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I ran into something today that made me realize how extensive the fedora repositories are getting. It's getting so you can find almost any package you need already available and ready to install.

Today I was helping a client and they mentioned that they were having problems getting their winmodem in their thinkpad working. They had managed to track down a software package called 'slmodem' that supposedly supported their modem, but it wouldn't build and didn't seem to all be there.

Thinking to myself, hey, this might be an item that's useful enough that someone would have packaged it, I looked and a simple: yum list 'slmodem*' showed that there was a livna.org package available for this very package. Installed it and in addition to the binary, it had a init script and config files all nicely setup.

In just a minute, we were typing 'ATH' to the modem and getting 'OK' back.

Looking at my laptop, and running a 'yum list extras' I see only about 3 packages that are not available in any enabled repository on my laptop. In the case of 2 of them, I never use them anymore and could delete those packages (kiax and skype). The last one (opera) I do use currently, since firefox is such a memory leaking hog. Hopefully I can switch back with firefox 2 or 3.

I'm amazed at how well Fedora Extras grew. There's currently (for i386) 2242 core packages, 1109 core updates, and a whopping 5642 extras packages.

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