| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 140, 27 February 2006
Welcome to this year's 9th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! Written entirely by Robert Storey, this week's issue looks ahead at the upcoming 64-bit Mini-ITX processors, passes on a link to a freely downloadable copy of The Complete FreeBSD, and investigates "bcrypt" and "dm-crypt", the much-loved encryption utilities for the paranoid. In the first looks section, Robert investigates the newest OpenBSD-based live CDs - OliveBSD. Happy reading!
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Whither the 64-bit Mini-ITX?
Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.
- Henry Kissinger
There are times when having less means having more. Nowhere is this more true than when it comes to the issue of energy consumption.
VIA Technologies - the Taiwanese company best known for its chip sets - is also manufacturer of the ultra-low-power x86-compatible Eden CPUs and their accompanying Mini-ITX motherboards. I previously covered the Mini-ITX in the 18 April 2005 edition of DistroWatch Weekly.
Since that time, I've learned that one popular distribution, Damn Small Linux (DSL), is now selling Mini-ITX components and complete systems as a means of financing their software project. Aside from the financial angle, the fit between DSL and the Mini-ITX makes sense since Eden CPUs are relatively slow. Furthermore, some people build Mini-ITX boxes with no hard drive (DSL can boot from a USB flash drive). Vector Linux would also make sense for this type of hardware, though it will require a hard disk. Details for purchasing the Mini-ITX can be found on the DSL website. Let it be noted that neither I nor DistroWatch have any economic stake in DSL or VIA.
Some people get around the slowness issue by purchasing a dual-processor Mini-ITX. However, the really exciting news will be when VIA finally releases their 64-bit CPU, code-named Isaiah. It's expected to be rolled out in the first half of 2006, but VIA has been strangely silent since the initial announcement in October, 2004. In addition to low power consumption, Eden processors boast a built-in hardware-based security system known as the
VIA PadLock Hardware Security Suite. VIA has assured us that the Isaiah CPUs will have this same feature.
Personally, I think that VIA prefers to keep quiet now about the Isaiah in order to avoid collapsing sales of their existing 32-bit stock. This is always an issue in the fast-moving computer hardware industry.
The Mini-ITX runs on 12-volt DC (5 amps) power, making it ideal for use with a car battery (actually, if the battery is not in a car, you should use a deep-cycle battery - car batteries wear out too fast with frequent discharge/recharge use). It also works well with solar panels (which output either 12 or 24 volts) and wind generators. As long as your electrical source has a 12-volt voltage regulator (mandatory on cars, solar and wind generators) you can plug in the computer directly without needing a power supply. Since the mini-ITX draws 5 amps, the in-line fuse leading to the computer should be rated at least 10 amps (a 5-amp fuse will probably blow). If you're going to add a CD-R or DVD-R drive, it's probably best to connect it externally through the USB port using a case like this one.
In this age of peak oil and ever rising energy prices, a desktop computer that can run off a car battery, solar panel or windmill could be just the ticket. Anyone with a green philosophy or survivalist mentality should give this careful consideration.
* * * * *
The Complete FreeBSD - Now Completely Free
What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly.
- Thomas Paine
Almost anyone who has spent serious time with the FreeBSD operating system has a copy of The Complete FreeBSD by Greg Lehey (affectionately known as "Grog"). First published in 1996 under the title Installing and Using FreeBSD, this classic techie tome is now in its 4th edition. In the fast-moving world of software development, most books start to look dated after one or two years. The 4th edition was published in April 2003, and is now starting to get long in the tooth. Unfortunately, Greg is a busy man - too busy to continue updating his fine book (though he was nice enough to give me a few hours of his time to help me when I wrote this article).
Faced with this dilemma, Greg has made the unusual decision to offer his book for download (also available from here) under the Creative Commons License. This allows the author to continue owning the copyright while sharing non-commercial copies with all and sundry.
Although it was extremely nice of Mr. Lehey to do this, there is one catch - the book remains out-of-date. In order to deal with this issue, Greg is asking for volunteers to help with the updating. In keeping with the tradition of the BSD license, contributors can't expect money for this effort, but instead recognition (in this case, in the book's preface).
While The Complete FreeBSD, 4th edition, remains in print, it is still uncertain whether or not dead-tree copies will continue to be available in the future. Note that there are some tough competitors in this space, including FreeBSD 6 Unleashed. There is also The FreeBSD Handbook, available free online or in a somewhat dated print edition.
* * * * *
Bcrypt & DM-Crypt
Tips, Tricks & Hints
Some of you may recall that in the past I've talked about encryption on Linux, notably steganography and loop-AES. However, in keeping with the philosophy that "there's more than one way to do it," I'd like to introduce two other encryption tools - bcrypt and dm-crypt.
Comparing the two, bcrypt resembles steganography in the sense that it can be used to encrypt a single file or group of files, whereas dm-crypt is more like loop-AES which can be used to encrypt an entire hard disk partition. As for which one is better, that depends entirely on your needs.
As a long-term computer addict, I have a large number of files on my hard drive. However, the vast majority of my data would be of no use whatsoever to a thief and therefore does not need to be encrypted. The few files I want to keep secret contain mostly financial data, and I only need to open these files occasionally. Thus, bcrypt works fine for me.
Bcrypt uses a 448-bit blowfish file encryption algorithm. This should be nearly impossible to crack as long as you use a secure passphrase (which can be anywhere from 8 to 56 characters in length). Bcrypt will overwrite input files with random garbage - this is important because there are now inexpensive, widely-available hard disk scanning devices which can easily recover deleted files.
Another good feature of bcrypt is that it is portable across numerous platforms. You can download the source code from SourceForge and compile it yourself. The code has very little in the way of dependencies and should compile without a hitch on practically any Linux, BSD or other Unix-like system. Pre-compiled binaries are available for many distributions. There is even a Windows version, though the developers imply that the code is "ugly."
Once you've encrypted a file, you could back it up to a portable device such as a CD-R or USB flash drive, or even email it to yourself. This is a major advantage that dm-crypt doesn't offer.
Using bcrypt is pretty simple. See "man bcrypt" for details. Just be sure you don't forget your password.
While bcrypt has its advantages, it also comes with some built-in drawbacks. Bcrypt works fine for encrypting a small number of files that you only need to read occasionally, but it would be terribly inconvenient to use with hundreds of files that you need to access frequently. For example, you might have hundreds of sensitive emails in your ~/mail directory, or your company's accounting records, or perhaps a huge porno collection (wait, I didn't say that, did I?). The point is, if you need to secure a large amount of data, and especially if you need to access it often, then you really should use a tool that can encrypt an entire partition.
The already-mentioned loop-AES is an excellent partition-encryption tool for Linux (though not for the BSDs, which have their own proprietary encryption schemes). In the past, Linux users also had cryptoloop, but this has been deprecated in the 2.6 kernel. The new improved version is dm-crypt. Its chief advantage over cryptoloop is speed, cleaner code, and better security. Some also claim that it is easier to use than loop-AES, but I personally feel that neither is especially intuitive.
There is a better than even chance that your favourite distro already has support for dm-crypt compiled into the kernel. If not, take a look at this Gentoo wiki.
To proceed further, you will need to have a spare empty partition. You can create one with the cfdisk command (of course, you need root privileges to do this). It's wise to reboot whenever you modify the partition table.
OK, let's say we've created a new partition, /dev/hda5, and rebooted. Next, we need to create a mapper device for the new partition - we can call it whatever we like, so I'll call mine "secret." The syntax for doing this is as follows:
cryptsetup -y create secret /dev/hda5
Now let's test to see if it worked:
It should display the name of the /dev/mapper device followed by some numbers in parentheses - in my case: secret (253, 0).
Next we have to create a filesystem (or what Windows refugees call "formatting a partition." I suggest using the ext2 filesystem. The command for doing this is as follows:
All that remains to be done is to mount our device. We can mount it on any mount point we choose - create a new directory if you like:
mount /dev/mapper/secret /data
The encrypted /data directory is ready for use. It should contain only one file, lost+found. You can copy all the data you want to it. When you've finished your work, you should unmount the /data mount point and remove the secret device so that unauthorised individuals cannot access the data:
cryptsetup remove secret
If we like, we can go ahead and shut down the computer now. Next time we boot up and we want to access the encrypted data, the procedure is very similar to our original effort except that we won't make a new filesystem:
cryptsetup -y create secret /dev/hda5
Be sure you type the correct passphrase. Then mount:
mount /dev/mapper/secret /data
If you type the wrong passphrase, you'll get an error message saying mount: you must specify the filesystem type. If you do create a new filesystem, you'll wipe out all of your previously saved data! Instead, type cryptsetup remove secret and start over again, this time using the correct passphrase.
It would be nice to have some user-friendly graphical tools to do all of the above, but as yet I am not aware of any.
One final thought. Many laptop computers now come with a hardware-based encryption scheme that can encrypt the entire hard drive. If you want to enable this, poke around in the BIOS configuration. As is often the case in geekdom, there is indeed more than one way to do it.
* * * * *
Just for Fun
It's always nice to end the news portion of our weekly news on a light note. With that in mind, I'd like to call our readers' attention to a couple of stories posted on DivisionTwo.com:
Building a Linux System Even Your Grandmother Could Use
One Child Dead, 3 Wounded in Daycare Piracy Raid
There are, of course, many other articles posted on this humorous site, but most of these are irrelevant to our obsession (open source software). All the articles are the work on one individual, whose name I know but won't reveal. Apparently, the author has received some nastygrams from "dissatisfied customers" and has removed his name from the site. At least, that's what I assume. You can, however, send fan mail to email@example.com.
As a historical footnote, some of you may recall that in 2003 we did publish a link to this site. It caused quite a ruckus because some individuals didn't realize it was a joke. In the 27 October 2003 edition of DWW, we had to publish this clarification:
"It is hard to believe how many people got caught by a fictitious story about the imminent release of BarbieOS, a Debian-based Linux distribution for adolescent girls. Let's spell it out clearly once and for all: it's a joke, guys! There is no such thing as "BarbieOS" or "Barbie Linux" and you certainly cannot download it, so please stop looking for it. Nevertheless, it's a great story and we have added the link to our Fun Distributions
So this time you've been warned in advance. I am, of course, heartbroken that I cannot download BarbieOS.
|First Looks: OliveBSD
First Looks: OliveBSD
Look ma, no hard disk!
A totally free network operating system with ironclad security might seem like a pipe dream, yet it does exist. OpenBSD, the brainchild of Canadian hacker Theo de Raadt (and friends), is so secure that at one time the project received a US$2 million grant from the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). That funding was suddenly terminated in 2003 under very peculiar circumstances, but the OpenBSD developers have continued to turn out an impressive new release once every six months. In recognition for his contribution to open security standards, Theo received the 2004 Free Software Award from the Free Software Foundation.
OpenBSD, which came into existence nine years ago, started out life in the finest Unix tradition as a text-mode-only operating system geared primarily toward geeks wanting to run a secure server. However, it wasn't long before it acquired the X Window graphical user interface, and developers started porting the graphical applications that Linux users know and love. Nowadays, you could sit a Linux addict in front of an OpenBSD box and he or she could play for hours without ever noticing that this is not "just another distro." (Note: never call OpenBSD a "distro" on the OpenBSD mailing list, unless you want to be flamed into charcoal).
Although OpenBSD now boasts all the user-friendly features of KDE and other window managers, the installer program is nothing short of user-hostile. Furthermore, system administration tasks (like configuring ADSL or building a firewall) are not for the faint-hearted. If you're hooked on the point-and-click opium of Fedora or SUSE, a sudden plunge into the cold waters of the Unix command line can be a shock.
Enter OliveBSD, created by Gabriel Paderni. OK, it's not OpenBSD for grandma. However, it does greatly simplify the task of installation, mainly because you don't install it - this is a live CD. Just boot the disk and before you can finish your cappuccino, you'll have a working desktop system. OliveBSD is based on OpenBSD 3.8, which is the most up-to-date release.
Of course, these days live CDs have become so common that they no longer elicit the oohs and aahs they once did. However, compared to the cornucopia of Linux live CDs, BSD offerings are still relatively rare. First there was FreeSBIE, soon followed by Frenzy - both are FreeBSD variants. OliveBSD is the second OpenBSD live CD after the recently announced Anonym.OS project.
I first tested OliveBSD on my laptop, an IBM X31 ThinkPad. Booting up took a long time, mostly due to a lengthy search for the network, which failed. I was somewhat distressed to see this message scroll by the screen:
ipw0: could not read firmware
DHCPDISCOVER on ipw0 to 255.255.255.255 port 67 interval 2
send_packet: Network is down
No DHCPOFFERS received.
No working leases in persistent database - sleeping
Interface ipw0 is for my wireless device. Perhaps it's not surprising that OpenBSD doesn't have native support for it since it's an Intel PRO/Wireless 2100 (that is, a Centrino CPU with built-in wireless). There's been a big heated discussion about wireless chipset licensing on the OpenBSD mailing list and forums, and Intel has earned considerable wrath for its lack of cooperation. If you're interested in the topic, take a look here.
In fact, I seldom use wireless and could almost live without it, but more disturbing was the failure to activate my Ethernet port. In Linux this is detected as eth0, but in OpenBSD it would be called fxp0. On the plus side, OliveBSD did detect the port - on the down side, it did not find the network. I was plugged into a router and its built-in DHCP server should have given me an IP address straight away. To put it bluntly, OliveBSD failed to provide me with any network connection whatsoever, the first time I have encountered this problem on any BSD OS.
Once I had a graphic screen, I found a menu called "Network card configuration." I tried this in the hope that I would be able to bring my network to life, but no luck. Opening an Xterm and running the ifconfig command showed the MAC addresses of ipw0 and fxp0, but no IP addresses were assigned and therefore I had no connectivity.
One of the first things I noticed about the OliveBSD desktop is that it uses IceWM, a lightweight window manager (at least compared to the usual behemoths, KDE and GNOME). Another distinguishing feature is the selection of applications. Since CD space is limited, Gabriel wisely chose to have just one of each kind of application, including some that I've never heard of (AxYftp, Abs). As for the question that philosophers have asked throughout the ages - Vi or Emacs? - the surprising answer in this case is SciTE. This is a very user-friendly text editor with pull-down menus, syntax-highlighting support for numerous programming languages, and good online documentation (look for it in the "Help" menu).
I was pleased to find that my USB keyboard worked with OliveBSD. Previous attempts to get this keyboard to work with OpenBSD (and FreeBSD and NetBSD) have failed. I admit though that I have not tested it with OpenBSD 3.8. It has always worked with Linux.
As for the overall appearance of the desktop, I must say that I found the default pure white background to be annoying. It's rather like looking into a light bulb, and it also wastes battery power. IceWM has a menu for "Themes" - I tried this in hopes of finding something better than the default IceQua theme. Unfortunately, all the other themes suffer from the same white background problem.
OliveBSD - a new OpenBSD-based live CD using the IceWM desktop.
(full image size: 118kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Another gripe I have with OliveBSD is that it logs you in as root. This surprised me, especially given OpenBSD's emphasis on security. Most live CDs log you in as an unprivileged user, and if you want root privileges then you must use the sudo or su command.
After about 30 minutes of playing around on my laptop, I decided to try OliveBSD on my desktop machine (an AMD64). Unfortunately, the results were even more disappointing. OliveBSD failed to boot at all. I got as far as the boot> prompt, and the machine would go no further. End of experiment.
To judge from the comments of other OliveBSD users, at least some people had no problems whatsoever. However, on my hardware I found OliveBSD to be disappointing. The inability to make a network connection on my laptop was a nearly fatal flaw. The inability to boot my desktop was even more lethal. To be fair, this was a first release, and it wouldn't be right to expect perfection. Certainly, I couldn't produce a better OS myself, so I don't want to sound like I'm whining. I applaud Gabriel for the hard work he put into this project, and I hope that he will continue to expand on this fine first effort.
|Released Last Week
Devil-Linux has been upgraded to version 1.2.9: "I'm
proud to announce v1.2.9 of Devil-Linux. The changes include lots of
software updates, addition of ipset, PAM, some missing netfilter
modules and netfilter L7 classifier." Among the many update
packages are Linux kernel 2.4.32, Apache 2.2.0, iptables 1.3.5, OpenSSH
4.3p2, Perl 5.8.8, PHP 4.4.2, Postfix 2.2.8, PostgreSQL 8.1.2 and Samba
3.0.21b. Read the brief release announcement and the comprehensive changelog for more details.
A new version of INSERT (Inside Security Rescue Toolkit) has been released: "Here
we go! Finally a new version of INSERT emerges from the depths of the
build machine. The size has grown to near 60MB, since our supplier of
credit-card sized CDs promised me to be able to squeeze 60MB on the
thing; the Linux kernel was updated to 22.214.171.124; Captive was updated to
1.1.7 and can now use the Windows XP driver files from SP2; the native
NTFS driver and tools have write support; a custom build of the latest
version of the great graphical partitioning GUI GParted was added;
Reiser4 is supported." Read the rest of the release notes for further details.
Puppy Linux 1.0.8
Linux version 1.0.8 is released. The biggest news item is the move from
OSS to ALSA sound. A modified version of the alsaconf script is used to
auto-configure the sound at boot-up. Puppy 1.0.7 has the Xvesa and
X.Org X servers, but the latter is stuck on 'us' keyboard layout as the
xkb component of X.Org is missing. Puppy 1.0.8 has a reduced xkb
component that will now give correct keyboard layout and characters for
the major countries. Lior Tubor has greatly improved the original
Blinky taskbar network monitor, and we now have Lior's version 0.6 of
Blinky...." Continued reading the release notes for more details.
GoblinX Mini 1.2.2
A new version of the Slackware-based GoblinX Mini distribution has been released. "Released
GoblinX Mini 1.2.2, the small special edition of GoblinX. GoblinX Mini
1.2.2 is an upgraded release with the addition of new features. The
most special feature is 'liveupgrade' - by using this script you can to
re-master a new distribution, also from RAM memory. We also made a few
changes to the 'goinstall' script, corrected some small errors, and
added several more corrections and upgrades to make this a very nice
release, even though it can be less stable because of Unionfs." Read the rest of release announcement for further information.
The ParallelKnoppix live CD has been updated. What's new? "Open
MPI at version 1.0.1, the pi example for C shows how to use it;
mpich.tar.gz is included in the 'Examples' directory, this shows how to
compile and install software on a running cluster, and lets you run a
very cool parallel Mandelbrot set plotter; Ganglia removed for the time
being; missing MPITB source included; montecarlo.m does dynamic load
balancing and is robust to node failure; tutorial updated." Visit the project's home page to read the release announcement and to learn more about the distribution.
Gentoo Linux 2006.0
The first official Gentoo Linux release of the year is out: "The Gentoo Release Engineering team proudly announces the release of Gentoo Linux 2006.0. Gentoo Linux 2006.0, the first release in the 2006 series, represents improvements across many architectures since the 2005.1 release. Major highlights in the release include KDE 3.4.3, GNOME 2.12.2, XFCE 4.2.2, GCC 3.4.4 and a 2.6.15 kernel. This is also the first release with the Gentoo Linux Installer officially debuting on the x86 LiveCD, which will fully replace the Universal and PackageCD set. The LiveCD also features a fully-fledged GNOME environment." Read the full release announcement for more details.
The main new features of Gentoo Linux 2006.0 are enhanced live CD functionality and graphical installer.
(full image size: 439kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
* * * * *
Development and unannounced releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to the waiting list|
- Kaboot. Kaboot is a new Gentoo-based live CD/USB distribution. A number of different editions are available, two optimised for size or speed, one for functionality, and one science-based. All contain a host of useful programs able to boot virtually any computer.
- Minimax. Minimax is a Linux mini-distribution based on Arch Linux. Because it fits entirely to an initrd image, it can boot on every system imaginable. It is ultra small (32 MB), but very powerful; it contains a 2.6 kernel with all modules and a balanced set of console utilities, but no X server.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
That's all for today. The next issue of DistroWatch Weekly will be published on Monday, 6 March 2006. See you then :-)
If you've enjoyed this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly, please consider sending us a tip.
(Tips this week: 0, value: US$0.00)
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • gentoo (by Anonymous on 2006-02-27 10:38:24 GMT from United States) |
Very nice article.
im happy that gentoo finally released a version that the common folk can use and mildly understand. i do understand that it took hours upon days to install gentoo, now it looks like it would take about 4 clicks. brilliant
2 • Good for Gentoo (by Daniel Mery on 2006-02-27 10:44:51 GMT from United States)
The New Gentoo is very good new
Congratulation to all Gentoo Team
3 • gentoo (by Thobias on 2006-02-27 10:48:00 GMT from Germany)
I will give Gentoo a try now,
I think that the new installation process will give
the distribution a boost.
4 • gentoo installer (by lord_levi on 2006-02-27 10:52:42 GMT from Germany)
Hopefully the new Gentoo Installer is more stable than the beta(?).
It erased my entire HDD :-/
Thanks for this Issue of DWN! :)
5 • linux4grandma? (by billy on 2006-02-27 11:08:35 GMT from United States)
Two linux OS'es for Grandma? LILO for Grandma? Mandrake 9.2 the "most stable" desktop? Please say this was a satirical webpage. I didn't catch the sly winks. Someone is seriously solipsistic and needs to spend real quality time with his grandmother before it is too late. He'll learn that two OS'es just isn't what an 89-year-old with Alzheimer's needs. Grandma needs the Mandrake Control Center like she needs a sore ass. Give her a nice, simple desktop with everything she needs, and an underlying OS that will be solid and stable until Kingdom Come, without a lot of additional tinkering or mandatory updates after the fact. (Can you say "Slackware?" Debian sarge would also be good -- with kernel 2.4! Whatever you do, I beg you, don't send Grandma into RPM hell or Portage purgatory.) Save $400 on your budget because there's not much to be gained for everyday use by going GA-GA. Use the money for Meals on Wheels or to visit her more often.
6 • RE: 5 • linux4grandma? (by ladislav on 2006-02-27 11:21:00 GMT from Taiwan)
Robert, I was right. I knew we should have written the warning in a 48-point font, in bold and red....
7 • #5 • linux4grandma? (by sideshow on 2006-02-27 11:35:29 GMT from United Kingdom)
The "sly winks":
"Just for Fun"
"There are, of course, many other articles posted on this humorous site,"
"As a historical footnote, some of you may recall that in 2003 we did publish a link to this site. It caused quite a ruckus because some individuals didn't realize it was a joke."
"It is hard to believe how many people got caught by a fictitious story" ... "Let's spell it out clearly once and for all: it's a joke, guys!"
8 • No subject (by billy on 2006-02-27 11:43:10 GMT from United States)
I meant, say it again. Thank you.
9 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2006-02-27 12:00:35 GMT from United States)
the download version of the freebsd book has a 503 error and is down.
10 • 2 Distros PC for GrandMa - Well done guy !!!!!!! (by Angel on 2006-02-27 12:14:17 GMT from Belgium)
I did not see any adress to contact this guy. If anyone knows him, can you transmit him my sincere congratulations and this message:
Well done guy,
but maybe you forgot to include Mono and Eclipse in case GrandMa wants to develop something in .Net or Java; and of course some Python too...!!!
I would have consider also creating another patition or using one of the 3 Hard Drives to create a BSD based Distro server to stock the warez and Metallica files she will download with limewire; and a web server where she can hang her website with photografs of their kitten...
Huhh.. I almost forgot it ... Did you include a good program for security encryption (PGP, GNUgp...), in case GrandMa wants to send you an encrypted e-mail???
!!!!! Vaya pedazo de Gilipollas !!!!!
Another one, less loving of his GrandMa, undoubtly, would have made it with a Second hand Pentium II or III and just PCLinuxOS, or Mepis or STix ...
Thank you Ladislav and company for keeping us informed of the efforts of the people to spread Linux and the free computing!
Angel Arce - Fr@gzilla
11 • Gentoo Live Installer - Try RR4/RR6 (by Andy on 2006-02-27 12:36:32 GMT from United Kingdom)
The best use of the Gentoo Live installer can be found with the RR4/RR6 project.
This is a Live DVD thats installable. You can even upgrade the installer to the latest with a simple desktop click.
You guys who waited for the installer to be included in 2006.0 have been missing out!
Still, well done to Gentoo for responding to what the average man want's whilst still keep the hardcore happy.
12 • Emacs and Vi ??? (by Marius Cirsta on 2006-02-27 12:37:16 GMT from Romania)
Just red the think about a PC with Linux for grandma and this is so funny . The guy is nuts . Listen to this ....
"She likes to type letters on her computer, so for word processing I gave her OpenOffice, KOffice, AbiWord, Emacs and Vi to choose from."
OK so I can understand OpenOffice , KOffice and AbiWord but Emacs an Vi ... loooool . For an 89 year old gandma , I'm trying to teach mother AbiWord and it's not the easiest thing :) .
13 • 2 Distros for grandMa- More !! (by Angel on 2006-02-27 12:47:15 GMT from Belgium)
2 Distros for grandMa- More !!
More parodies and articles like that please...
I did not know the web site but it has helped me a bit to make my day
Some years ago I did work for some Big IT companies doing '"Troubleshooting", and I could encounter funny situations like the one in that article (whether is completely invented or based in a true story)
Real life can supass almost anything, so who knows...
P.S. Hacking with Barbie OS could be compared with Child Molestation, or downloading child pornography, I guess...
Angel - Fr@gzilla
14 • Free wmplayer to test linux distro without installing (by Keyb on 2006-02-27 13:23:10 GMT from Switzerland)
I do not know if this has already been discussed here. The free "virtual PC player" recently released by wmware (http://www.vmware.com/products/player/) seem to be able, with minimum hack to run "virtual machines" where you can easily install linux or other os. In case it is of interest to anyone. Eg. I was able to run pclinuxos in a windows inside XP in minutes. I think it could be an easy way to allow people to test linux on their boxes without messing too much around or to test different distros withou allocating separate partitions....
15 • Wow Gentoo !! (by Rohan Dhruva on 2006-02-27 13:51:44 GMT from India)
I am surely going to try gentoo with the new installer ** on my pathetic piii 550mhz 256mb ram :(
16 • Thanks for the Mini-ITX Coverage! (by Steff on 2006-02-27 13:53:56 GMT from United Kingdom)
Really enjoyed your mini-article on mini-ITX. Really did.
My father is about to build a new house and I would like to have a mini-ITX as a firewall for the home internet. If I can pull it off, I'd also like to add other things such as anti-intrusion (a couple of infra-red motion-sensitive cameras) and cam doorbell - this stuff is in the drawing board stage at the moment.
We plan to have solar, so mini-ITX really looks ideal.
Once again, thank-you and maintain your coverage on the subject.
17 • VMplayer - Try VMX Builder as well!! (by Andy on 2006-02-27 14:09:48 GMT from United Kingdom)
That's right, Player will run any Live ISO just by creating a small VMX file with minimal config. Also you can download VMX Builder to create the VMX config files to installs you ISO's with full VM harddrives and hardware.. IMHO for basic testing this works just as well as the full blown VMware Workstation 5.5.
Still, I guess VMware saw the writting on the wall as they recently made VM-server available for free which can do nearly everything that Workstation does. If you go this route make sure you read through their forum if you intend to use XP as a Host. You need to install and then disable IIS prior to installation.
All the above are great ways to test without messing your current install.
18 • Linux For Grandma (by Anonymous on 2006-02-27 14:12:16 GMT from United States)
Why Linux? I love and use Linux, but for my grandmother, no way. Grandma can spend her pension check on a Mac Mini.
19 • Unbelievable opportunity (by Gra on 2006-02-27 14:20:18 GMT from United Kingdom)
So! Nobody has built a BarbieLinux yet?! Just what are these geeks waiting for? I can hear the cash tills ringing already.....
20 • Website defaced (by Chris J. Paxton on 2006-02-27 15:08:55 GMT from Canada)
Looks like whoever posted message 17 was attempting (a real pathetic way) to deface the site. I found out when I went to print out DistroWatch weekly and it took forever and produced 112 pages.
21 • Never ,mind (by Chris on 2006-02-27 15:11:24 GMT from Canada)
Thanks webmaster, you removed the goofy message before I finished my posting. :}
22 • Mini ITX (by Anonymous on 2006-02-27 15:30:52 GMT from United States)
I really wish they would put a CF slot on the motherboard for boot. Not just this board, but all boards.
23 • RE: #4 (by Anonymous Penguin on 2006-02-27 15:47:52 GMT from Italy)
"Hopefully the new Gentoo Installer is more stable than the beta(?).
It erased my entire HDD :-/ "
Exactly! In my case it destroyed my main linux partition.
So I am also wondering.
24 • mini-itx, gentoo, rr4 (by ray carter on 2006-02-27 16:04:11 GMT from United States)
I read with interest your comments about via and the mini-itx. I'd like to add that with the via epia mini-itx mobos it is not the easiest thing in the world to get all the components working as well as they should. I've tried several 'out-of-the-box' solutions on mine, and was always disappointed. About a year ago I bit the bullet and did a stage 1 Gentoo install, following a epia wiki. I have been very happy with the result. It took nearly a week to accomplish (I have a life), but very much worth while. It is difficult to believe how efficiently it runs - MUCH faster, and now everything works! I HIGHLY recommend Gentoo from stage 1 for via min-itx boxes.
On the other hand, I've been disappointed with the rr4 download. I cannot get it to boot on my mini-itx - I tried all the cheat codes I could stand. It booted on a via mobo Everex desktop, and failed to find the nic - the first time I've had that occurrence. rr4 may be a good product in development, but I think it has quite a way to go yet.
Thanks for the good articles - I like to see more than just a rehash of what distros came out this week.
25 • Building a Linux System Even Your Grandmother Could Use (by pilpilon on 2006-02-27 17:25:49 GMT from Israel)
She can watch DVDs with Mplayer as long as she remembers to use the ++dvd flag when she compiles it.
I simply could not read further... nasty.
26 • Grandma's favorite distro (by x on 2006-02-27 17:43:14 GMT from United States)
Unquestionably, the best distribution for anmyone's grandmother is LFS. Face the facts, your grandmother could be knitting Godzilla's sweater or crocheting curtains for the Sear's Tower. By giving her Linux From Scratch, you will be giving her the gift that will keep her occupied for the rest of her life. Unlike those nearly completed sweaters and curtains, the 99% completed LFS, BLFS, ... etc. ..., with all customization will actually be functional. So next time Grandparents' Day rolls around, give your grandmother the ability to roll her own, even your grandfather will enjoy the many, many, many hours of pleasure one can experience with LFS and all of the source code available from the Open Source and Free Software communities.
27 • BSD Works?/Gentoo (by Robzilla on 2006-02-27 17:51:21 GMT from United States)
There seems to be BSD fever lately and I really like it! BSD has always been an operating system I wanted to use. With my laptop getting FreeBSD on it was next to impossible. Would not even boot up. Now with PC-BSD(my personal favorite)Desktop BSD and live cds like Olive BSD I think that BSD will be a real contenter for Laptops/Desktops. Why shouldn't it be? MAC OSX has been using Darwin for years. Unix will make a great desktop!! The intense development of Linux/Distros has made it just work. BSD is behind in this development. I am hopeful with projects like the above mentioned that BSD will be as easy to use as Linux and will just work. I know it is possible. I will be there trying the new releases of BSD and seeing how I can get my laptop to work but it isn't there yet.
I downloaded and burned a copy of the Gentoo live Cd and I was not impressed. I like many here have been wanting to try Gentoo on their computer for years. I am computer proficient but I feel rather incompetent while trying to install Gentoo. I downloaded and printed the huge step by step documentation. I tried and spent a few days and ended up with a system I could not boot. A rather frustrating experience. I will try it again some day but it left a bad taste in my mouth. I have installed Slackware and Debian with success but Gentoo, no.
So I put the live cd in and a few seconds later was looking at my Gnome screen. The only problem is that the screen size was incorrect. Seems to be a recurrent theme for my laptop. I went through the installer in demo mode and it seemed rather straight forward. Then I went through some menus and all of a sudden screen went crazy. I could not do anything, had to do a hard shutdown. So I am not feeling very secure in trying to install. If the live cd will not correctly configure my laptop screen and seems unstable then how will it be when installed?? Mepis 3.4, Kannotix, Vector Live Soho, and my favorite PCLinuxOS all seem to work effortlessly on my laptop. Configuring the screen, network, etc is automatic and correct.
I applaud the Gentoo developers for trying to make a live cd and installer that many of us have been wanting and waiting for a long time.I hope they continue to develop it and make some more improvements. Make the instalation of Gentoo and easy as PCLinuxOS and make it more stable and I think they will get a big bost in users. Portage sounds awesome and I would like to try it someday. I am just not so sure now is the time?
28 • Gentoo 2006 live CD (by Fotograf on 2006-02-27 18:02:03 GMT from Canada)
I wonder if This x86 Live CD will be good for hhd install later on ? Started to dwld 700 mb......
29 • Mini ITX (by Anonymous on 2006-02-27 18:11:45 GMT from United States)
I have been keeping a close eye out for one these motherboards for a while. What keeps me from one is the high cost and in most cases the required added case (bundling). These things should be under a hundred us by now. I can build a mini ATX sempron pc for the price of the mini itx motherboard. I agree with the other post on the cf card. All you need is the cpu, nic, memory, usb and a CF port with a write protect switch. TV/VGA out (and IDE) would be nice but not required. Make them stackable and use a shared power brick. Sell them for about 50 us and you'd have something.
30 • Linux for Grandma (by ShawnMilo at 2006-02-27 18:17:13 GMT from United States)
I thought the grandma article was hilarious, and apparently many of you did as well. I have e-mailed the author to ask for permission to record it. If I receive it, it will either be included in the podcast or added as a separate file in the RSS feed.
31 • GoblinX & Gentoo 2006 (by Anonymous on 2006-02-27 18:18:41 GMT from United States)
Has anyone figured out how to configure the network card with new live GoblinX? I just want to give it a fixed IP and hope that it saves it between boots and reads a share (I know too much to ask).
Gentoo 2006 sounds promising but I'm not going to try it again until someone can get it to dual boot without wiping everything out. I'm even scared to upgrade my xbox with MCE.
32 • Gentoo Livecd File (by Wesley Hamel on 2006-02-27 18:35:49 GMT from United States)
Can the x86 Gentoo Live Cd be burned on normal CD-Rs or do I need a DVD to burn it.
33 • RE:32 (by Robzilla on 2006-02-27 20:11:34 GMT from United States)
CD-Rs will work! Use the link on DW or use Gentoo's mirrors and burn the ISO.
34 • Linux for grandmas (by gnobuddy on 2006-02-27 20:25:53 GMT from United States)
Funny article about Linux for grandma. :)
My mother-in-law is in her 70's, and is a grandmother. I built her her first computer five or six years ago. After an initial nightmarish year of running Windows, she has been using Linux ever since. Initially I installed Mandrake for her, but for the last year or more it's been Mepis Linux.
Interestingly enough, she asked for me to put icons for both Firefox and Konqueror on her KDE task bar. She explained that every once in a while she would manage to click on the wrong thing and put one browser out of commission, and she would then switch to the other. (Usually this involved something like accidentally changing the home page away from Google, after which she had no idea how to restore it; without Google, she does not know how to do anything on the Web.)
All told, I have set up five people with no computer skills with Linux over the past few years. All of them are happily using their Linux computer to send email, surf the web, and perhaps write and print the odd short letter with a word-processor.
35 • gentoo (by paul on 2006-02-27 20:56:58 GMT from United States)
im installing gentoo now and all i can say is WOW. no not world of warcraft....lol.
but in all seriousness, this IS the easiest installer with a gui. Everything has gone smoothly, bye bye ubuntu , hello gentoo. HIGHLY reccomended to at least give a look at.
36 • Humour is fun (by warpengi on 2006-02-27 21:16:47 GMT from Canada)
Well, most of the time anyway.
I liked the raid on the orphanage article much better than the grandma's computer. Complete with actual blood stain. Maybe that article is too close to reality for most folks to really laugh about, whereas the grandma article is way over the top.
37 • An alternative to VMWare and "wasted battery" (by Anonymous on 2006-02-27 22:11:24 GMT from United States)
A free-as-in-speech alternative to VMWare is QEMU and is available in
your favorite package manager or at
There's an optional proprietary kernel module but QEMU is fully
functional (but about half as fast) without it.
The OliveBSD section says that a white background wastes battery
power. This is not true. An LCD has one or more backlights that are
always lit while the display is on. To show different colors, small
subpixels are activated to block light of various colors in different
amounts. For example, to show a totally white screen, none of the
elements are activated and all of the light passes through. To show a
black screen, all of the elements are activated and (hopefully) none
of the light passes through.
More information about LCDs:
Thank you for this wonderful DWW!
38 • Vector Linux SOHO 5.1 (by Robzilla on 2006-02-28 03:21:07 GMT from United States)
So my test machine is an old Pentium III with 333 mhz and a 10 gig hard drive at 128mb ram. Now all of the distros I tried to install on performed poorly. PC-Bsd worked better than most of the linux distros I tried. Then I thought I am an old fan of Vector. So I popped in the Vector install disc and in a half an hour later I had a full fledged Linux OS that is faster than Windows was on this system. It is actually quite amazing how fast this distro is on my old system. I used SOHO 5.0 and 5.1 is a major improvement. All of the video or dvd codecs are pre-configured and ready to go right from the install. From my use so far the stability is slackware solid. All I can say is the Vector team really did a fantastic job on this release. All of the packages you could ever want are hear and yet performance is impressive. Boot up is like 45 seconds on my old pc!!
If you haven't tried Vector yet give it a shot. The community is great and the product speaks for itself!
BTW I am installing Fedora Core 5 test 3 on my laptop now and it is slow but so far so good!
39 • #38 (by ray carter at 2006-02-28 03:54:25 GMT from United States)
I've installed Elive on several older PCs - some down in the area of 100 mhz and 64 mb ram. You'd be surprised how well it works. I highly recommend you give it a shot - you can try it as a live CD first, and install to disk with a click. It's really impressive, though enlightenment is certainly different from what you're used to.
40 • mini-itx-box (by John Broders on 2006-02-28 07:09:11 GMT from United States)
I bought one of these from a friend, they are a little slow so I had him upgrade it with a brand new itanium and 1gb of memory. now this little thing screams! I put in a 80 gig hard drive and added wireless support, It;s great for wardriving because it's so small I just plug it into the cigarette lighter and it has no problems. I installed Mandrake Powerpak Edition on an xfs filesystem and I think it just helps the little thing that much more. try it, you'll like it!
41 • gentoo install (by ooooooo on 2006-02-28 08:06:22 GMT from United States)
I can not install gentoo livecd on logical partition...is this a bug or just me
42 • cf slot on mini-ITX (by ozonehole on 2006-02-28 08:08:50 GMT from Taiwan)
Sorry, I botched the html on the previoius post. I'll try it again...
> I really wish they would put a CF slot on the motherboard for boot.
> Not just this board, but all boards.
A couple of minutes of Googling and I turned up a Mini-ITX board that seems to have it. Check out:
43 • No subject (by truth machine on 2006-02-28 09:57:18 GMT from United States)
"Two linux OS'es for Grandma? LILO for Grandma? Mandrake 9.2 the "most stable" desktop? Please say this was a satirical webpage. I didn't catch the sly winks."
All the intelligent people did.
44 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2006-02-28 10:34:23 GMT from United States)
IT is a NANO-ITX and not a mini-itx. go to www.mini-itx.com for more info.
45 • Mini-ITX (by Jeff Greer on 2006-02-28 11:55:54 GMT from United States)
As usual, your newsletter and web site are a must read. I check your site daily. Thanks for your ITX coverage. I am running Debian Sarge on a Via M10000N "mini" box. It is my total system about the size of a textbook. Granted the most graphic intensive game I play is chess but it takes care of business day in and day out. If you aren't looking for a high end gaming system, one of Via's ITX systems can do the job - low power, low noise, and very small footprint.
Thanks again, Jeff
46 • Linux for Grandma ? (by Oliver Lange on 2006-02-28 13:54:55 GMT from Germany)
My daddy is the masterclass example of a computer noob who even fears to move the mouse around. If i would install him several bootloaders, Linux flavors and desktop managers, i would shock him off forever. Would be a real bad idea. I installed him a Win2k for now, but if i had to choose a Linux distro for my dad, it would be something like MEPIS or so, and of course KDE. I guess he would never have a need to change the desktop manager because he would never ask if there's anything else and he'd also be happy with KDE forever. He just wants to surf a bit and play games, which is why i actually chose Windows.... this report is probably only useful if the grandma in question is technically interested, which is not true for many aged people who just want to do a handsome of things and who'd be happy to accomplish these tasks without further help. Most Linux users don't seem to realize how far their experience and knowledge has grown over time and that other people who just don't care about hardware & software development, are just not interested in all that...
47 • Linux distro craze (by George on 2006-02-28 16:28:21 GMT from United States)
Fully realising that this is the site for Linux afficcionados, I have to chuckle to think how the EVIL Windows is the benchmark to compare Linux to. I have used XP for some time, and i have played with and used the various incarnations of Mandrake/Mandriva, Fedora, Mepis and Knopix, and none of these compares favourably with XP, at least for desktop use. If Windows froze, broke, malfunctioned 5% of the time the Linuxes do, there would be howls of outrage. Yet all I hear is how wonderfully "stable" Linux is. It is stable if you do not turn the machine on.
Yes, I realise that Linux is mostly (but not totally) a volunteer piece of works; still, one needs to be a bit more humble and less contemptuous of Windows - if it was REALLY that bad, the world would not be using it. The arrogance of Linux users is not justified by the available bug-infested products.
I am particularly struck by a comment from gnobuddy (comemnt 34), about his gramdmother's nightmarish year with Windows (see above). Yet, she could not cope on her own with placement of icons on the Konqueror task bar. It seems to me that a person who cannot use the Web without Google has problems not related to Windows. So, ok, criticise the deficiencies of Windows, but do not tell me the Linux is better - it MAY get better, but it is FAR from being even close for an average desktop user.
This said, there are many things to like about Linux, especially if being challenged daily by the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune...err....newest distro...is one's idea of time well spent:)
48 • Elive is overhyped (by tester on 2006-02-28 16:34:50 GMT from Finland)
Concerning the Elive distribution that has recently got hyped over the impressive graphics of englightment window manager.
- Twinkling icons/menus
- Rolling cursors
- Shaded menus / cursors and other items
- lower bottom menu bar included "jumping rabbit" (whatever it's called) when you move from item to item.
It's like vibrant zoo wherever you look. This may impress some KDE
fans (if you turn on all the KDE glitter), but I must say that after day or two all of the "graphics" starts to feel *real* annoying. After a while this "zoo" is getting on one's nerves more that it being helpful.
- Your daily meal is potatoes / rice / (substitute your favorite here)
You can't eat candy every day - neither can you stand the Desktop glitter of enlightment for long.
IMHO, over hyped Desktop environment for any serious long term use.
49 • #47 (by Tim on 2006-02-28 17:00:39 GMT from United States)
OK, I hear you. I too, have had good experience with the stability of XP (1 hard lock up in 5 years), but I also had to contend with the need for constant security updates, as well as updates to antivirus, adware blockers, spyware killers, and firewall software.
It's no fun to discover a file in your personal folder that cannot be deleted, renamed or otherwise modified in any manner because it has modified XP to prevent your efforts. And then to discover that file has been there for more than a year, tracking your activity and transmitting that information to who knows where. Worse - it was installed as part of the printer driver for a printer I only used for a short time. (I won't name the manufacturer here) It took a complete wipe and reinstall to solve that one. I lost no critical files personal because my data was backed up, but I lost a LOT of time reinstalling XP and all the programs, and my privacy was invaded.
Stability in Linux? Ive tried more than 30 distros over the past 18 months and NONE have exhibited any instability problems on my system. I HAVE run into several that weren't ready for prime time, and I simply moved on. Linux is about choice, unlike the Windows world.
Currently I run PCLinuxOS and find it rock solid and capable of anything I need to do. That may not be true on every piece of hardware, and of course you may need to do things I don't which aren't well supported under Linux.
But I don't need antivirus software. I get a firewal for free. Ad ware doesn't get embedded on my system, and since I never get online as Root, my critical system files cannot become compromised by spyware.
"if it (Windows) was REALLY that bad, the world would not be using it."
If Linux was REALLY that bad all of us here would not be using it.
50 • answer to 49 (by George on 2006-02-28 17:21:17 GMT from United States)
All valid and excellent points; but i was referring to the ease of use as a desktop. But mainly, i was/am annoyed by the hype:)
And no, Linux is not bad, it is just not a silver bullet, yet.
PS. My Mandriva 2006 freezes and locks up unpredictably, requiring forced cold boot. I cannot see any pattern to this: perhaps it is a printer driver?:)
51 • #50 (by Anonymous on 2006-02-28 18:00:34 GMT from Brazil)
Vc já verificou seu sistema com o memtest86?
52 • #47 (by Anonymous on 2006-02-28 18:04:35 GMT from Brazil)
" if it was REALLY that bad, the world would not be using it. "
A resposta é: Monopólio
53 • RE: #47 (by Anonymous Penguin on 2006-02-28 18:53:55 GMT from Italy)
With linux it is very much a matter of finding a distro which works for you and which cooperates with your hardware. You can't just try one distro or two and say: "linux sucks". If you don't have the time and the patience to try quite a few distros, then just forget about it.
Having said that there is very little doubt in my mind that linux is a much better operating system than WinXP. This said by somebody who *does* use Windows quite a bit. Why? because of the applications, clearly.
For instance I am enjoying playing chess quite a bit these days. In linux I have Eboard setup to play with Crafty, but that doesn't compare with the endless possibilities you have with Chessmaster or the Fritz series.
Even the latest open source games are sooner and more easily available for Windows:
(I find for instance Armagetron Advanced a really nice game, better even than many commercial ones. The latest release candidate is not available as a deb)
Concluding: Windows a better OS than linux? Rubbish!
Applications? Clearly Windows has the upper hand, and we all know why. However most computer users I know would be served just fine by the applications available in linux.
54 • Actually George (by AQ on 2006-02-28 19:27:13 GMT from United States)
having a dual-booted system between XP and Fedora Core for the past year and a half, it is quite interesting to me that Fedora is now the only of the two I actually use everyday.
And your comments about the desktop experience with Linux compared to windows show a wide amount of ignorance. With linux, you can have a working operating system which actually has all of the software most people would even think about needed after the install.
With Windows, well, you must enjoy clicking .exe after .exe for another 2 hours, shutting down and rebooting after each installation, just to get some basic functionality.
Really, in your tiny mind Linux might not be "ready", whatever in the world that means to you, but to people who actually care about their time and enjoy having a full system with preloaded graphics editors, audio capabilities, and office software... all of which are easily updated universally with one click... Linux has already slayed Windows and embarassed it beyond belief.
But if you enjoy the hassle of XP, no one is going to stop you, though don't be so stupid to come and poke at people who enjoy the OS they use and have good reasons for doing so. I have to suppose that the only reason you're even here is you're one of those idoits that loves to pick a fight with people who don't care about you in an attempt to validate your meaningless existence, or maybe you aren't as comfortable with your choice in windows.
55 • A notable difference (by Carlos Alberto P. P. B. Santos on 2006-02-28 20:20:15 GMT from Cuba)
You can see that this DW Weekly wasn't written by Ladislav because of the direct link to Vector Linux website instead of it's distro page here at DW.
And I missed the general news roundup at the beggining of the issue.
56 • Linux desktop is there for Windows users (by Regular Joe on 2006-02-28 20:31:25 GMT from Finland)
"All valid and excellent points; but i was referring to the ease of use as a desktop. But mainly, i was/am annoyed by the hype:)"
- - -
We must differentiate two aspects:
- Linux for computer savvy people 
- Linux for general audience 
It is unrealistic to assume anyone coming from windows world, who has not computer experience beound using Menus and wizards (How many have you seen using Word acceleration kesys, efectively, really?) -- that they would go and "try" different Linux distributions that would "work for them".
Saying that "ease of use" is lacking from Linux is incorrect. To those windows people , there is Linux that is ready. It's called commercial distributions:
- ... Perhaps also SUSE although it's more "server" oriented.
These are consumer Linux bundles that offer complete setup with point-n-click installs that even 50 year old Dad or Mom could learn to use. They can eradily replace any Windoews 2000 or XP installation right now. so the Linux is there for them.
Open source) Linux distributions on the other hand are meant for  and people form  will get dissappointed by them if Windows XP-a-like features and configuration is required.
So, We must point people to the right Linux distribution, even if it were commercial one.
57 • Ditto, I agree with Regular Joe (by Scott Wilson on 2006-03-01 00:25:24 GMT from United States)
Refreshing someone who thinks like I do. The goal is to get the world to use Linux! Either: Mandrake, Fedora, SUSE. Red Hat, Slackware. Debain, Gentoo, etc do I care which one, NO! Linux Is linux no matter what the flavor is
58 • Humor and not (by ROC on 2006-03-01 02:29:30 GMT from United States)
The "linux for grandma" was absolutely hilarious. The deadpan listing of all the options one can have with linux and packages for it as if being seriously considered (for any kind of non-techie, not just "Grandma") is probably what fooled some folks (especially non-native English speakers? Satire is often hard to catch in nuances of a foreign language - be patient). I laughed till I cried.
The piracy raid was absolutely sick.
Basing humor on the violent death of children is just a bit too over the top with so much of it happening for real in the world. The piece could have easily gotten the point across without that macabre touch: "officers sliding on Legos, and being smeared with PB&J sandwiches ... kids flipping bootleg CD's through the air to their wating dogs to bury with their bones...", yada, yada.
Humor inolving children usually depends on them turning the tables on adults with no great harm done, just embarassment of the arrogant adults.
59 • Response to: #54 (by UZ64 on 2006-03-01 04:27:34 GMT from United States)
"With Windows, well, you must enjoy clicking .exe after .exe for another 2 hours, shutting down and rebooting after each installation, just to get some basic functionality."
No... wrong. Now, I'm not saying that there are no problems at all with setting up a brand-new XP install (in fact, there are many - just as with most all Linux distros), but you've got it wrong. The Windows installation itself (due to the requirement of constant babysitting to set up certain features and entering the registration code when asked) is probably the most annoying part, followed by the post-install process.
Installing programs is so simple, it's not even funny. With a spare external hard drive available with constantly-updated setup files (or a separate partition), getting a Windows system up and running takes no time. It's the configuration of the OS itself that really gets on my nerves.
Nowhere are you *required* to restart right then and there after a program is installed (at least, not with my software). I realize that it does exist, but it's pretty rare and not a problem; I haven't experienced such an install in years. Just finish installing all major programs (ex. defragmenter, drivers, updates, etc.), and finally restart when you're actually finished; that way all programs will complete the installation process at the same time. Then move on to installing the smaller applications (web browser, email, media players, etc.). Then... unfortunately... it's about time to defrag, because admittedly a brand-new installation of Windows is quite a mess.
Now, I'm not trying to put Linux down in any way, but I felt that this needs to be clarified. The Windows hatred is just pathetic. Just face the fact that both Windows and the various Linux distributions have their own pros and cons, and get over it. I've seen certain Linux distros that aren't even *worth* checking out, even worse than the older Windows OSes. So it all evens out in the end.
60 • Gentoo (by Tom on 2006-03-01 04:54:57 GMT from United States)
I have tried to install Gentoo several times in the past. I never could quite get a bootable system. It was frustrating to read and spend several hours just to try to install. I did get a gentoo system up eventually, but found the portage system was borken and I could not install many of the software offerings.
How is the "new" Gentoo any different? Has the portage system been fixed? How long does it take to install?
61 • Gentoo (by Tom on 2006-03-01 05:02:31 GMT from United States)
Not to beat a dead horse..
I found the Gentoo "support" to be arrogant and hostile to new users.
Has Gentoo changed it's attitude to new users trying to install/learn/use?
62 • RE: #60 & 61 (by Anonymous Penguin on 2006-03-01 05:58:48 GMT from Italy)
Try RR4/RR64: it is a beautiful Gentoo based LiveDVD by a young, very friendly developer.
Wait for the next version, though, as the present one is based on a buggy and dangerous release of the Gentoo installer.
63 • RE:59 (by Robzilla on 2006-03-01 07:17:37 GMT from United States)
You aren't putting Linux down. You can't and most of us here that know all to well all of the myriad of reasons why Linux is superior to Windows XP. Bashing Windows and Microsoft and the dubiuos business practices utilized by them is nothing new and not pathetic. This is a forum of Linux enthusiasts and we are driven to promote Linux because we love it and not simply the software but what Linux and the GNU movement stand for, CHOICE! Freedom and chioce in a world where freedom is hard to come buy and choice is sold at a high price.
As far as rebooting I have re-installed Windows XP many times and there are numorous reboots that you have to do after instalation. Now if you were to just install XP and use it without updating then yes it is fast. Who would use Xp without any software or updating it? Virus software and MS Office require a reboot after intstalation just for starters.
If you like Windows XP then you will be happy to shell out another $130 or more for Vista when it comes out. When I want a new version of my Linux of choice it will cost me well it won't cost me. The few distros that do charge that are worth using don't charge that much and then there is all the free software!!
64 • Re: 53-There's a better Solitaire/Cards Extension for Firefox. (by ChiJoan on 2006-03-01 09:36:10 GMT from United States)
That Java Solitaire is too much like the one for Windows. In fact, an old Mac user was looking for a PC version of an old Mac Solitaire today at CompUSA. I suggested he Google first, or try a Linux LiveCD, to see if the Linux Solitaire games were similiar to the Mac one.
Speaking of CompUSA and other corporations with Unix/Linux/BSD backends, please loosen up WinXP to allow changing font sizes. I had to buy clip-on magnifiers and a magnifying screen from Maxi-Vision to do my job. Their Siebel Tech software was the hardest to read at 1024x768 with normal size fonts.
Maybe programmers will take this into account in the future to also allow the built-in Microsoft Accessibilty software to work with their programs better. Or allow third party software to be added.
I hope others with aging eyes and poor purses will help express this better. I cheer the extensions Firefox have to test Webpages for various size screens and font sizes. I hope more programmers make use of them in some way on all platforms and programming languages.
Thanks for a great issue,
65 • The podcast is out, and the extra "grandma" story. (by ShawnMilo at 2006-03-01 15:00:12 GMT from United States)
Check them out.
Subscribe to the feed, or download.
66 • Bad links on latest reviews (by Alan B. Cohen on 2006-03-01 18:33:14 GMT from United States)
I realize that with the time diff. between the US East Coast and the East coast of Asia, you are probably asleep. You must have been tired when you put in the last two reviews links. They come up as straight text.
67 • A reply to reply 54, unsigned (by George on 2006-03-01 19:40:56 GMT from United States)
So, there we have the proof, if any was needed, that invectives are the last refuge of a person whose rationality has abandoned him. My point was (as that of a Linux and Windows user) that Linux may be ready for something, but it is not YET ready for an out-of-the-box experience. It is not YET a fully functional product, no matter which distribution one looks at. There are still a large number of hardware and software problems, solvable all, but NOT solvable by a person who doesn't care what is inside the kernel or how to fix a broken link. For a computer-challenged, Windows is simply easier to use.
And to end on a high note, i use Mandriva and Fedora, and even BSD regularly, despite frequent hangups and broken links and dysfunctional kernels and problems with hardware recognition; so please, do not accuse people of arrogance or ignorance. Yes, choice and freedom are of interest to me too - just keep things in perspective.
Regards to those who deserve them:)
68 • The Grandma story (by Bill Savoie on 2006-03-01 21:30:50 GMT from United States)
I thought it a bit odd, when I read the Grandma Story. Maybe it was too close to home. My Mom is 80 and I gave her a 165 Mhz Laptop with feather on it. Several years went by and the learning curve was too steep. The laptop got given away to her maid that comes in twice a month. I made the mistake of making it dual boot, from Windows 95 or the default Linux feather. One Icon to do the dial up service and another would start firefox. Firefox was set to home page her web mail port.
It occupied several months of preperation, and then a 600 mile drive North to Chicago.
It is easy to forget just how different we are now from the way it was 30 years ago. Now, if you want a song from 1942, my Mom will know all the words and not miss a beat, if you can call those songs as having a beat.
I want to thank ShawnMilo for the Podcast - the tone of voice made it so clear, so intellectual, and so funny. I laughed and laughed and then forgave my wonderful Mom.. I love you Mom.. And Yes she doesn't Like Bush Too, so she learned the important stuff..
69 • @George (by gnobuddy on 2006-03-01 21:39:17 GMT from United States)
I am particularly struck by a comment from gnobuddy (comemnt 34), about his gramdmother's nightmarish year with Windows (see above). Yet, she could not cope on her own with placement of icons on the Konqueror task bar.
The reason that year with Windows was nightmarish was because Windows broke (everything from the virus du jour to scrambled registry contents) at least once a week, and she lives a 40 minute drive from me.
Since my mother in law switched to Linux, she is able to use her computer when she wants to. Those calls for help are now much rarer, perhaps once every month or two.
You misread the reason she had trouble with the browser: it was not poor icon placement on Konqueror that was the problem. I gave as an example the time she accidentally managed to change her home page away from Google, after which she was lost.
It seems to me that a person who cannot use the Web without Google has problems not related to Windows.
Don't be so quick to judge, till you're in your mid 70's and are trying to cope with the new and unfamiliar technology of the time. My mother in law lived through the Depression, and never got more than a high-school education; yet she was willing to take on the challenge of using a computer, something many of her peers are afraid to do.
So, ok, criticise the deficiencies of Windows, but do not tell me the Linux is better - it MAY get better, but it is FAR from being even close for an average desktop user.
"Average desktop user" is vague, so let me stick to specifics. Linux IS better than Windows for my mother-in-law, it works when turns on the computer. Windows broke every few days. Linux is better for her friend whom we'll call Alice, whose WinXP install was corrupted five minutes after she first got on the internet. Alice is now happily using Mepis 3.4-3.
Linux is also better than Windows - by a LONG shot - for me. I was driven to frustration by the extreme instability and insecurity of Win9X, and found my solution in Linux. Today I use Linux for everything - my workplace gave me a nice laptop with WinXP, I installed Linux and never use Windows except to play with RealFlight G2 (RC flight simulator). Linux not only gives me a great desktop, it also gives me wonderful free programming tools, and all the software to run an intranet at my workplace, complete with many CGI scripts I wrote thanks to the availability of free scripting languages like Perl and Python on Linux.
70 • Well, at least this troll was more polite than most (by Misty on 2006-03-01 23:17:28 GMT from United States)
But he was obviously still a troll. That is blindingly evident since he posted that here, whatever his opinions might be on the matter.
I'm another one who dual-boots Windows with Linux. I reinstalled XP over a day ago and I'm *still* installing the software we use. I also set up Linux and downloaded a ton of extra software in roughly two hours - and there is far more extra software on the Linux installation than there will be on the Windows installation when I'm finally finished. *Lots* more.
It's true you don't have to reboot constantly anymore with XP. Still, I had to reboot twice before getting it fully updated and then start installing extra software, including anti-virus. With the Linux install I updated, installed lots more software and that was it.
And don't get me started about needing antivirus - I'm sick to death of the argument that there would be Linux viruses if it were as popular as Windows. If that were true, where are all the Unix viruses? Unix has been around a lot logner than Windows and, until this year, beat Windows as the most popular server OS. When you combine Unix with Linux and BSD they still beat Windows as the most popular server OSes. By that argument there should be a few million *nix viruses but there aren't. I think the recent rash of OS X exploits/malware shows the strength of a *nix system in that regard; with all but one of the OS X exploits you had to run it as the administrator and input your admin password, whereas with Windows any little piece of malware that comes along can move right in and make itself at home unless some *third-party* software stops it. Note the distinction there - not Windows or anything by Microsoft stops it.
As to Vista, from what I've read, if they gave me a copy I'd just sell it to some sucker on eBay or throw it in the trash if I couldn't. It sounds more and more like a DRM-delivery system with every read. Not being a criminal myself I can do without the constant restrictions on my freedom. And you're going to pay to be treated that way.
Lastly, though, there is one thing I'll admit Windows has over Linux - using two hard drives. Windows 98 automatically detected any additional internal hard drives, could format them and immediately put them to use. Windows 2000 could automatically do the same with external USB drives. Linux in 2006 still can't and extra hard drives are more common now than when Win 2k came out. It's actually embarassing to say that in a chat with Windows-users. I'm going to have to so a search to find out how to make it able to mount my second hard drive.
71 • Linux vs. Windows (by Tom on 2006-03-02 00:21:11 GMT from United States)
Could we please stop the OS bashing.
Windows is a fine OS with advantages and disadvantages. Primary advantange is familiarity, ease of use for "end useres", and software availability. For example I use Dragon Naturally Speaking for voice transcription and voice transcription. Voice recognition/transcription is not available in Linux or BSD. Disadvantages are in security and cost.
Linux is great. There are many Distor's that "out of the box" offer basic services including Web browsing, e-mail, and "Office suites". Most end-users can perform basic computing "out of the box" no problem. The difficulty arises with system administration and documentation (not that windows is perfiect, I have had PLENTY of problems with Windows system administration and documentation, it is just more familiar and to some extent easier to administrate).
Obviously people who write viruses have many intentions, including to target Microsoft. Security is a "cat and mouse" game and Linux/BSD has it's share of vulnerability.
I prefer Linux, but it takes more time. I agree Linux is almost ready for prime time, but many distro's suffer from "inconveniences" such as poor hardware detection and configuration of X. Since every Distro is slightly different (due to a lack of standards) this can sometimes mean 10-15 minutes of configuration to total failure to install/boot.
In addition Linux will lag behind windows for specialized software. for example I am not aware of any (non-comercial) medical spellchecker for Open Office, K Office, etc. Electronic medical records may use Linux as a server, but not as a desktop. There is no voice recognition software for Linux. I am sure there is a long list of "specialized" or niche applications that are Windows only.
I would like to use Linux/BSD exclusively but this is not possible at this time. Thus I dual boot.
72 • Linux and Windows (by tom at 2006-03-02 03:57:38 GMT from United States)
Best of both worlds is to run either VMware or run 2 boxes. On the windows box install Cygwin (Windows X server) and use Putty to ssh into the Linux Box. Cygwin renders a very nice resolution and one can then run both systems at once. ssh login is to a command prompt. Run, for example, (on Windows via cygwin) x server with the "-multiwindow" option and on the linux box run type "firefox &" or any other command and the Linux box then runs fast and "secure" (the ssh connection and linux box then do not need to run Gnome/KDE/or any GUI/Windows manager). Configure your router to only allow the Linux box to access the web (several ways to skin this cat).
73 • George... You apparently have been using the wrong distros (by AQ on 2006-03-02 15:08:43 GMT from United States)
Try PClinuxOS and give yourself an education on the topic. I have no doubt that you haven't tried more than one or two distros, as you keep stting "linux" as if it is some unified whole. There are plenty of distros that are completely ready for daily desktop use. You certainly haven't provided any evidence that it is not, simply sticking your fingers in your ears and yelling that "it isn't ready".
Invectiveness? You come here deliberately attempting to offend people with your ignorance and trolling, yet attempt to smear me as using invective. Grow up and stick with your windows box because we simply do not care. I hope you enjoy purchasing Vista and hope it meets your needs.
74 • Windows, OsX, Linux (by Anonymous on 2006-03-02 16:42:21 GMT from United States)
Here's what I know. My cousin had a PC with Windows XP. He didn't call me for the first few months after installing a fresh copy of XP. Then the calls began and eventually I was called once a week. He decided to buy a laptop. I recommended the iBook with OsX since he wanted a laptop and he went ahead and bought it. He hasn't called me with a computer question since.
A colleague of mine was planning to reinstall XP on his laptop since it was far to infected. I suggested he setup a dual boot system so that he could try out Linux. It has been 2 months. He recently wiped the drive clean and installed Linux only. He said using Linux gave him peace of mind. He was using rather than maintaining. It took a couple of months to shake the Windows bug.
All that said, Windows, Linux, and OsX all have there strengths and weaknesses. The bottom line is this, if you have money, buy a Mac. If you already own a PC with Windows on it, wipe it and install a user-friendly Linux such as Ubuntu, PCLinuxOS, or SuSE among a few and get on with your life without having to worry about using your system. If you want to play games, install a dual boot system with Windows and Linux.
75 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2006-03-02 16:59:41 GMT from United States)
"Windows - if it was REALLY that bad, the world would not be using it."
-Everyone in the world used to think it was flat. I suppose we should have never questioned that.
-The United States leads the world in Healthcare and Education. About 75% of Americans believe this. I suppose 225 million people can't be wrong.
-Bose makes the best audio speakers for the money.
-I make more money than the guy across the street which means I'm smarter.
People believe stupid things. The argument that something has to be good simply because everyone uses it is flawed. Quantity does not guarantee truth. Most of the biggest discoveries in history happened because a small group or even one person believed the opposite of the norm. When it comes to Windows, the fact of the matter is, people do not have a choice. 98% of the machines sold today only offer Windows. People do not know of the alternatives. It's all marketing and business practice, not quality of product.
76 • search on distrowatch (by Anonymous on 2006-03-02 18:01:35 GMT from Germany)
the Search Distributions is not ok, because when you are looking for distris with xorg 7.0, the result of search, show you also xorg 6.7.0 ....
77 • Accelerated-KNX_20060228.iso (by Anonymous on 2006-03-02 18:05:19 GMT from Germany)
can not download this. is there a fast mirror?
78 • 74, NOT "the bottom line" (by Anonymous on 2006-03-02 19:36:40 GMT from United States)
The hardware may be superb, the underlying core may be pretty close to a real Unix, the interface may even be superior - it's certainly better than Windows in most respects - but the reasons for not buying a Mac are not limited to finances. Most of OS X is NOT FREE SOFTWARE, even if Darwin is. Please, do not ignore THAT factor in your decision making. And if you don't see the relevance, if all that matters is not using products from Redmond, go read some Stallman.
79 • PS (by Anonymous on 2006-03-02 19:38:33 GMT from United States)
buy a Mac then install Debian.
80 • Re: 70 Linux cannot handle a 2nd hard drive??? (by Anonymous on 2006-03-02 21:12:11 GMT from United States)
..."Linux in 2006 still can't"...
Are you for real?
Windows was a pain when I added a 2nd HD. Tee problem was not the format/partitioning, but is was fixing all the broken links and shortcuts when it reorganized the drive assignments. Drive D: became F:, the new HD became drives D: and G:... All my app icons which used D: had to be changed to point to the reassigned drive.
On Linux, the 1st drive is hda (with partitions hda1, hda2...), the 2nd drive is hdb (with partitions hdb1, hdb2...). So easy to tell which partition is in which physical drive.
81 • Re: Are you for real? (by Misty on 2006-03-02 23:45:58 GMT from United States)
Lemme check... yes, I do believe I'm real. I don't appear to be drawn or animated. And as I can think for myself, I don't think I'm being imagined by someone else unless that would be a divine entity.
When I used two hard drives with Win 98 as soon as I clicked the second hard drive it asked me if I wanted it formatted. A few minutes later it was formatted and I was using it. Under Windows 2000 with an external hard drive I had to go to system administration in the control panel and tell it to format the drive. Soon after that I was using it.
Not so in Linux. Knoppix can read the external drive but I can't burn a cd with any data from that drive. No other distro I've tried so far can automatically access it all. And on the other computer I have, which has two internal drives, it's the same as on Knoppix - its there, it can read data from it, but I can't even copy a text file from it to a floppy.
As to Windows reassigning drive letters, that wasn't the case when I added the external drive to Windows 2000; it simply added it as drive F. Even if it had, that would've been a lot better than hunting down the info on the internet on how to edit what config files and how.
Now, don't get the idea that I'm a Windows fangirl or a Microsoftie in any way; I have Windows because of a few apps that won't run on Linux, but mostly because my husband is a gamer. And frnakly, the apps I use on Widnows aren't all that important, so if my husband were to die I'd be switching entirely to Linux the next time Windows started bugging me. Plus I really like Linux otherwise, not just because it's a good alternative to Windows. But with regards to this one issue, I can't believe how behind Linux is. It's past time to catch up. You go into a chat channel with some Windows-users and tell them that Linux can't automatically use a second hard drive while Windows 98 can. Naturally, you get laughed at.
82 • via itx cf on board (by Michael on 2006-03-03 00:28:58 GMT from Austria)
hi concerning a cf reader on board i found the via ms10000. it has a cf card reader attached through on board usb. i am able to boot debian sarge from a cf card but failed with freebsd.
anyone tried a bsd distro on that mainboard series?
83 • 81 (by Anonymous on 2006-03-03 02:47:50 GMT from United States)
"Lemme check... yes, I do believe I'm real. I don't appear to be drawn or animated. And as I can think for myself, I don't think I'm being imagined by someone else unless that would be a divine entity"
I love when sarcasm turns to Berkeleyan idealism or speculations of the Rigveda. Nice.
84 • #81 (by Tim on 2006-03-03 03:12:12 GMT from United States)
"Not so in Linux. Knoppix can read the external drive but I can't burn a cd with any data from that drive. No other distro I've tried so far can automatically access it all. And on the other computer I have, which has two internal drives, it's the same as on Knoppix - its there, it can read data from it, but I can't even copy a text file from it to a floppy."
Don't know about Knoppix, and I do NOT have any external drives to check this, but in PCLinuxOS, all I have to do is click the "My Computer" icon on my desktop, then "Storage Media", then select which of 8 drives (most are partitions on my 3 internal physical hard drives), and they are automounted and available. Even my Windows XP drive formatted in NTFS (read only) is mounted already! Since I don't even have a floppy drive, I can't address that issue.
Now admittedly, I cannot access certain folders on those other partitions that belong to other Linux OS's. That's one of Linux's strengths: security, but I have created folders under each distro I use which ARE available from other Linux's. Anything I might want access to when in another Linux OS goes in such folders.
On the other hand, I have unlimited access to anything on the WXP drive. And I CAN set up to r/w if I wish, and then wind up destroying everything on the drive. I cannot do that to another Linux currently installed. Their root files are locked to me. (That's a good thing!)
For maximum speed when burning a file that resides on another partition (especially if it's on the same physical drive), I always copy it first to my current desktop. That way if something goes wrong, the original is not in danger. But I've done that for years, before I even started working with Linux, mostly because Windows could damage a file it was trying to copy to CD or another drive if the system crashed during the exercise.
I don't see the problem. Even a DVD ISO takes only a short time to copy from, say, my Suse 10.0 partition to my Elive OS, or to PCLinux, whatever I happen to be running at the moment. Once I am finished with the file, I just delete the duplicate.
85 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2006-03-03 14:07:45 GMT from United States)
"Lemme check... yes, I do believe I'm real. I don't appear to be drawn or animated. And as I can think for myself, I don't think I'm being imagined by someone else unless that would be a divine entity"
Descartes almost drove himself mad with the notion that he was either imagined or he was the only thing that existed and finally he realized, what does it matter if the demon deceives my existence as I know it? I exist in some form or another regardless since I I must exist in order to be deceived.
86 • harddrives? (by Anonymous on 2006-03-03 14:12:10 GMT from United States)
I don't get this problem with having more that one harddrive in Linux.
I've been using Linux since RedHat v5.2 hit the shelves. I've installed RedHat, Fedora, Mandrake, Slackware, Mepis, Vector, PCLinuxOS, CentOS, PC-BSD; now I'm using Debian. All of my systems have been put together using whatever parts I could scrounge up. I've always hade at least 2 drives in each one (I like to put /home and /var on the 2nd harddrive so root doesn't fill up).
Not once have I had a problem with the 2nd or even the 3rd harddrive.
Maybe I read post 70 wrong. Oh, well...
87 • 2nd HDD, Win vs Lin. Gentoo, VMware. (by Andy on 2006-03-03 18:48:05 GMT from United Kingdom)
No problems here. All the distro's I've tried so far recognise and use a 2nd HDD. Are you sure it's not a hardware problem or maybe your jumpers are set incorrectly correctly??
Also why does everyone have to keep on about Windows vs Linux. Just use what your happy with. If you've got a problem with Linux hype then ignore it. Anyways, what did you expect on a Linux/BSD website, were bound to be biased.
VMware gives use the choice of running multiple OS's so why worry which is best.
Gentoo - The official line is that the installer is not designed to help newbies, read this quote from one of the developer on the official Gentoo Installer List after a lively debate on what the whole point of the installer was for:
The installer is a great thing, because it saves a lot of time for me, but it was never written to save the time you need to read and understand documentation. GLI enables me to complete a Gentoo installation within 15 minutes, therefore it is a great thing. It's not a great thing because it will make Gentoo more popular or easier to install for newbies that don't want to read documentation.
If people are not willing to read documentation, that's their fault. Being a newbie or a sysadmin++, it doesn't matter.
draw your own conclusions.
88 • #85 (by Tom on 2006-03-03 20:03:40 GMT from United States)
"I think, therefore I confused".
~Zen response to Descartes
89 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2006-03-03 21:48:02 GMT from United States)
"I think, therefore I confused".
If one is confused, then he/she must exist. However, I too live by the Zen or Gestalt philosophies of the here and now. If you spend too much time pondering existence rather than experiencing it, then you miss out. Or go mad as Descartes almost did. Still, I respect any scientist and/or philosopher who can find fixed point or constant in this vast universe.
Back to OS's. I've used Linux for about 5 years, particularly Debian, but recently bought a Mac Mini and have OsX running on it. I use the Mac as my main platform and still dabble with Linux distros. I agree with the comment that you should use what your happy with.
90 • suse release messages: one man show ? (by Leo on 2006-03-04 02:10:31 GMT from United States)
Is it me or it really sounds weird to read the SUSE release announcements, along the lines "I am proud to announce the latest beta of SUSE ...". I think it would sound way more professional to say "We are proud ...". Or is it a one person show really ?
91 • Unix Rocks!! (by Robzilla on 2006-03-04 20:59:56 GMT from United States)
Hey more comments about Windows. I just wanted to add that Unix Rocks. All the variations of Unix, BSD, Linux, Mac, etc, it all rocks!
If you like windows so much join the millions of sheep who know nothing else and like what they know. Get over it already or go to many of the Microdollars forums! If you are a Linux user and still like Windows I think something is wrong with you! Seriously, you may not have your favorite Windows app but who needs it when the whole OS is crap!
I have heard the arguement Linux is not ready and Linux has bugs well Einstien so does Windows. With all the millions or is it Billions of dollars Microsoft has their software still has bugs and a lot of them and there are no fixes to many of them. They just stay out there and get exploited so you need to buy 3rd party software to fix. With the Unix open source there is peer review and most bugs get squashed and soon! If not, you have a community where people listen to you, yes you, and will help you squash the bug! Never gotten any free help from Microsoft!
I have gotten everything to work so well in Linux I now install new distros just so I have something to tinker with. I have a difficult Laptop hardware and everything works without the buggy, security hole ridden, ugly looking, Windows XP. You name it I have Linux free software that can do it. There are a apps that aren't there but that is not because Linux isn't ready! It is more the proprietary idiots aren't ready to release their code.
Finally, this is a Linux forum and we talk about Linux, Bsd and all that relates to Unix. I do not consider it bashing Windows when I talk about a problem I have with it. I also talk about the problems I have with Linux, BSD, Mac, etc. This is an equal oppertunity place to air your problems about any OS. People will of course give you there feedback and if you don't like it, too bad. The free exchange of ideas and critisizms(spelling sucks I know) is what makes this site great. If you can tell me why Windows is better than Linux and I have no way to refute what you say( there are no Unix alternatives) then I will agree with you. I do not think there are many things you can argue to tell me where Windows is superior. Apps are not an area because if 3rd party companies wanted to they could develop any app in Windows for Linux and it would work the same or in my opinion better!
I challange anyone to tell me why Windows the OS not the apps on the OS is better or superior to the many of the Unix derivatives. I would really like to hear someone try, really I would!!
And as others have said use what you want. The whole point is to enjoy and have fun!
92 • RE: #91 (by Anonymous Penguin on 2006-03-04 22:27:16 GMT from Italy)
"Seriously, you may not have your favorite Windows app but who needs it when the whole OS is crap! "
"I challange anyone to tell me why Windows the OS not the apps on the OS is better or superior to the many of the Unix derivatives. I would really like to hear someone try, really I would!!"
I couldn't agree more that Windows as an OS is absolute sh*t.
And if anybody is wondering why I could write a big book to explain it.
However now that I have decided that I want to be more of a user and less of a geek (you finally get enough of it, after countless thousand hours), it is difficult to convince me that I should give up my fav applications.
However I must try again to install Win2K under VMware or Paralles and see how my applications run.
The trouble with this approach is that in fact *you are* running Windows, so you can just as well dual boot, I don't see much difference.
93 • RE: #81 (by Anonymous Penguin on 2006-03-05 09:12:21 GMT from Italy)
"Lemme check... yes, I do believe I'm real. I don't appear to be drawn or animated. And as I can think for myself, I don't think I'm being imagined by someone else unless that would be a divine entity."
And *you* are that divine entity: Tat Twam Asi :)
(Well, I am not saying anything new here)
94 • search suggestion (by Anonymous on 2006-03-06 01:21:13 GMT from United States)
How about the existence of a social contract and/or a constitution as a search criterion? To my knowledge, this will include Debian, Gentoo, and Source Mage, but there may be others. I know this could be controversal and merits discussion to sort out definitions, etc. I think this could be helpful to users as well as raising important issues.
95 • new slackware? (by Anonymous on 2006-03-06 02:07:48 GMT from United States)
does anyone have an idea of when the new slackware will come out? 10.3?
Number of Comments: 95
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|• Issue 710 (2017-05-01): TrueOS 2017-02-22, Debian ported to RISC-V, Halium to unify mobile GNU/Linux, Anbox runs Android apps on GNU/Linux, using ZFS on the root file system|
|• Issue 709 (2017-04-24): Ubuntu 17.04, Korora testing new software manager, Ubuntu migrates to Wayland, running Nix package manager on alternative distributions|
|• Issue 708 (2017-04-17): Maui Linux 17.03, Snaps run on Fedora, Void adopts Flatpak, running Android apps on GNU/Linux, Debian elects Project Leader|
|• Issue 707 (2017-04-10): PCLinuxOS 2017.03, Canonical stops Unity development, OpenBSD on a Raspberry Pi, setting up a VPN for privacy|
|• Issue 706 (2017-04-03): Super Grub2 Disk, Snap packages of deepin applications, Subgraph OS routes network traffic for one application, announcements from Linux Mint|
|• Issue 705 (2017-03-27): Minimal Linux Live, sharing control of the operating system, new KaOS features, Uplos32 provides 32-bit fork of PCLinuxOS|
|• Issue 704 (2017-03-20): ToarusOS 1.0.4, Linux Mint's security record, Debian starts Project Leader election, Ubuntu 12.04 reaches end-of-life|
|• Issue 703 (2017-03-13): SolydXK 201701, CloudReady, Solus announces new features, KDE Connect sends text messages from desktop, openSUSE's YaST module for Let's Encrypt|
|• Issue 702 (2017-03-06): Fatdog64 Linux, elementary OS bundled with new netbook, Haiku announces new features, security and the size of a distro's development team|
|• Issue 701 (2017-02-27): OBRevenge 2017.02, Mageia 6 delays, NetBSD reproducible builds, questions about swap space, trying to steam video on a Raspberry Pi|
|• Issue 700 (2017-02-20): RaspBSD, Debian replaces Icedove with Thunderbird, Fedora's licensing guidlines, tips for switching shells, finding battery charge, getting IP address and killing processes|
|• Issue 699 (2017-02-13): Clear Linux, GhostBSD network utility ported to FreeBSD, Ubuntu coming to Fairphone, elementary OS crowd funding an app store|
|• Issue 698 (2017-02-06): Solus 2017.01.01, comparing containers with portable applicatins, Tails dropping 32-bit support, Debian Stretch enters freeze|
|• Issue 697 (2017-01-30): Subgraph OS 2016.12.30, running Ubuntu on an Android phone, Arch Linux phasing out 32-bit support, Linux Mint testing updated LMDE media|
|• Issue 696 (2017-01-23): GoboLinux 016, remotely running desktop applications, Solus adopting Flatpak, KDE neon using Calamares, TrueOS tests OpenRC|
|• Issue 695 (2017-01-16): Zorin OS 12, Peppermint team fixes installer bug, Debian refreshes Jessie media, Ubuntu improves low graphics mode, Exciting things coming in 2017|
|• Issue 694 (2017-01-09): MX Linux 16, Fedora considers systemd security features, DragonFly BSD to support massive swap space, Ubuntu Touch roadmap, Puppy's newsletter, sudo's password prompt|
|• Issue 693 (2017-01-02): Comparing small distros, fig language, video driver comparsion, Debian+PIXEL, Wayland on FreeBSD|
|• Issue 692 (2016-12-19): Bodhi Linux 4.0.0, Cappsule containers, Calculate's new Utilities package, Solus and Ubuntu MATE build new application menu|
|• Issue 691 (2016-12-12): SalentOS 1.0, openSUSE improves YaST, Fedora considers slower release cycle, KDE neon gets LTS branch|
|• Issue 690 (2016-12-05): Fedora 25, Ubuntu adopts rolling HWE kernel, running Android apps on GNU/Linux, Haiku working toward EFI support|
|• Issue 689 (2016-11-28): openSUSE 42.2, Fedora's upgrade path, plans for Korora 25, transitioning from PC-BSD to TrueOS, Webconverger's reproducible builds|
|• Issue 688 (2016-11-21): Endless OS 3.0.5, KDE neon fixes security hole, FreeBSD's Quarterly Status Report, Rolling release trial #2 concludes|
|• Issue 687 (2016-11-14): NAS4Free 10.3.0.3, Fedora gains MP3 playback, budgie-remix becomes Ubuntu Budgie, Ubuntu flavours compared, Rolling release trial #2|
|• Issue 686 (2016-11-07): FreeBSD 11.0, rolling release trial #2, Debian announces supported architectures, Simplicity switching to antiX base, farewell to Mythbuntu|
|• Issue 685 (2016-10-31): elementary OS 0.4, SUSE gains ARM support, Mint improves language support, Dirty COW explained, Rolling release trial #2|
|• Issue 684 (2016-10-24): Ubuntu 16.10, Linux popularity in different markets, Fedora runs on Raspberry Pi, Ubuntu features live kernel patching|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
SME Server (known as e-smith at the time) was founded in January 1999 by Joseph and Kim Morrison. The company introduced the first version of its flagship software product, the e-smith server and gateway, in April 1999. By the end of the year, many thousands of e-smith servers were running in countries from Fiji to Finland. Word was spreading quickly among developers and systems integrators who needed a solid, easy-to-use server for their small-business customers. In July 2001, e-smith was acquired by Mitel Networks, but was later released as an open-source product under the GPL licence. In May 2013 a new not-for-profit organisation was set up to manage SME server. Due to copyright issues it was named Koozali SME Server Inc. The word "Koozali" approximates to Swahili for "rebirth". Future versions will use this name. The distribution, which is based on CentOS, is currently entirely funded by donations.