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'[OT] Linux for beginners...?'
2010\06\26@094018 by John Ferrell

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From "piclist.com is dead" thread
re:
"This could be related to other systems it must run with or even just
having only so many hours in a lifetime to do things in.
True religions answer to the latter is to tell you how much time you
will save if you will but convert. Reality often notes that a bird in
the hand is worth two in the server."

In my shuffling of computers & Apps I realized I could easily put my
long shelved SUSE 10 hard drive back online.

The plan was to put it on the D: drive while leaving XPPRO on the C:
Drive. I would switch between booting C: (XP) or D: (SUSE) by changing
the Boot sequence in the BIOS.

It was just too easy to work for me. SUSE loads to a stop with just a
"$" prompt. It was at this point  realized the problem had taken the
first step into the series of time consuming forks that wants to take
time away from everything else! I have Gigs of Linux documentation. For
the moment, SUSE goes back on the shelf until I find a simple "recipe
book" or other source that conserves my time and resources to move forward.

I don't want to be a Linux Guru but I would like to be able to use it!

--
*John Ferrell, W8CCW*

2010\06\26@114409 by sergio masci

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On Sat, 26 Jun 2010, John Ferrell wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Many years ago I "moved" a primary Linux hard disc to a different
position. All I had to do to get it working was change /etc/fstab. If you
look at this file you will see entries like:

/dev/hda2      /               ext2       defaults              1 1
/dev/hda3      /data1          ext2       defaults              1 2
/dev/hda4      /data2          ext2       noauto,acl            1 0
/dev/hda1      swap            swap       pri=42                0 0

What you need to do is change the drive (e.g. from hda to hdc). You can do
this easily by simply booting off an installation CD using the rescue
option. This lets you boot a minimal Linux. You then simply mount your new
disc onto /mnt edit /mnt/etc/fstab and you're done.

I would strongly recommend you make a backup copy of /mnt/etc/fstab before
you edit it.

You need to look at linux docs for SUSE 10 to see what the naming
convention for hard discs and partitions is for that version of linux. I
know it changed some time ago so that ATA hard disc names and SCSI hard
discs names became the same. I've looked at SUSE 11.2 and the disc names
seem to be different again.

When I did this I would have mounted the new hard drive something like:

       mount /dev/sdb /mnt

then edited fstab as

       vi /mnt/etc/fstab

and changed all occurances of sda to sdb

yes the use of hda, hdb, sda and sdb is all correct above - I was moving
SCSI hard discs around at the time :-)

Hopes this helps get you started.

Regards
Sergio Masci

2010\06\26@134633 by Michael Watterson

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John Ferrell wrote:
>  
>
> It was just too easy to work for me. SUSE loads to a stop with just a
> "$" prompt.
What happens if you type any commands at the $ prompt?

Consider installing Ubuntu unless your install of Suse isn't ancient and
doesn't have something important on it.
Loads of Engineering and Amateur Radio apps.

These last few years I've used CentOS and OpenWRT for
router/firewall/VOIP server apps
Debian for some cross development of 2.4 Kernel PCMCIA drivers for ARM
Barack, Debian, CentOS and Fedora to test VOD / IPTV/Cable setbox hybrid
Debiand and Fedora for servers

**  And *Ubuntu*  most commonly for  setup other people and for my own
Desktops  **

Long ago I gave courses in Red Hat to people in Dell.

Not Suse for Ages. I've no desire to breed penguins from the egg, so
have avoided Gentoo for a long time.

* Some light reading *
www.theregister.co.uk/2010/06/21/reg_linux_guide_1/
www.theregister.co.uk/2010/06/23/reg_linux_guide_2/
www.theregister.co.uk/2010/06/24/reg_linux_guide_3/
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/06/25/wine_2_1_review/

However I mostly use XP day to day. My hosted Server is Linux based
though. My own attic server while running Apache and MySQL, traitorously
actually  has Win 2000 Server (runs WSUS for all our patches) and
MDaemon rather than Sendmail for email



2010\06\26@234944 by William \Chops\ Westfield

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On Jun 26, 2010, at 6:40 AM, John Ferrell wrote:

> I could easily put my long shelved SUSE 10 hard drive back online.
>     :
> I don't want to be a Linux Guru but I would like to be able to use it!

The "modern" linux desktop distributions (like ubuntu) are set up to  
be pretty much as usable as a windows box "without needing to read the  
manuals."  AS a desktop, of course.  Being able to use a linux GUI  
desktop won't make you a linux power user, of course, but if there  
were particular linux-only aps you were interested in, that would be a  
solution...

BillW

2010\06\27@142311 by Byron Jeff

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On Sat, Jun 26, 2010 at 09:40:11AM -0400, John Ferrell wrote:
{Quote hidden}

John,

What exactly are your goals then. It would help to get an idea of the
specific purposes you are targeting for.

For a quick look around, there's nothing better than downloading and
running a Live CD. You get instant access to the distribution in a quick
"try before you buy" format. Then when you find a distribution that
appeals to you, you can then install it. And every Live CD that I know of
goes into windowing mode. So no command line prompts unless you ask for
them.

BTW going with a "long shelved" anything is a bad idea. Go ahead and
download if not the latest version, then one version back, and try it out.

Hope this helps. Let me know if I can be of any specific assistance.

BAJ

>
> --
> *John Ferrell, W8CCW*
> --

2010\06\27@144922 by Byron Jeff

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On Sat, Jun 26, 2010 at 10:16:36AM -0400, spam_OUTmcdTakeThisOuTspamis-sixsigma.com wrote:
> W8CCW sayeth:
> > I don't want to be a Linux Guru but I would like to be able to use it!
>
> Try going to http://fedoraproject.org/en/get-fedora and downloading a live
> image.  You can install it on a CD or USB stick (on a USB stick you can
> save data and install additional programs).  Once you have decided whether
> or not you like it, you can click the icon to install it to your HD.

Agreed except I would suggest trying out a few different flavors (Fedora,
Ubuntu/Kubuntu, Slax, Puppy, Debian, etc.) before committing. Each has a
different look/feel, package managment system, community, etc. It's worth
the effort. At the very miniumum take time to try out a Gnome flavored
Windowing interface vs. a KDE windowing interface. There are others (iceWM,
enlightenment, etc.) You can get a comparison overview here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_X_Window_System_desktop_environments

> There are a number of spins, one you might consider is the "Electronic
> Lab" spin which includes things like SPICE, schematic and PCB tools, and a
> ton of IC design tools (which I personally don't find especially helpful!)
>  It may also include the PIC tools, to be honest I don't recall for sure.

I know the Debian/Ubuntu type distributions have PIC tools available.

> Note that to fit on a CD the live images have only the minimum number of
> applications, but these days installing programs on the major Linux
> distros is a piece of cake.  All the distros have repositories of
> thousands of programs, and they are easily installed with a single command
> or selected off an add/remove programs window.

And many of these systems have Net installs where you download a very small
image and it fetches everything else from the Internet during the install.

> I've mostly migrated away from Windows simply because Linux has gotten so
> much easier.  I don't see the point of dealing with all the Windows
> frustrations.  I still have dual-boot, but only boot Windows when I need a
> GoTo Meeting.

I haven't run a regular Windows system for myself in any capacity other
than a brief consulting gig last summer since 2004 when I got Sassered and
realized that there was no patch for the worm.

> MPLAB runs fine under Wine these days, but I generally only use it when
> someone emails me an MPLAB-specific question.  I find the native tools
> somewhat more convenient. I use PIClab a bit, but I personally prefer my
> favorite editor and Makefiles (which I realize probably makes me an
> outlier).

Not by a long shot. Most Linux folks will use their own tools instead of
the IDE.

> There are a large number af amateur radio apps, as well.  Pretty much
> everything you would expect: antenna modelling, propagation patterns,
> logging, digital modes, SSTV, SDR, DX cluster stuff, satellite data, etc.

That's interesting. Never took a look in that area.

But at the end of the day, the question is how do you use it. At this point
the typical Internet, Productivity, Media user can function just as well in
Linux as Windows or Mac. It's miles ahead in the server arena in virtually
every capacity. LAMP server deployment is a piece of cake.

Where Linux continues to lag is in games and specialized applications.
Applications with small target audiences simply cannot get enough traction.
And gaming is simply too big an industry on Windows to get a good foothold.

But never having to worry about licenses, spending virtually no time on
virus protection, and being able to deploy systems and applications on a
number of platforms makes it worth it to me.

My next target is a couple of Seagate DockStars Plug computers I bought
from Woot.com last week for $20 each:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10354356-1.html

I plan to ditch my longtime Linux based firewall with one of them and to
have the other available as my enventual onboard computer for my EV that
one day will get finished. With 3 USB ports and ethernet and costing less
than $30 each, plug computers can definitely be a source of many
interesting projects.

BAJ
--
Byron A. Jeff
Program Coordinator: IT/CS/CNET
College of Information and Mathematical Sciences
Clayton State University
http://cims.clayton.edu/bjeff

2010\06\27@212932 by John Ferrell

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The same machine and the same software should at least boot up.

Right now I am trying to digest this series of answers and suggestions.
It is very hot & humid in North Carolina now so I am able to concentrate
in the shop!

*John Ferrell, W8CCW*

On 6/27/2010 2:25 PM, Byron Jeff wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>> --

2010\06\28@034635 by Also-Antal Csaba

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> On 6/27/2010 2:25 PM, Byron Jeff wrote:
>>
>> BTW going with a "long shelved" anything is a bad idea. Go ahead and
>> download if not the latest version, then one version back, and try it out.

Download the last STABLE version...

http://www.ubuntu.com/desktop/get-ubuntu/download

udv
Csaba

2010\06\30@092834 by John Ferrell

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Got that one downloaded & on the project list...
I was not looking for another project but this has become very
interesting and the generous coaching is too good to turn down!

I am working the suggestions although slowly.
Thanks to all and all guidance is appreciated.
*John Ferrell, W8CCW*

On 6/28/2010 3:46 AM, Also-Antal Csaba wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2010\06\30@140111 by Michael Watterson

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John Ferrell wrote:
> Got that one downloaded & on the project list...
> I was not looking for another project but this has become very
> interesting and the generous coaching is too good to turn down!
>
> I am working the suggestions although slowly.
> Thanks to all and all guidance is appreciated.
> *John Ferrell, W8CCW*
>
> On 6/28/2010 3:46 AM, Also-Antal Csaba wrote:
>  
Interesting follow up to the recent 3 part on Linux and wine ep.
www.theregister.co.uk/2010/06/30/linux_chronicles_part_one/


'[OT] Linux for beginners...?'
2010\07\08@184558 by Michael Watterson
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Choosing a Distro:
Alternate to "The Register" list
http://xkcd.com/424/
(Do not click if busy)


2010\07\09@090827 by John Ferrell

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I sometimes fall to the temptation of that site while I am getting my
daily Slashdot.org fix...
*John Ferrell, W8CCW*

On 7/8/2010 6:46 PM, Michael Watterson wrote:
> Choosing a Distro:
> Alternate to "The Register" list
> http://xkcd.com/424/
> (Do not click if busy)
>
>
>    

2010\07\10@041504 by RussellMc

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> I sometimes fall to the temptation of that site while I am getting my
> daily Slashdot.org fix...
> *John Ferrell, W8CCW*

A bad mistake :-).

AND they have never tried pomegranates.

             http://xkcd.com/388/

If you've never tried them I suggest you do.
About as tasty as you can get.
They got the difficult bit right.
Here's someone making it even more difficult than necessary.
(Interesting if you've never looked closely at a pomegranate. Each
seed is contained in an "aril" - an easily ruptured clear capsule
filled with a seed  +  utterly delicious* juice.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHyqoeB0Wlk

When travelling, if asked what I'd like to drink, I  often ask for
pomegranate juice.
So far, they only place they take the request seriously is in far
northwestern China.
I don't know what makes it grow so well there, but it obviously does.

It's reasonably expensive there in the shops, even by Western
standards - and  very much so by local standards.

OK - this explains why its so prevalent in Xinjiang

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pomegranate

"The pomegranate is native to the Iranian Plateau, and has been
cultivated in the Caucasus since ancient times. It is widely
cultivated throughout Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Afghanistan,
Pakistan, Turkey, India, the drier parts of southeast Asia, Indonesia,
peninsular Malaysia, the Mediterranean and Southern Europe and
tropical Africa.[1] Introduced into Latin America and California by
Spanish settlers in 1769, pomegranate is now cultivated in parts of
California and Arizona for juice production.[2]"

Also more relevant** detail  in "Origin, cultivation and uses." and
elsewhere on the page.


                 Russell

* Your taste may vary. Most don't.

&** Albeit, not to Linux distros.

2010\07\10@055135 by Michael Watterson

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 On 10/07/2010 09:14, RussellMc wrote:
> AND they have never tried pomegranates.
>
>                http://xkcd.com/388/
>
> If you've never tried them I suggest you do.
> About as tasty as you can get.
> They got the difficult bit right.
Indeed. maybe they got a mouthful of pith or it was mouldy
> When travelling, if asked what I'd like to drink, I  often ask for
> pomegranate juice.
> So far, they only place they take the request seriously is in far
> northwestern China.
> I don't know what makes it grow so well there, but it obviously does.
>
> It's reasonably expensive there in the shops, even by Western
> standards - and  very much so by local standards.
You'll get freshly made pomegranate juice on the street in parts of
Israel, so possibly in rest of Middle East.
I guess you are closer to China and I'm closer to Israel. But I've not
been there since 1990. Left before the Scuds came, though people were
clearing out basement bomb shelters because they thought the Libyans
going to bomb due to them obtaining "in flight refuelling" tech.

I'm fond of pomegranate, but the pith can be more bitterish* than the
very bitter but excellent flavour Irish Sloe (fruit of Blackthorn).

*Not exactly bitter as such but can be very unpleasant.

2010\07\10@084321 by Dario Greggio

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RussellMc ha scritto:
> When travelling, if asked what I'd like to drink, I  often ask for
> pomegranate juice.


I guess I only ate them a couple of times when I was a child. I agree
indeed :))

--

Ciao, Dario
--
Cyberdyne

2010\07\10@152025 by Dwayne Reid

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At 07:40 AM 6/26/2010, John Ferrell wrote:

>It was just too easy to work for me. SUSE loads to a stop with just a
>"$" prompt.

I'm not sure if it has been mentioned yet, but you may want to spend
a few hours with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS which currently available at the
ubuntu website.  The 'LTS' means Long Term Support - it will be
supported for a significant length of time (5 years?).

I ran it for the first time last night and was pleasantly shocked at
how well it ran on my little netbook (Asus 1000HE /w 2GB RAM).  I had
installed it on a 2GB USB stick, using the installer that was
recommended by the ubuntu download website.

It took a couple of tries to get my netbook to boot from the USB
stick (had to tell the BIOS that it should consider bootable USB
devices to be the 1st hard drive), then up it came.

I had a few minor problems that I'll list here:

1) Although ubuntu found my bluetooth mouse, it didn't seem to want
to connect.  I finally figured out that I should press the 'connect'
button on the mouse first . . .

2) I initially couldn't see how to connect to my wifi network.  I
kept trying to go into network setup -> wireless and it kept
prompting me for all of the stuff it should have been able to find by
itself: SSID, etc.

So: I tried the help pages, which told me to go look for the wifi
button at the top of the screen.  Clicked that button - a list of
available wifi networks appeared, and I was able to connect to my
network.  Easy and painless.

3) This last problem was a bit disconcerting.  I wanted to play some
movies that I had stored on the netbook's hard drive.  Browsed to the
directory, double-clicked on the desired file and a movie player
screen opened up.  But: it said that it didn't have the proper codecs
and offered to go get them.  I told it to do so but it kept failing:
it said that it couldn't find any suitable codecs.

That truly didn't make any sense.  So: I headed off to the ubuntu
forums hosted on the ubuntu website.  I selected the sub-forum
'Multimedia', figuring that should get me close to where I needed to be.

I *think* the first message in that forum was a sticky, telling me
what the most common problems were and how to fix them.  They were
right on the money - I found out that I needed to tell my ubuntu
installation which repositories that it should get files from.  They
told how to open a terminal window and then gave MANY possible long
strings that you might use - each string was prefaced with which
Linux distribution you would use it with.

Copy / pasted the one long string associated with ubuntu 10.04,
pressed [Enter].  That did it!  Selected another movie - the movie
player listed a whole bunch of files that it wanted, then proceeded
to go get and install them.

All in all - pretty darned painless.

What I find disconcerting, though, is that I had to configure my
ubuntu install to go get those files.  My question is: Why?  Why
wasn't that stuff already done?

I can see how a complete newbie might just get frustrated and quit.

What I find amazing about my whole experiment it was almost as easy
as getting Windows on to a brand-new machine.  It just worked.  No
searching for drivers, no cussing because something on my machine didn't work.

I would have said 'Easier than getting Windows to work on a brand-new
machine' except for having to tell APT where to get its download
files from.  That required a few minutes of looking for help from an
online source and I can really see how that would put non-techie types off.

I plan to play a LOT more with ubuntu - I'll probably put it onto one
of my older desktop machines and have it connected to the KVM that is
already under my desk.

FWIW - going to the software sources section under Admistration shows
that there are THOUSANDS of programs ready to download and
install.  Among those is a bunch of Math and Electronics stuff - both
Eagle and KiCad are shown as available.  Its as simple as putting
tick marks on each program name that you want to get, then telling
ubuntu to get and install those programs.

Anyway - it might be well worth your time to have a look at this most
thoroughly-modern Linux distro.

dwayne


--
Dwayne Reid   <.....dwaynerKILLspamspam@spam@planet.eon.net>
Trinity Electronics Systems Ltd    Edmonton, AB, CANADA
(780) 489-3199 voice          (780) 487-6397 fax
http://www.trinity-electronics.com
Custom Electronics Design and Manufacturing

2010\07\10@153555 by Michael Watterson

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 On 10/07/2010 20:20, Dwayne Reid wrote:
>
> What I find disconcerting, though, is that I had to configure my
> ubuntu install to go get those files.  My question is: Why?  Why
> wasn't that stuff already done?
>
> I
Legal reasons. On all Linux Distros

MP3 particularly
Ubuntu may have done a H.264 deal though.

2010\07\10@174223 by Dwayne Reid

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At 01:35 PM 7/10/2010, Michael Watterson wrote:
>   On 10/07/2010 20:20, Dwayne Reid wrote:
> >
> > What I find disconcerting, though, is that I had to configure my
> > ubuntu install to go get those files.  My question is: Why?  Why
> > wasn't that stuff already done?
> >
> > I
>Legal reasons. On all Linux Distros
>
>MP3 particularly
>Ubuntu may have done a H.264 deal though.

I guess I wasn't clear enough about what I consider to have been
'undone'.  Don't worry - I frequently have that problem <grin>.

What I thought should have worked right out of the box was that
ubuntu should know where its repositories are located.  However, the
version that I downloaded two days ago and installed onto a USB stick
yesterday did NOT know where its repositories were.

Its obviously a most common problem because the very first sticky
post in the multimedia section in the ubuntu forums told me how to
fix the problem - open a terminal window and copy / paste this big
long string into the terminal.

What would have worked for me would to have had ubuntu bring up a
tiny configuration program the first time something tried to access a
repository.  That could have had custom links for repositories based
upon which country the user is located in and provided a one-click
fix to the problem.  I realize that ubuntu is really up against a
space limitation but something like this should be relatively tiny - a few KB.

As it was, there was NO indication of a problem other than the
application couldn't find the codecs.  A non-technical user might
just conclude that they can't use ubuntu to play their files - and
just give up.


I certainly have no problem with applications having to download and
install codecs and such.  Like you mention, there can be some
extremely limiting restrictions about including certain files / utils
/ codecs, etc in a distro.

dwayne


PS - sometimes I think that little problems like this are a form of
IQ test.  Sort of: "Are you smart enough to go looking for an
answer?  We'll make the answer easy for you to find - but you have to
be 'on-the-ball' enough to go look for it."

While I don't mind stuff like that (usually enjoy it), the ubuntu
community has to look at things from the perspective of a relatively
clueless newbie if they want to win converts from Windows users.

"clueless newbie" - someone who wants to do something but doesn't yet
know how to do it.  The kind of people that all of us should help
become less clueless and, eventually, not a newbie anymore.

dwayne

--
Dwayne Reid   <dwaynerspamKILLspamplanet.eon.net>
Trinity Electronics Systems Ltd    Edmonton, AB, CANADA
(780) 489-3199 voice          (780) 487-6397 fax
http://www.trinity-electronics.com
Custom Electronics Design and Manufacturing

2010\07\11@080431 by John Ferrell

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"Clueless Newbie" ?    I like that!
You may be a Clueless Newbie if all of your Googles return 10,000 answers...

*John Ferrell, W8CCW*

On 7/10/2010 5:42 PM, Dwayne Reid wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2010\07\23@015535 by William \Chops\ Westfield

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On Jul 10, 2010, at 1:14 AM, RussellMc wrote:

> When travelling, if asked what I'd like to drink, I  often ask for
> pomegranate juice.
> So far, they only place they take the request seriously is in far
> northwestern China.


[already OT, right?]

It's making some sort of play in the states (California, anyway) these  
days.  High in anti-oxidants or something.  Most major grocery stores  
will have at least one brand.  One wonders whether someone has  
patented the pomegranate juice extractor, permitting the easy  
extraction of profitable juice from fruits that would otherwise be  
underconsumed.  We have a pomegranate tree, but I don't think it's  
been fruiting lately...  When they do, they tend to be pretty  
productive.

And of course pomegranate syrup (as "grenadine") has been a standard  
bar ingredient for ages, used in such popular drinks as the Tequila  
Sunrise and the Shirley Temple...

BillW

2010\07\23@045303 by Michael Watterson

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 On 23/07/2010 06:55, William "Chops" Westfield wrote:
> On Jul 10, 2010, at 1:14 AM, RussellMc wrote:
>
>
> And of course pomegranate syrup (as "grenadine") has been a standard
> bar ingredient for ages, used in such popular drinks as the Tequila
> Sunrise and the Shirley Temple...
>
Or maybe not
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grenadine
However, "grenadine" is also a common name applied to syrups and
beverages consisting of other fruit juices (e.g. raspberry, redcurrant,
blackberry) and sugar syrup. The characteristic flavor can be obtained
from a mixture of blackcurrant juice and other fruit juices with the
blackcurrant flavor dominating.
<en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grenadine#cite_note-0>
...
The food industry, however, has widely replaced grenadine fruit bases
with artificial ingredients. The Mott's brand "Rose's", by far the most
common grenadine brand in the United States,^ is now formulated entirely
out of a high-fructose corn syrup base.

I'm disappointed. :(


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