the best image/photo manager and the best screenshot tool at the same time - one's KDE and the other Gnome - and both need the full stack. Sorry. Got to use a half baked half finished app for one of the two tasks, make your choice.

Read about a great music app or video editing app? Sorry, can't use it, because they only work with a different audio or video layer than the one your distro installed. And you can try to install that layer, but then it is likely that your already installed audio solution will stop working and you will need a lot of trial and error to get all the layers happily hierarchized so everything works - and in some cases you just won't. Now I am close to an expert on the server so I can dig in the manpages and config files until I get something working, but it's a waste of time and I cannot be bothered, after a while.

The main problem with those sets of mutually exclusive choices is that they are not clearly documented - nobody spells it out for you, since it would imply admitting linux ain't the perfect solution, and would get you all the fanatics on attack - you cannot make an informed decision up front, and it is frustrating.

I think it would be the best thing that could happen if these projects could work towards a more compatible architecture on the audio, video and desktop layers - and in the meantime far better information on what works with what and what each choice you makes excludes you from

Frankly I ended up using neither gnome nor kde, and using a minimal setup with tools not much better than what I could get on a windows95/98 machine in 1998... and as many great text mode/console apps as I could.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2009, 05:27:04 AM by iphigenie » Logged
Paul Keith
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« Reply #27 on: November 08, 2009, 07:33:00 AM »

@iphigenie,

Sounds like you should develop a distro of your own. :p (I mean it!)
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« Reply #28 on: November 08, 2009, 07:33:59 AM »

That would make....10E^19+1 distros then right?
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« Reply #29 on: November 08, 2009, 09:54:52 AM »

The main problem with those sets of mutually exclusive choices is that they are not clearly documented - nobody spells it out for you, since it would imply admitting linux ain't the perfect solution, and would get you all the fanatics on attack - you cannot make an informed decision up front, and it is frustrating.

And this is what is keeping Linux from ever becoming a threat to Microsoft. Nobody wants to find out they can't run Program A just because they already installed Program B. On Windows you can run any program alongside any other & 99% of the time there will be no conflicts.

All those different layers you were talking about (audio and such) need to be consolidated & the best taken from each to form one cohesive standard layer for each area. I love to tweak my computer as much as the next guy (some would say even more), but even I draw the line at spending an afternoon experimenting & figuring out in which order to install my audio & video layers.
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« Reply #30 on: November 08, 2009, 10:39:05 AM »

All those different layers you were talking about (audio and such) need to be consolidated & the best taken from each to form one cohesive standard layer for each area. I love to tweak my computer as much as the next guy (some would say even more), but even I draw the line at spending an afternoon experimenting & figuring out in which order to install my audio & video layers.
But users WANT choice! And *holds breath* are you claiming the ĂĽberegosdevelopers should cooperate? *gasp*!
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Paul Keith
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« Reply #31 on: November 08, 2009, 12:55:30 PM »

I don't think it's a matter of cooperation IMO.

It's more of a matter of standardization and this is where the freedom to choose excels even if I don't know about technology.

That's why IMO iphigenie should create his own distro.

I mean look at what Clem of Linux Mint and TexStar of PCLinuxOS did.

Those distroes had no demand from the Linux community and if anything the Ubuntunites made sure they were not going to lift off (to the newbies) but they persevered and now they are tops in DistroWatch along with Ubuntu.

Choice is not the problem. Knowledgeable people truly passionate about turning Linux into a great desktop is the issue.

@Innuendo

Quote
On Windows you can run any program alongside any other & 99% of the time there will be no conflicts.

Not true. If you're using buggy software or Java application, the fact that it's less possible to make Windows consume less like Linux makes those applications annoying to stand side by side.

The same holds true for buggy codec packs, crapware installed on Windows, insecure applications open to viruses and the lot.

Distroes like Mint come better pre-packaged than a Windows OS (until you hit a problem which 99% you will and because Linux is not popular, good luck with support.)

None/Few of it (I don't really know what I'm talking about) is in any inherent infrastructure though. In fact, you'll find that for most newbies, they don't have to tweak anything that works.

(If you install Mint for example, right off the bat if everything works, you have more applications pre-installed for you including your printer and internet auto-configured for you.)

To quote a recent post I quoted:

http://woofertime.com/woof/78834

Quote
I think it’s more like this – I’m guessing though -

As it is right now, let’s say you drove a Chevy all your life. For 6 or 7 years. You learned this Chevy, you tested in the Chevy, you kept driving it. When it came to “upgrade” you decided to stick with same Chevy model, anyway. Your friends all have them, all your accessories, like the steering wheel cover, the floor mats, the (I’m stretching here) [insert Chevy-specific mod/addon here]. Needless to say, you only ever used one manufacturer’s implementation of the automobile.

So you walk into a rent-a-car shop when you’re on vacation. They have several models on display. All Chevy. There’s a small section to the side with small glossy white Hondas, but no Toyotas to be found. You haven’t even heard of Toyota at this point. So the rent-a-car guy asks you what model you want to drive.

“Chevy [Whatever]” you say.

Would you like to use one of these glossy white roadsters over here? It’s better performance, but only slightly pricier.

“No thanks, I’ll stick with what I know.”

Here’s the kicker – He doesn’t even tell you he’ll give you the Toyota model, which runs better than your Chevy, for less money than the Chevy.

Let’s say you’ve heard of this Toyota, though, through a friend. You ask about it. “Oh, we don’t have those in the store, though, but you can step right across the street, they probably have them.”

Oh, no thanks, I’ll stick with the Chevy.

Let’s say that somehow you actually got to the point where you’re sitting down in the Honda or the Toyota. You take a glance around and suppose you do spot the cruise, and A/C, and everything. You could spend only a few seconds learning how it works, and you could even ask the salesman a question… he’s right there.
But you have the option of the Chevy, still, and it is what you know and it is easily accessible. Even if it’s in your complete ability to learn how to drive this very similar car, the motivation to do so is very very low. Also, maybe you notice you can’t fit your cute fluffy headrest (I’m stretching here again) around the headrest of said new car. The salesman will give you a free alternative, but it won’t be the same, for some reason, even when it feels almost exactly the same. And why go through the trouble of using something else, when you still have what you know, right there?

Humans are lazy. They are also stubborn.

So, you walk into a Best Buy and you see a slew of Windows PCs running Windows Vista, or soon, 7. You know XP, so you know the start button, you know the context menus, you know the taskbar.
You see the Mac section. The BB employee says those are a bit pricier, but it’s got better performance. You have never heard of Linux, and the BB employee doesn’t say anything about it, despite it being free. If you ask about it, maybe he does know you can go over to a Linux distro site and download/burn a Live CD. If you actually get to a Linux or Mac desktop, sure, you might be able to figure out the GNOME desktop or Mac Dock, et al, on your own in a few short minutes. You might even have a friend, an employee, or Google to aid you as well. However, right next to you in Best Buy (or on your computer’s current partition if you’re testing a LiveCD) is what you know. What you have always known. You can’t even run some random Microsoft software that you always used. Sure, you could find an alternative, but what you already know is right here, available to you. You have no motivation to try this new system. You’re too stubborn and lazy to alter the status quo. Windows has crashed before, but you can always reboot it. You know how long it’ll take to get back online with what you know, but you fear the unknown of the desktop.

Now, this covers why someone wouldn’t switch gears from Windows to Linux or OS X as their main system.
As for, say, my dad borrowing my Ubuntu PC for only a minute to check his checking account, and having to stop and ask “How do I do this?” without looking for the Firefox icon he knows, right on my Panel, right where his own Firefox would be in Windows’ quicklaunch bar? He has me right there to tell him, I guess. Why spend 2 seconds scanning for a familiar icon, when he can just ask me to “open a browser”?
Stubbornness? Laziness?
Perhaps for him, “open a browser” means [Super], [F,I,R], [ENTER]; or perhaps it means [SUPER]+[R], [I,E], [DOWN], [ENTER]; or even [SUPER],[DOWN],[DOWN],[ENTER]. And on my machine, it’s simply *click* or [ALT]+[F2],[F,I,R,F],[ENTER].
For him, even on Windows, if you took away his run command or deleted his pinned start menu item, he might have to scroll painfully through his All Programs menu until he found it again.
If it wasn’t for start search on Vista, I know a few friend who would be pained to find anything on their PC.
My sister still doesn’t know how to use Start Search, and I have a friend with a Mac who doesn’t know how to use Spotlight.

Rather than find a new better way of doing things (like if I told her to just hit [SUPER] and then type what she wanted) she’d still go back to old habits, have trouble remembering the simplest things, and in his laziness or stubbornness stick with the slow inefficient method because it is what she knows.

tl;dr – Humans are lazy and stubborn. Not all of us, I use Linux and test alternatives. I don’t consider myself to be lazy and I’m human, so therefore I cannot hold all humans to be lazy and stubborn.
However I would guess a lot are, especially the “smart” ones. ;P

Sorry for posting it here: http://rereply.wordpress....ere-will-be-no-conflicts/
« Last Edit: November 08, 2009, 01:21:23 PM by Paul Keith » Logged

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Innuendo
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« Reply #32 on: November 08, 2009, 09:05:05 PM »

Not true. If you're using buggy software or Java application, the fact that it's less possible to make Windows consume less like Linux makes those applications annoying to stand side by side.

The same holds true for buggy codec packs, crapware installed on Windows, insecure applications open to viruses and the lot.

Okay, sorry...95% then...because no more than 5% of the software available on the Windows platform is Java-based or codec packs. smiley
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Paul Keith
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« Reply #33 on: November 08, 2009, 09:43:51 PM »

True but due to Windows security almost 70% of your software is compromised unless you're a power user. :p

Seriously speaking though, on most "for newbie" distroes, 95% is also a close estimate of how many software work together.

The problem is that the 5% remain huge because of lack of support and different/advanced ways to fix things. (Example even most Windows Power Users can live without messing with the registry but in Linux, most of the fixes can require knowledge of the Linux infrastructure.)

Everything else just feels more than that because of the lack of software alternatives and software maturity.
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« Reply #34 on: November 09, 2009, 04:33:11 AM »

True but due to Windows security almost 70% of your software is compromised unless you're a power user. :p

Please tell me this is sarcasm.
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« Reply #35 on: November 09, 2009, 10:37:30 AM »

The problem is that the 5% remain huge because of lack of support and different/advanced ways to fix things. (Example even most Windows Power Users can live without messing with the registry but in Linux, most of the fixes can require knowledge of the Linux infrastructure.)

And this is what I'm talking about. In the Windows world (and the Mac world as well) a few simple tweaks will get anything you need up and running. On Linux there's not always that level of simplicity. Microsoft & Apple lend something to their respective OSes that Linux just doesn't have & that is a defined structure where nearly everything is defined (programming-wise) down to nearly the last detail. Contrast that with Linux in that there is a defined structure that has been painted with broad strokes, but there are lots of missing links where Linux programmers are forced to program their own solutions & those solutions are not always 100% compatible with the solutions other programmers have come up with.
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« Reply #36 on: November 09, 2009, 10:39:21 AM »

Please tell me this is sarcasm.

I believe it is as his next paragraph starts out with "Seriously speaking though..."

Face it, Josh, it's fun for non-Windows users to poke fun at Microsoft & the flaws of the Windows OS. Unfortunately, most of these non-Windows users haven't used a Windows computer in years & don't realize a lot of those flaws simply don't exist anymore.
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« Reply #37 on: November 09, 2009, 11:03:49 AM »

In the Windows world (and the Mac world as well) a few simple tweaks will get anything you need up and running.

 Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin
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« Reply #38 on: November 09, 2009, 12:59:48 PM »

Innuendo is right, Dormouse. At least for Windows.
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Paul Keith
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« Reply #39 on: November 09, 2009, 04:30:17 PM »

@Tuxman and Innuendo, not really true.

Really if everything works on your Linux, it works and installs faster on Linux than on Windows. The problem is more things work on Windows but that's no surprise.

Quote
Contrast that with Linux in that there is a defined structure that has been painted with broad strokes, but there are lots of missing links where Linux programmers are forced to program their own solutions & those solutions are not always 100% compatible with the solutions other programmers have come up with.

Well, I'm not a developer but from this recent link made in DC, it doesn't sound that bad.

http://www.donationcoder....m/index.php?topic=20096.0

Quote
Face it, Josh, it's fun for non-Windows users to poke fun at Microsoft & the flaws of the Windows OS. Unfortunately, most of these non-Windows users haven't used a Windows computer in years & don't realize a lot of those flaws simply don't exist anymore.

Well, I hope this is either also sarcasm or not directed at me. I just re-switched from Linux last month and even before that I was a total Linux newbie when I left.

Really the comment holds up for both users on either side.

Most non-Linux users wouldn't know how many improvements there have been for Linux.

Really, how recently has a newbie friendly Live CD been accessible?

How long has Mint and PCLinuxOS redefined what newbie distroes are on Linux?

How long has Gnome Do and Adobe Air for Linux been available?

How long has Dropbox for Linux been available?

Really, unless you need troubleshooting or advanced tweaks, from the PC newbie side of the desktop what advanced steps do you really need to do on a newbie-friendly Linux that isn't also advanced on Windows unless you get a developer who made the GUI easier?

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« Reply #40 on: November 09, 2009, 04:49:03 PM »

Really if everything works on your Linux, it works and installs faster on Linux than on Windows.

I'm glad you have run every Windows & Linux program in existence so you are able to say that. No, seriously, you cannot possibly know if everything works faster on Linux than Windows. There's Windows software that there is no Linux equivalent for and vice versa. Blanket statements like yours above just cannot be made.

Quote
Well, I hope this is either also sarcasm or not directed at me. I just re-switched from Linux last month and even before that I was a total Linux newbie when I left.

Nope, not directed at you at all as before now I did not know your background with Linux or Windows. My statement was a general one not directed at any particular person just commenting that some people are like that.

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Paul Keith
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« Reply #41 on: November 09, 2009, 06:49:31 PM »

Quote
I'm glad you have run every Windows & Linux program in existence so you are able to say that. No, seriously, you cannot possibly know if everything works faster on Linux than Windows. There's Windows software that there is no Linux equivalent for and vice versa. Blanket statements like yours above just cannot be made.

I don't have to know them all.

Remember you're talking for the desktop user here.

Of course if the software is available on Windows and not available on Linux you can't compare them because they don't exist.

But if both software are available on both OS and both software are stable on them, do you really think something that's on Fluxbox or XFCE or even Gnome is in general going to be slower than one on XP or 7?

Besides that, I wasn't talking about speed.

I was talking about the lack of installation due to pre-installation.

Because of the Linux model, if distroes want to have certain software installed alongside the OS, then the newbie has it as soon as they install the OS on their PC.

On Windows it isn't set up that way so every re-format is a blank slate and there's no package manager that will ease their job of finding new software.
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« Reply #42 on: November 09, 2009, 07:52:41 PM »

But if both software are available on both OS and both software are stable on them, do you really think something that's on Fluxbox or XFCE or even Gnome is in general going to be slower than one on XP or 7?
Yup smiley

Video drivers that still aren't fully accelerated, X11 system that in general seems inferior compared to Windows, and executables that take forever to load on linux (on the same hardware, Visual Studio ready to use under Windows in shorter time than whatever Wordpad clone gentoo came with? That's embarassing).
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« Reply #43 on: November 09, 2009, 07:55:43 PM »

fodder, you do realize Innuendo quoted this part of my reply:

Quote
Really if everything works on your Linux, it works and installs faster on Linux than on Windows.

Edit:

Nevermind. I should just use the section you quoted:

Quote
But if both software are available on both OS and both software are stable on them, do you really think something that's on Fluxbox or XFCE or even Gnome is in general going to be slower than one on XP or 7?
« Last Edit: November 09, 2009, 07:57:52 PM by Paul Keith » Logged

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« Reply #44 on: November 09, 2009, 09:55:13 PM »

I should add that under the Linux Help blogroll section of my blog, I have a few great links for new users and tips. Grokdoc also has an outline for businesses switching to Linux.
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« Reply #45 on: November 10, 2009, 12:18:43 PM »

Besides that, I wasn't talking about speed.

I was talking about the lack of installation due to pre-installation.

Because of the Linux model, if distroes want to have certain software installed alongside the OS, then the newbie has it as soon as they install the OS on their PC.

Okay, I misunderstood the point you were trying to make. Yes, things are great if your distro has the software you want in their repository. If not, I've seen enough stories, even recently, of having to install dependencies and dependencies for those dependencies that the process is nothing a newbie is going to want to deal with.

Linux is getting better, but it still hasn't reached the ease of next-next-next-finish install wizards on Windows. I'm really looking forward to that day but we just aren't there yet in spite of wishful thinking to the contrary.
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« Reply #46 on: November 10, 2009, 12:21:34 PM »

I should add that under the Linux Help blogroll section of my blog, I have a few great links for new users and tips. Grokdoc also has an outline for businesses switching to Linux.

And I commend you for that, Zaine. There was a time not too long ago the only answer a Linux newbie was apt to get when asking a question would be, "RTFM, noob!" I am glad we're evolving past that.
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« Reply #47 on: November 10, 2009, 12:22:50 PM »

These wizards have the impressive disadvantage that they don't allow an actual modification of the chosen settings. Ease is not a pro here.
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« Reply #48 on: November 10, 2009, 12:37:49 PM »

@iphigenie,

Sounds like you should develop a distro of your own. :p (I mean it!)

Relatively easy to do if you're using SuSE:

www.susestudio.com

It's still by invitation, but it doesn't take too long to get an admission ticket any more. Cool





« Last Edit: November 10, 2009, 12:40:08 PM by 40hz » Logged

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« Reply #49 on: November 10, 2009, 01:28:25 PM »

Okay, I misunderstood the point you were trying to make. Yes, things are great if your distro has the software you want in their repository. If not, I've seen enough stories, even recently, of having to install dependencies and dependencies for those dependencies that the process is nothing a newbie is going to want to deal with.

Linux is getting better, but it still hasn't reached the ease of next-next-next-finish install wizards on Windows. I'm really looking forward to that day but we just aren't there yet in spite of wishful thinking to the contrary.

This is true but it's so far from:

Quote
And this is what is keeping Linux from ever becoming a threat to Microsoft. Nobody wants to find out they can't run Program A just because they already installed Program B. On Windows you can run any program alongside any other & 99% of the time there will be no conflicts.

...nowadays.

The newbie distroes literally have lots of software pre-installed (not just located in the repository) that if everything works and there are no hardware limitations/bugs/etc.

You can literally have a Linux that auto-sets up your printer, your internet, your Office Suite, your movie player/codecs, etc.

For the desktop user, the situation today is less about having Program A co-exist with Program B.

The situation today (even barring games) is to have Program A exist and work just as well.

Don't get me wrong. Dependency hell exists in the same veins that Windows is still insecure but as far as desktop users are concerned, the situation is very rare and repositories are not as barren as you seem to have the impression of.

In terms of next-next-finish, just look at your modern day Live CD and tell me that's harder to understand and install than Windows.

Even repositories' GUI are becoming newbie friendlier bit by bit. In mintinstall, you both have a featured application selection and each item has a screenshot and ratings to accompany it.

The problem is literally more and more leaning towards developers supporting programs on it than it is to get programs installed on it correctly.

Just look at DropBox page for how to install DropBox on Linux:

http://www.dropbox.com/downloading

Do you really think these kinds of things are alien for desktop users to figure out?

The ball is on developers to support Linux to convince people to switch to Linux if they really want them to.

It's less and less about dependency hell because with the way most newbie friendly distroes are set up, they literally need to tweak Linux less than Windows and that means they rarely need to encounter these problems unless something goes wrong.

But when something goes wrong. Again, the fault there isn't the Linux model but the lack of support for Linux. It would be the same thing on Windows if you break something and all you have are chatrooms and forums to ask advise for.

« Last Edit: November 10, 2009, 01:30:21 PM by Paul Keith » Logged

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