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 Post subject: BLAG Review @ TipMonkies
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2005 7:50 am 
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Why you should check out BLAG GNU/Linux
Submitted on July 19th, 2005 by Jason
Filed under Software and Linux and Interviews
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OK, I’ve been sitting on this article for about a month, so it’s time to write it. In my article about various Linux distro’s, I tried to mention my two personal favorite underdogs, BLAG and Arch Linux. Arch has actually had a bit of attention at mainstream sites like OSNews, but almost no one ever makes mention of BLAG, so I wanted to bring it to the spotlight. I emailed the developer of BLAG, and his response was both informative and funny. Read on for more on that, and why I love BLAG…..

So first a little backstory. For a couple of years, I worked at an ISP doing tech support, and spent most of the time waiting for the phone to ring. So I started bringing my laptop to work and tinkering with various things. For whatever reason, during that time period, I was most interested in Linux distros, and tried new ones all the time. I always liked a lot of things about Red Hat/Fedora, but I didn’t like how commercial and big it was (first 3 and then 4 CD’s) and I didn’t like that after Red Hat 7.3, MP3 support was no longer included. It was easy to add, but something about it just bothered me. So in trying all sorts of different distro’s, I found BLAG (via Distrowatch of course). Being a GNOME fan, it was really nice to see a single CD Red Hat/Fedora based distro that was GNOME centric. I was also nice that it had a focus on multimedia. For better or worse, much of the multimedia support has been dropped out because so much of it was closed source, but BLAG still makes it easy to add.

The developer, Jeff, has solid control (not unlike Pat of Slackware) and only likes to release a product when it’s good, ready, and stable. He did not find Fedora Core 2 to be solid enough to release a version of BLAG based on it, so he skipped it, and immediatly started working on one based on Core 3. The only downside to BLAG is that it tends to stay a bit behind the bleeding edge. It is a more stable product for this reason, but some people prefer new and shiny over stable. You can, of course, follow newer Fedora trees via apt-get though. In addtion, BLAG is released in a DVD edition which has many of the BLAG enhancements, but contains the entire corresponding Fedora release, as well. And to add a little spice to the mix, BLAG has had a bit of a run-in with the FBI. I’m still not really sure if it has to do with BLAG, or just Indymedia, but I certainly remember trying to go to the site one day and finding out it was down.

Now, on to the email. I sent Jeff an email and mentioned that I wanted to let the Tipmonkies readers know more about BLAG. I didn’t know if I would get a response at all, and I certainly didn’t expect the email I received. Although he gave me permission to change it, I’ve decided to post the original email with no modifications. The rest of this article is the email I received. Enjoy!

I’ve been using GNU/Linux since 1995 and used it to run a local ISP. I used it for my workstation since then

Automajick installs

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I started writing the above crap, but someone came by the house (friend of a friend, essentially) while I was writing it. Perhaps a mini-record of our conversation will help explain blag better….

Joe (my new amigo): Hey, so you’re the BLAG guy? Calan told me about it…

Me: Ya…

Joe: I’m not really a “computer guyâ€

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