| DistroWatch Weekly
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • Wow! I'm 1st to comment! (by claudecat on 2009-11-30 08:54:06 GMT from United States) |
I'm posting this from within Macpup Foxy 3 and I am liking it quite a bit... best puplet I have ever sampled (not many). Also pleased with the new Mint release, flawless as always for me, but I did have issues with an upgrade on my laptop (clean install and update from RC both worked fine). Always happy to see Monday morning come, as I love reading Distrowatch Weekly. Keep up the great work!
2 • Abiword (by megadriver at 2009-11-30 09:58:46 GMT from Spain)
Abiword used to be a very nice little (but feature-packed) GTK-only word processor. Now you need goffice (which brings half of GNOME with it) just to compile it. The other half of GNOME seems to be needed for it to actually work without encountering a lot of weird bugs. Sigh.
Any suggestion of a capable Linux word processor (not a text editor, so don't suggest vi, emacs and company) that doesn't need half of GNOME (or half of KDE) and is not part of that hulking monster called OpenOffice?
And, yes, I know about siag-office. I'd prefer something more "current", if possible (and something GTK-based and WYSIWYG, so no wordgrinder, which I know and use already). Also, no TeX stuff, please (TeX is huge, and quite the "overkill" for my simple needs).
Maybe I should dig up an old ebuild of "pre-gnomeification" abiword, but I hate being forced to use old versions of stuff (and I do want OOXML compatibility).
3 • Errata (by megadriver at 2009-11-30 10:01:06 GMT from Spain)
I was meaning ODF (NOT OOXML!). Blasted acronyms...
4 • No subject (by forest at 2009-11-30 10:23:25 GMT from United Kingdom)
Ref the requests from Sudan (del) and Spain...there's always google...if Jesse couldn't help with WPs.
Interesting review CM.
5 • Re: Abiword (by claudecat on 2009-11-30 10:34:26 GMT from United States)
@ megadriver: only one I can think of is Ted... lightweight and not too bad. Look it up on wiki for more details...
6 • Worisit? (by skag at 2009-11-30 10:42:44 GMT from United Kingdom)
Something has changed with the latest releases of some of the major distros. As previously reported, Mandriva's regular versions will not boot on a very wide range of my fairly recent single core (including 64bit) machines, and now F12 is failing, too, in this respect. Furthermore, friends advise that these two in particular are unusably slow on s-o-t-a multi-cored multi-Mb memoried kit. Even new Knoppix 6.2 has slowed to a crawl.I am not prepared to install more than 512Mb of RAM - it really isn't reasonable, even though costs have fallen; the WIntel cartel and their memory-making camp-followers don't need more of my dosh. Besides which, other large distros like Slack13, Deb4 and SuSE11.2 have absolutely no difficulty booting up (and installing!) on even the most modest of my hardware, along with all the popular derivatives like Mint, Zen, Vector, etc. There folks out there who can give us chapter and verse on all this, so, please, be my guest; is it something to do with a change of compression algorithms enabling more apps to be squeezed into the .iso, for example?
The good news reported above is that the MandrivaXfce is available and this does work on decent HW that's a year or two old.
Either way, many clueded-up distro junkies will ask "why bother" when compact releases like Puppy, esp, derivatives Teen/FatGames/NOP/Box/Lighthouse ad.inf., along with build-your-own SliTaz/TinyCore/Slax, and many more provide more comprehensive options with a fraction of the hassle.
From a users perspective, the major distro houses should stand back a very long way and contemplate the trees in this this wood.
7 • @5 (by megadriver at 2009-11-30 11:39:54 GMT from Spain)
Many thanks! Ted is what I was looking for!
It's like a Linux version of good old Wordpad. No dependencies (other than GTK), no extra fluff I don't need (and all the things I do need). I can really use this.
For some reason the window refuses to completely maximize, but it's no big deal. I like the fact that it's current and being worked on. Very, very nice. No ODF support (maybe in the future?), but good old RTF will do (and it can export to PDF and Postscript, too).
Man, and it was here in the portage tree all the time. I feel like a real idiot now. The name does sound familiar. Maybe I overlooked it back when it was based on Motif instead of GTK.
By the way, for all of you wanting to give it a try, the name of the executable is Ted, not ted (at least here).
Thank you, really! You made this minimalism freak a very happy minimalism freak!
8 • Office suites (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-11-30 11:51:27 GMT from United States)
GNOME Office also includes Dia, which is probably as close as a native Linux app gets to Visio. It's what I use for flowcharting and network diagrams. While it only has a subset of the functionality of Visio it works very well for what it does. I also agree with megadriver that AbiWord has become pretty darned bloated.
Another extremely lightweight office project is SIAG Office. There hasn't been any development in a couple of years now but a number of distros including Mandriva and Vector Linux still package it. It has two worthwhile components: the SIAG spreadhseet and the Pathetic Writer (PW) word processor. It also has a lot of... um... quirks. The main advantage of SIAG Office is that it will run reasonably well on systems with just 32MB of RAM.
Finally, I think Lotus Symphony deserves a mention for a full featured suite. It is proprietar and closed source but free as in no cost. It is essentially a fork of OpenOffice.org with some interesting new functionality.
9 • No subject (by forest at 2009-11-30 12:36:18 GMT from United Kingdom)
ref Lotus Symphony, note headlines for those interested.
10 • Lotus Symphony again (by forest at 2009-11-30 12:41:04 GMT from United Kingdom)
But found this searching for d/l...
11 • Re: Abi woird (by Rastafari on 2009-11-30 12:41:52 GMT from Netherlands)
You could also take a look at textmaker.............Not free, afaik, but an alternative.
12 • Lotus Symphony yet again (by forest at 2009-11-30 12:44:56 GMT from United Kingdom)
But if you don't want to mess around with year old code as it were...see here:
13 • Re: 11 • TextMaker (by Ariszló on 2009-11-30 13:28:04 GMT from Hungary)
Exactly what I wanted to suggest. SoftMaker Office for Linux includes TextMaker, a word processor, PlanMaker, a spreadsheet and SoftMaker Presentations:
14 • #11: Why? (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-11-30 13:28:12 GMT from United States)
Maybe 10-12 years ago there was a lot of interest in paying for proprietary Linux office software because the free alternatives were either very limited, broken (anyone remember Maxwell?) or simply unavailable. At the time WordPerfect, Applixware and Star Office were all pretty popular. Today there are a number of good, free of cost, FOSS office products. Why would anyone even consider purchasing a closed product? What does it offer that makes it worth considering?
15 • Abiword: No Gnome dependencies (by Mjjzf on 2009-11-30 13:33:27 GMT from Denmark)
In response to Megadriver:
No, Abiword does not require any Gnome components anymore. I am running it on Slackware 13.0 and built Abiword 2.8.1 myself without the need for that. It offers Gnome integration, but does not require it.
16 • No subject (by forest at 2009-11-30 13:53:34 GMT from United Kingdom)
Cos if it's free it can't be worth anything, LOL.
Too many folk are brought up on the old adage, "You get what you pay for." Ergo the more I pay for something the better it HAS to be, right? Even more LOL.
Now the irony is I have read your comments, in the past, about this self same thing but the other way round reference to getting decent paid after sales service/support for a software product. (That's not a dig by the way.)
It's a funny old world.
17 • #15 (by megadriver at 2009-11-30 13:57:11 GMT from Spain)
Yes, I'm aware you can do it in Slackware and I did just that during my somewhat brief Slackware "phase" (I respect Slackware a lot, and plan to "revisit" it some day). I managed to do it in Arch, too.
Unfortunately, it seems you can't do it in Gentoo/Funtoo. I once "forced" it via editing some of the relevant ebuilds, and it does indeed compile and install, but, at least in my experience, it acts really weird, has strange graphical "artifacts" when scrolling and segfaults quite a lot. None of that if you let it compile with the GNOME stuff.
Anyway, I've found Ted now, which I like even more than a GNOME-less Abiword.
18 • No subject (by haitechan on 2009-11-30 14:10:11 GMT from Peru)
The Gnome Edition of Mandriva 64-bit is up now here: http://www.community64.net/telecharger/121-le-bureau-gnome-en-detail. It's nice to see more love for Mandriva. I'm a recent switcher from Ubuntu and I'm in love with this distro. The XFCE edition looks promising for my old laptop too (it has currently Xubuntu but with 9.10 it's quite sluggish).
PD: Sorry for the absence of link formating. I don't have a clue on how to do that.
19 • Koffice (by Greg at 2009-11-30 14:34:43 GMT from Greece)
Koffice doesnt just have the things you list. Actually its more complete than OpenOffice.org (i am not saying its better, thats for the user to decide).
The applications currently included in KOffice (version 2.1) are:
- KWord - Word processor
- KSpread - Spreadsheet calculator
- KPresenter - Presentation program
- Karbon - Vector graphics
- Krita - Advanced drawing and image manipulation
- KPlato - Project planning
- KChart - Graphic data visualization
- KFormula - Mathematical formulas
Applications that are not yet part of the official release, but will
be included in the next version:
- Kexi - Integrated data management
- Kivio - Flowcharting program
20 • netbooks (by Reuben at 2009-11-30 14:39:57 GMT from United States)
First off, I've been using moblin on my netbook. I guess I don't mind the limitations because I don't use it like I would a desktop. I guess this is what I love about linux, I can choose to run a regular desktop, or I can choose one tailored to my hardware. But nobody is forcing any of us either way.
Also, I was wondering how the progress is going on creating free firmware for broadcom chipsets is coming along? Any news of when we'll be able to boot up from a usb stick and have a working wireless connection without the need for the restricted firmware?
21 • #20 - Netbook usage (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-11-30 15:05:57 GMT from United States)
Great point, Reuben. For me a netbook is a small, portable, convenient desktop replacement. For my usage patterns KNE looks very promising and Moblin just doesn't suit. My usage probably isn't typical. OTOH, KNE looks like it will be very flexible when it's finished.
22 • Abiword (by Barnabyh at 2009-11-30 15:14:39 GMT from United Kingdom)
That would be a "faulty by design" situation and is the fault of whatever distro you are using.
Slackware only comes with basic gtk support and the only dependencies I needed to add from Slackbuilds.org were wv.
From http://slackbuilds.org/repository/13.0/office/abiword/ : "goffice and gnome-vfs are optional dependencies, but gnome-vfs doesn't add anything useful. evince is an optional runtime dependency since it's the default application
to show print previews, but you can avoid it by adding something like this
to your ~/.gtkrc-2.0 file: gtk-print-preview-command="xpdf -q %f"
I seem to recall previously in 2.6.x it also needed libgnomecanvas and libgnomeprintui but I could be wrong, maybe that was for compiling gdm which I did about the same time.
The situation described by yourself is exactly what put me off running most of the big distributions that claim to resolve dependencies for you (except for Debian, because it always works). Time to run Slack.
23 • megadriver (by Barnabyh at 2009-11-30 15:28:19 GMT from United Kingdom)
Sorry, skipped a bit ahead there. Glad you found Ted now so you're sorted.
I have never used Gentoo so no experience with it but I would have expected better than what you described.
24 • Distrowatch is intended for BUNTUS (by alie on 2009-11-30 15:32:30 GMT from Singapore)
Seems Distrowatch focusing on BUNTUS...
25 • Just cos it's free. (by Ray on 2009-11-30 15:48:49 GMT from United States)
I agree with you.
Example my daughter had a friend remove a trojan which got through her McAfee software (Windows XP).
She called me very distressed because she couldn't find her Office 2000 CD.
I couldn't believe that even though I had installed OpenOffice 3 she was still using her outdated MS Office.
And to Caitlin another good review!
26 • @2 I thought you were criticizing AbiWord (by rarsa on 2009-11-30 16:19:13 GMT from Canada)
Oh, For a moment there I thought you were criticizing AbiWord as being bloated. Now I realize that you were criticizing the way Gentoo packaged it.
I've been using Abiword under Puppy Linux for a long time. Puppy doesn't even come with Gnome. Just plain GTK.
As a minimalist, you may want to have a look at it in a minimalist distro.
I love the Gentoo concept to learn and to kickstart a system, I've used it. I still can't understand how someone would choose it as a primary system, where you spend longer compiling than actually using the system. But that's me.
Its nice that you found Ted. It is a good alternative, (also available under Puppy).
27 • #24: Nonsense, #22: dependencies, #26: AbiWord and bloat (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-11-30 16:33:39 GMT from United States)
#24: It's been four weeks since we covered anything related to Ubuntu. We haven't had an Ubuntu variant review at all since 9.10 released while we have reviewed Fedora 12, Mandriva 2010 and openSUSE 11.2. How is DistroWatch focusing on "buntus"? I just don't see it.
Oh, and considering that Ubuntu is arguably the most popular distribution on the desktop and probably at a very distant #3 in server space, at least in North America, I would think that periodic coverage of Ubuntu is pretty much obligatory. It seems the anti-Ubuntu crowd can't tolerate any coverage at all of their hated distro.
#22: @Barnabyh: The problem you describe (excessive dependencies for AbiWord and other apps) is not the fault of distros having dependency checking. It is rather the fault of the package maintainers who have included extra dependencies. As a former packager/package maintainer for Vector Linux I can tell you that it's not the packaging system that is at fault. I can build clean, lean, mean Ubuntu or Debian or Gentoo or Fedora or insert distro here packages if that is my goal. You are absolutely correct that some distros (Ubuntu is a good example) are aiming for tight GNOME integration and they have consciously made the choice to include all the GNOME dependencies.
You are indeed correct that 2.6.x did require libgnomeprint, libgnomeprintui, libgnomecanvas and a large number of additional GNOME dependencies. I built some of the 2.6.x AbiWord packages for Vector Linux and, trust me, there was no way around this. I'm actually very glad to see that the AbiSource developers have moved away from this and allowed for a stand-alone GTK-only AbiWord as they had in the past.
#26: @rarsa: See my comments to Barnabyh above. AbiWord did go through a bloat phase with the 2.6.x release. It was still fast and ran on older hardware well enough but the amount of cruft you had to install with it was excessive. That has been corrected in the 2.8.x series.
28 • Reviews (by Animal on 2009-11-30 16:47:03 GMT from United States)
Instead of reviewing a distro that is obviously not even close to release, review one that is in the top ten at distrowatch. Say like PCLOS?
I appreciate your enthusiasm and work, but I personally would much rather hear about a distribution I can download now and use rather than wait for something that may be months away.
29 • Mint Linux Gets No Love (by Sly on 2009-11-30 17:02:32 GMT from United States)
When are you going to review the latest Mint Linux version (Helena)? It is the #3 or #4 distribution; however, it doesn't appear to get any love from DW.
30 • ref#25 (by John Stossel at 2009-11-30 17:03:44 GMT from United States)
Your daughter is atypical. Most use MS Office because it's something their familiar with and not because it cost money.
31 • Office suits - my experience. (by Jonatan Kazmierczak at 2009-11-30 18:10:03 GMT from Switzerland)
That's what I use for some years:
- if only possible, AbiWord (Gnome Office) - the simplest and less problematic from all text processors, opens all the popular formats including docx; I usually store docs as RTF if cooperation with MS Office needed
- for complex documents OOo; I don't like it, because is slow and often crashes during copy/paste texts from Konqueror
- only Gnumeric (Gnome Office) - the most advanced and fastest spread sheet application, which I know. In opposition to OOo3 works perfectly with huge xslx files
- OOo Impress - most universal and reliable
- Planner - very good equivalent of MS Project (at least of v. 98, which I used)
- Dia - equivalent of MS Visio (enough for me, but I used Visio before it was MS)
- unfortunately none of them could be comparable with MS Access and enough for me; the best is Kexi, which opens MDB/MDE files. OOo Base is completely useless, if someone uses conditional queries
32 • PCLinuxOS Review (by Saleem Khan on 2009-11-30 18:13:26 GMT from Pakistan)
Hi Caitlyn Martin,
Liked your review about Kubuntu NE, though I am not a big fan of Kubuntu.
Would you please spare some time and write about the latest PCLinuxOS KDE 4 which is installale via synaptic and is doing very well.
33 • non review articles (by Anonymous at 2009-11-30 18:17:07 GMT from United States)
when might we see some more articles (series) like the ones on packages and lvm? they were very informative and, to me, much more useful than the current crop of reviews (and I repeat the "to me" qualifier).
alternative packaging solutions - such as click2 (and what became of it)
lsb - is it actively used by the majority of distros, does it matter, will it ever
rolling releases - pluses, minuses and who uses them
release cycles - are they too short to provide a non-problematic install
upgrades vrs new installs and suggestions how to make clean installs easier
utility distros compared - gparted magic, super grub disk, system rescue cd
32bit vrs 64bit - always see the question on various forums still
34 • PCLOS (by claudecat on 2009-11-30 18:28:33 GMT from United States)
I love PCLOS, though the KDE version is pretty ugly. The Gnome iteration is very nice... strange for a KDE-centric distro. All told, I find PCLOS-Gnome second only to Mint in terms of ease of use for the windows crowd. Tex is amazing, and since he has returned to active involvement, I expect continued greatness from the PCLOS team..
35 • Netbooks (by Anonymous at 2009-11-30 18:30:57 GMT from United States)
Looks like I'll be sticking with UNR, It works great with my Atom EEE and the often ignored Celeron 900 EEE. The only thing I noticed that on the Atom EEE is does not report the wifi strength correctly. I'd have it dual booting on my Atom EEE if it was not for that strange 4th partition on the SSD.
36 • @33 - non review pieces (by Jesse at 2009-11-30 18:34:29 GMT from Canada)
Covering questions like the ones you suggested is sort of what I'm trying to do with the questions and answer section. If you like, I'll try to cover one or two of the issues you brought up in your post. Though, I talked about rolling releases the other week. I don't think most of those issues are really big enough to take up a full feature. Drop me an email if you'd like to suggest some topics/questions.
37 • PCLOS (by RC at 2009-11-30 18:38:16 GMT from United States)
Just installed the LXDE version of PCLinuxOS on two old IBM laptops, one with a 450mz and the other with a 550mz, both with 256m of memory. Tried many different small distros, but couldn't get wifi to work.Finally tried this out of desperation. Loaded up and everything worked perfect. It is quick and stable on these old underpowered dogs. Great distro and just keeps getting better.
38 • @33 Klik2 (by Anonymous at 2009-11-30 18:39:33 GMT from Finland)
Did you probably mean klik2 instead ?
39 • Re. Abiword, Caitlyn (by Barnabyh at 2009-11-30 19:15:44 GMT from United Kingdom)
"I'm actually very glad to see that the AbiSource developers have moved away from this and allowed for a stand-alone GTK-only AbiWord as they had in the past."
That was a good move and a necessary one, considering how often it is the choice for Xfce-based distros / spins as a lightweight text processor (and other lighter environments).
Re. the dependency checking vs. maintainer argument, for me as end user that hardly matters because the end result is the same. You are of course right, but the system of dependency resolution invites this behaviour. In the end I loose control over what gets installed.
People end up with hundreds of MB on their harddrive that serve no purpose other than that a maintainer specified them as dependencies for the package they wanted to originally install, even if not needed to run it, for the sake of so-called integration and providing a complete experience.
An option is not to use these distros until they hopefully learn to keep dependencies to an absolute minimum, if ever.
Other people may of course be served well by having these decisions made for them.
40 • OO.o bloat and netbook tweaking (by Luke at 2009-11-30 19:40:11 GMT from United States)
The first thing I do with any fresh openoffice install is disable Java immediately. There are a few other tweaks but that's the biggest speed improvement by far. I also use the Go-OO variant (which is included in Ubuntu, Debian, Mandriva, etc.), which is supposedly faster as well.
Speaking of performance tweaks, Ubuntu and Arch have some very thorough guides to netbook tweaking, especially netbooks with SSDs. There are several suggestions for ways to decrease disk writes such as:
* Using a non-journaling file system (I use ext2), and mounting with noatime
* Disabling swap if possible (I have 1.5 GB with no swap), or if not, reducing "swappiness" as much as possible
* Using the noop I/O scheduler
* Moving log files to a tmpfs in RAM
Personally, I used a command-line only Ubuntu Jaunty install, then installed LXDE (with my own modifications to its file manager) and various lightweight non-GNOME GTK applications manually. I have Abiword installed but it is not often used. My Aspire One 110L boots to a fully functional desktop (no cheating by showing the desktop before start up is complete like vanilla Ubuntu or Windows) in less than 10 seconds.
41 • #39 - Abiword (by vw72 at 2009-11-30 19:41:17 GMT from United States)
With regards to the packagers, if you are using the package (bin or source) from your distribution, then most definitely, the AbiSource people are not responsible as they didn't prepare the package.
However, very often, particularly with the ubuntu distros, installing packages automatically installs recommended packages, too. This can be turned off in synaptic, or if running aptitude from the command line by using -R (sudo aptitude install -R abiword).
Doing so will save you many MBs of space.
42 • No more mints! you smell! (linux mint) and Amarok (by JD at 2009-11-30 19:43:11 GMT from United States)
I'd like to point out one can obtain the same desktop (if not better then mint) in ubuntu , so i don't feel it fair to worship this over rated distro, as far as i've seen it's totally the same as ubuntu. since it rips off their repos. so anyone saying oh i got linux mint! i consider to be a novice or unaware user to that linux mint is ubuntu! stop kissing up to this knockoff with a cutesy wallpaper and default theme change. if there was no ubuntu there'd be no mint! so just say i have ubuntu! not linux mint!
Just about everyone i know finds the new Amarok 2x unusable and "awkward" they should start over with what they had!
43 • #39: Dependency checking (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-11-30 20:13:03 GMT from United States)
The issues caused by not having automated dependency checking (time and extra work) and by not automatically removing dependencies when they are orphaned after software is removed, which can also lead to lots of wasted space.
To me throwing out automated dependency checking is like throwing out the baby with the bathwater. I know the Slackware community disagrees and I accept and respect that. I also think there is a good reason almost every other distro, including Slackware derivatives and the so-called advanced distros like Arch and Gentoo include this functionality. It just plain makes life easier most of the time and it does not "make decisions" for me.
44 • re#42 (by hab on 2009-11-30 20:13:56 GMT from Canada)
Kinda like the way ubuntu rips off debian.
45 • #40: Decreasing disk writes isn't necessary (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-11-30 20:22:41 GMT from United States)
The advice to decrease disk writes is outdated and unnecessary. When SSDs first really hit the market in netbooks two years ago there was a concern that the lifespan of these devices was quite limited. Subsequent testing has shown that they actually may have a longer lifespan than conventional hard drives. Wear leveling algorithms further extend lifespan.
Running a non-journaling filesystem is a really bad idea. First, if there is data corruption the recovery time on today's relatively large filesystems can be very long. ext2 also offers relatively poor performance when compared with ext4 and xfs. Most netbook manufacturers have stopped using ext2 as their default and now use ext3 or ext4.
Moving logs into RAM means you don't keep logs around, a real pain if you ever have to troubleshoot a problem. It also takes away RAM from applications reducing performance on a heavily loaded system and increasing the need for swap.
On a modern netbook with 1-2GB RAM you aren't going to hit swap much. Disabling swap doesn't buy you much of anything and is really unnecessary.
In general the advice to decrease disk writes will come at the expense of reduced performance.
Disabling Java is fine if you don't use Java applications or websites requiring Java support. For me that is not an option.
I think it was Forest who provided links to documentation on this issue in last week's DWW comments section.
46 • debian politics and office suits (by Anonymous at 2009-11-30 20:44:04 GMT from United States)
history suggests that these kinds of wishes and hopes of Debian project leaders are rarely respected by the project which depends on more than a thousand individuals and which seems to have a life of its own
It has nothing to do with the amount of people involved in the project as a significant portion of the "over 1000 people" are not actively involved.
The real power within Debian rests with the ftp team. Testing freezes when they want it to. The tool chain freezes when they want it to. Free/Non-free policies get broke when they want them to be broken.
OO.o still breaks fomatting when using doc, which is fairly ubiquitous in business.
Broken formatting will just give HR an excuse to toss your resume, if you are one of the lucky few that isn't currently looking to replace a job lost recently, then you can continue on your "free code or die" death march happily. The rest of us will just use what will not give HR an easy excuse to toss our resumes.
47 • @6 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-11-30 20:48:07 GMT from Canada)
'Doesn't boot' is unusably vague. We'd need a lot more concrete information to take any guess at what's wrong on your systems. Like, what actually happens when you try and boot, and what hardware is involved.
48 • #46 OpenOffice and formatting (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-11-30 20:59:51 GMT from United States)
OO.o still breaks fomatting when using doc, which is fairly ubiquitous in business.
Really? I maintain my resume in OO.o and check it on a Windows system at work. There's no breakage. None at all. The idea that using OO.o will lead to a "death march" of unemployment seems pretty nonsensical to me and I am a stickler when it comes to formatting. The only thing I do in Windows is save to .docx format as well, something OO.o doesn't handle just yet.
Seems to me this anonymous post is all about throwing stones at the Debian team and at OO.o.
49 • Open Office and formatting (by Jesse at 2009-11-30 21:26:30 GMT from Canada)
I second Ms Martin's observation about OOo formatting. I've had no problems with it. In fact, difference between OOo and MS-Office tend to be less than the difference between some versions of MS-Office. If you're that paranoid about the format of your resume, use OOo and export your resume to PDF before you send it in. Open Office supports saving to PDF natively, so you don't need any extra plugins or tools.
50 • No subject (by John at 2009-11-30 21:35:30 GMT from United Kingdom)
OOo handles docx files perfectly well for me on Ubuntu 9.10 (both opening and saving)...
Although I don't use too much complex formatting. The odd table etc is fine though...
51 • RE: #46 (by ewproctor on 2009-11-30 21:40:55 GMT from United States)
Yeah, like a PDF.
52 • Take your word processing online (by Rahux on 2009-11-30 21:45:21 GMT from Australia)
I pretty much exclusively use Zoho apps (www.zoho.com) to do all my word processing, note taking etc. It has offline support (though I never really have to use that) and the mobile website lets me access everything I've ever written on my phone too in an emergency.
The fact that everything is constantly backed up is handy too. I highly recommend trying it, it's miles ahead of Google docs and doesn't have any ads.
;) also makes distro hopping simpler.
53 • KDE Windows manager, how about a minimalist version. (by Jeffersonian on 2009-11-30 21:51:12 GMT from United States)
I have always liked the KDE environment.
However if KDE applications developers have produced some clean & neat applications (too many to name!), I find the KDE windows manager to be overly complicated, and frankly bloated, with very slow login time.
Since the "topic du jour" is minimalism, here I would rather call for programmer's restraint to show off, and rather produce pretty much what Gnome did produce:
A clean, (why not beautiful?), sobre and simple KDE4 based windows manager.
I also would like to have a "common KDE" option: the same KDE environment on each distro, like for GNOME, so one would not be lost going from one KDE or GNOME based Linux machine. (Let's not forget the 'C' of CDE or Common Desktop Environment promoted on Unix machines many years ago, from which KDE is derived).
The developers want differentiation: what is in the background should leave them lots of room to show what they can achieve, in term of functionality, stability, and speed.
There is still much progresses to be done on Linux, in simple usability: UBUNTU (and derivatives) is not my favorite distro, but I would agree that it is the most usable, "out of the box", with MINT taking this a bit further.
The UBUNTU visionaries deserves some kudos there.
So what about the definitive "KDE-neat" windows manager?
Please disagree, and be as specific as possible.
54 • OOo Formating (by Reuben at 2009-11-30 21:51:43 GMT from United States)
Well, I've had pages saved in OO 1.X look different in Word. Haven't tried it with the recent versions. I second the recomendation to send stuff in PDF. I only send documents in a word processing format if I expect the other person to edit the document.
Also, I'm not going to stress out about 100s of MB of wasted space on my hard drive. My desktop has an 80GB hard drive split between 3 OSes, and space taken up by dependencies are the least of my worries. I'd expect users of new systems with 1TB hard drives would care even less.
Also, the real waste of space is Windows 7. I've heard that an install takes up 10GB. I'd like to see a linux installation take up that much space. My ubuntu install on my laptop with kde, gnome, openoffice, gnu toolkit, and a whole bunch other apps plus their dependencies takes up a little over 5GB.
55 • Oo.o (by nix at 2009-11-30 22:02:52 GMT from United States)
"I haven't tried to, but I think you can compile it for BSD as well. "
Yes, OO.o works on Linux, BSD, Windows and OSX. As for FreeBSD you can either install a package or compile it from source. Binaries are available at:
"The only complaint I generally hear about OOo is that it's very large and, at times, sluggish."
As for the performance issue; there are few tweaks you can do to speed up OpenOffice.
Potetially you disable VB support if you don't need it. If you open and save a document with VB support; you will loose the VB from the document. So, disable VB support at your own risk.
PS: IMHO Documents should be executing scripts; your OPINION may vary.
Disclaimer: I use Ubuntu, FreeBSD, OpenSolaris and Windows.
56 • @53 (by Reuben at 2009-11-30 23:10:21 GMT from United States)
What you are refeering to is actually the desktop environment. The window manager is kwin, which has always been pretty minimal. Anyways, stripping compents out of the KDE desktop should be pretty simple.
57 • "in depth" reviews (by Martin at 2009-11-30 23:31:44 GMT from Netherlands)
Just wanted to say that I really enjoyed reading the DWW's "in depth" review of Ubuntu Jaunty, way back when. More such goodness would be welcome indeed...
58 • @#14, pay office suites for Linux (by klu9 at 2009-11-30 23:48:30 GMT from Mexico)
It will cost precisely nothing to try a paid office suite like SoftMaker Office for Linux, as they offer a free trial.
That way you could compare and comment based on experience, not prejudice.
59 • Gnomes (by Anonymous at 2009-12-01 00:01:47 GMT from United States)
Debian Lenny has OpenOffice is v2.4.1 and does not appear to have docx functionality.
Knoppix v6.2 has OO v3.1.1 and this does have docx.
On Debian OO v2.4.1 has optional Gnome dependencies, for enhanced use.
Abiword v2.6.4 appears to have less Gnome than Gnumeric v1.8.3, which depends on libgnomevfs. This brings in Dbus, Fam and Avahi.
I am not sure why I need those daemons.
Can someone explain in simple terms what Dbus, Fam and Avahi do.
I have OOv2.4.1 installed, they are not there and it works.
What am I missing?
60 • bloat at the office (by Officestaff at 2009-12-01 00:20:02 GMT from United States)
For many office employees, Open Office Writer is an acceptable replacement for Word. OO Calc may be a replacement for Excel, depending upon whether key office staff take advantage of extended spreadsheet functionality.
Is Koffice or Abiword really "office" software? Where does this software offer the functionality or compatibility needed in real offices... offices that communicate with clients, venders, auditors, consultants, and regulatory agencies? In this forum, the word "office" appears to mean only personal home-office.
Bloat appears to be the software that allows one to easily manipulate data and generate attractive documents and reports. Bloat includes the tools that many expect their staff and older kids to use.
IMO, the FOSS community would benefit if enthusiasts expected more functionality from their office software and learned to live with the "bloat" (functionality) that businesses and individuals have shown that they are willing to pay for.
61 • Mint Mumblings (by mikkh at 2009-12-01 00:36:24 GMT from United Kingdom)
With most of the 9.10 Ubuntu clones finally released, trailing behind as usual comes the best (IMO) one - it's Mint 8
Off to a bad start, as I foolishly allowed it to manage my partitions, thinking it might find the new Linux partition I had just made at the end of the hard drive (to keep the other partition numbers intact)
I was asking for a miracle, and I didn't get it !
My hard drive previously was C (windows), D (data), Swap partition, followed by two large Linux system partitions. I knew I might be tempted to install Mint, so I resized the last Linux partition and made a new one in the space I'd just created
note to self: Don't use Acronis to resize ReiserFS partitions - it takes ages !
Pleased with my forward thinking, I set about installing Mint, but then had what I can only describe as a 'blonde moment' in letting it loose on my partitions - I always, ALWAYS use manual partitioning usually and having already created a new partition for it, I don't know what I was thinking or expecting from the 'guided partitioning' - it sucks, big time !
Did it use the partition I had created - No!
Did it stupidly shrink both my C and D drives and then add a totally unnecessary extra swap partition - Yes, it bloody well did ! And also left a blank 30 GB in the middle of all that mess !?
Did I press next without reading properly about it being irreversible - Yes I did !!
OK, so it's no good crying over spilled partitions and I had the small consolation of knowing it wouldn't affect Windows, which I only keep for my daughter really. I was more worried about Vector and PClinuxOS falling over because the partition numbers had changed.
Curiosity had also made me pick the OEM installation mode, so now with a maniacs partitioning scheme fully in place, I also had a user called 'oem' because again I wasn't looking properly and just let the default go. Good grief, I'm supposed to be an experienced Linux user and I've made two tragic mistakes already.
Glossing over that, for now - lets boot the thing.....
Single taskbar at the bottom, instead of top and bottom taskbars common in a lot of Gnome based distros - I personally hate that, so off to a flying start. The sound is muted by default which is easily fixed, but how many people actually want a machine with no sound by default ! Inoffensive desktop wallpaper that I might keep and an uncluttered taskbar that's not full of apps some person thinks I might need, but rarely ever do and mostly end up removing. Couple that with an almost icon free desktop and it's pretty close to my ideal working environment.
I accept the 'restricted drivers' for my graphics card when offered and dutifully reboot as advised, but first I need to check my other installed Linux's. Vector has managed to re-jig itself (as usual) so that's my main OS saved at least, but PClinuxOS is sulking badly.
With the Nvidia driver in place, the screen is looking more central now and the text looks sharper too. Things are definitely looking up.
Early days, but it's looking good so far and it's still my favourite Ubuntu clone - by a long way
62 • OO CRASH! (by Anonymous at 2009-12-01 01:10:38 GMT from United States)
I have something for you KDE folks with OO installed. Try this:
Open OO go to "New Templates > New Documents > Labels". and watch it crash. I googled around and found my exact issue with someon on Kubuntu. I'm running opensuse 11.2 kde.
Using OO 3.1.1 build 18.104.22.168 . Went to OO site to try and find a way to report this. nogo.
63 • RE 62: OOo crash (by Jesse at 2009-12-01 01:32:27 GMT from Canada)
I tried this and my copy of Open Office (3.1.1) running on KDE 4.3.3 does not crash.
If you want to report this issue to the Open Office team, go here:
To report it to the openSUSE team, visit this page:
If you have time, I'd submit it to both.
64 • CrunchBang Rocks (by TaiChiGuy on 2009-12-01 02:37:50 GMT from United States)
I just installed Crunchbang over the weekend and just wanted to let everyone know, if you need a lightweight distro that you can watch DVDs on. This is the distro for you.
65 • Re post #6 (Worisit?) (by gnobuddy on 2009-12-01 02:43:25 GMT from United States)
6 • Worisit? (by skag at 2009-11-30 10:42:44 GMT from United Kingdom)
Something has changed with the latest releases of some of the major distros. As previously reported, Mandriva's regular versions will not boot on a very wide range of my fairly recent single core (including 64bit) machines, and now F12 is failing, too, in this respect. Furthermore, friends advise that these two in particular are unusably slow on s-o-t-a multi-cored multi-Mb memoried kit.
Either way, many clueded-up distro junkies will ask "why bother" when compact releases like Puppy, esp, derivatives Teen/FatGames/NOP/Box/Lighthouse ad.inf., along with build-your-own SliTaz/TinyCore/Slax, and many more provide more comprehensive options with a fraction of the hassle.
From a users perspective, the major distro houses should stand back a very long way and contemplate the trees in this this wood.
Agree 100%. The last few releases of Ubuntu, Fedora, and Mandriva have all fallen on their faces trying to boot on the Dell Optiplex 750 PC's at work. The ones I could coax into booting with boot options and manual trickery are slow and clunky even on this modern and powerful hardware. There are also major problems with the new magically autoconfiguring X server versions, which unfortunately fail to detect the LCD monitors we use and therefore drop down to an 800x600 resolution, which they cling to with a deathgrip. One step forward, two steps back.
At one time Linux enthusiasts were glad that our chosen OS didn't make huge demands on the hardware. Sadly, that ship has long sailed - most Linux distros are now fat, bloated, and slow. Thank goodness for Tiny Core, which still runs on a bunch of old PIII's I'm keeping out of the landfill at work.
I've set up Ubuntu for a number of people (because of the helpful forums and the number of actual dead-tree books on Ubuntu). But Linux Mint and PCLinuxOS always seem to manage a far, far better OOB experience, while Ubuntu usually sulks and refuses to do anything quite right until I've put in an hour of configuring and downloading and editing text config files. Someone tell me again why Ubuntu is so popular?
66 • Dependency checking (by Barnabyh at 2009-12-01 02:46:05 GMT from United Kingdom)
Guess I'm just scarred from too many experiences where wishing to uninstall one package, let's say Totem, would result in the package manager wanting to remove my entire Gnome desktop, as seen in Ubuntu Breezy back in the day. Many distros are no different in this aspect, and some implement this better or worse than others. That's why it's great to have the choice.
Don't get me wrong, I use Debian when time is of the essence and I do not have the stomach to compile and set everything up by hand yet again, although that rarely happens nowadays. The distro hopping is nearly done except the occasional test and I know what I like, and once the packages are compiled for a new slack release they are backed up for any subsequent installs.
I appreciate dependency resolution as much as the next person but it all depends on the scenario and how different distributions implement it. Sometimes it's just nice to be able to tailor your system exactly the way you like.
I'm not uncritical of Slackware either. For a start I can have a Debian/Ubuntu system fully customized and with all the software I want within a few hours, whereas in Slackware it will take weeks until everything's been tracked down and compiled in the few short hours after work here and there.
Then gigs of software necessary to build stuff sometimes seems just as wasted space as the cruft other distros add.
In the end it seems worth it though, it's a satisfying experience, and definitely faster and more stable on the desktop than most which is what counts a great deal.
(Btw, Gnome.SlackBuild repo does dependency resolution for their stuff in slapt-get/ gslapt, so it is not completely absent. I can only assume the behemoth that Gnome has become is so complex that this is really needed to make sure everybody ends up with a working installation.)
I used Vectorlinux as well around the 5.01 and 5.1 versions but moved on when I screwed up an install due to mixing repositories. Easy to do and didn't know enough then. It's a nice distro but I'm trying to stay away from control panels and rather do it the old fashioned way :)). VL repos were quite limited then (still are?) although one could install Slackware packages, but that's what ruined my install in the end. I find PCLOS quite similar in a way and equally fast and shiny these days.
End of musings- good night.
67 • Gnumeric is buggy (by Gnobuddy on 2009-12-01 02:48:50 GMT from United States)
For many years I used Gnumeric for my end-of-semester grades and attendance spreadsheets. And for equally many years the same bug stayed persistently put: font sizes that display perfectly onscreen are badly mangled when printed on paper.
The only fix I found was to manually increase the font size one click, auto-resize every single column width on the spreadsheet to the new larger font, then reduce the font size one click without touching the column widths.
This was a royal pain in the rump, as you can imagine. I eventually made the switch to Open Office Calc, and was glad to be rid of Gnumeric and its bugs. Pity, because Gnumeric was easier to work with for people used to Excel.
Oh yeah, have you ever tried to make Open Office Calc print out a spreadsheet in landscape mode instead of portrait mode? It can be done, but talk about obscure and user-unfriendly commands!
68 • Ref#63 (by Anonymous at 2009-12-01 02:53:07 GMT from United States)
Thank you for the test. Weird that it only happens to me. I will report it to both OO & suse.
69 • @59 - that elusive simple explanation (by gnomic at 2009-12-01 03:08:11 GMT from New Zealand)
Say what? You want a simple explanation of D-Bus? Good luck with that. I guess fam and avahi are relatively straighforward, D-Bus is more like rocket science. And don't forget, google is your friend (or in this case ask.com).
70 • #66: Vector Linux repositories (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-12-01 03:19:37 GMT from United States)
@Barnabyh: Vector Linux four years ago and Vector Linux today are two completely different animals. The repository is much, much, much larger and they have a bunch of volunteer packagers nowadays. There are now something like five variants of the distro as well.
The 6.0 series of releases will be the last ones based on Slackware. Vector Linux 7.0 core (still in early development) is built from scratch.
71 • ovd version 2.0 (by skip mason on 2009-12-01 04:33:34 GMT from United States)
have you checked the distribution. there is no md5 or any way to check the validity of the download. i went to the site and see no reference to release 2.0 as a distribution, it still lists 2.0 alpha, furthermore firefox gave me a warning that it could not trust the website.
72 • sorry, wrong name (by skip mason on 2009-12-01 04:38:42 GMT from United States)
the release is ulteo version 2.0 not ovd that has a possible missing md5 and or may not be a real distro form a legit source.
73 • RE: 53 (by Landor at 2009-12-01 04:58:50 GMT from Canada)
As Reuben pointed out, there's a massive difference between the DE and WM.
I personally cannot find compelling reasons to use KDE4. I've tried too, and just recently put Kubuntu through its paces on my netbook. 2 gig of ram and sluggish is the best I can come up with. While Ubuntu with Gnome does far better, though still sluggish in my personal opinion.
I'm seriously considering building Gentoo on the Netbook for my every day use. People talk about the minor speed increases involved in building such a system as not worth it. I think this is a perfect scenario where every minor improvement will make the overall performance of the netbook far better. I probably will find myself using LXDE or Fluxbox on it.
Back to KDE4 and I won't go into detail, I want to talk more of it another time. I find myself shaking my head at the KDE team. I truly loved KDE and the 3 series. What I found disturbing for KDE as a "professional" project was the naming of everything with a "K". To me that was very unprofessional. Ktorrent, Kmail, Krecipes, Krename, etc, etc. Gnome does this on a smaller scale, a lot smaller. Although it's not confusing, it actually could be, so many Ks. The only good thing is they kept the basic function of the application in a lot of the names.
With their leaps in eye candy and far more buggy 4 series in comparison to 3, I find the whole project distracting to say the least.
I am going to try to find some way to like it, keep the effort up. Who knows how that will fair. Maybe the 4.4 release will have more improvements. Until then I think I'll stick with either KDE3 or Gnome or something more lightweight like Fluxbox and LXDE..
Keep your stick on the ice...
74 • PcLinuxOs (by Henning Melgaard on 2009-12-01 05:01:40 GMT from Denmark)
I have been trying out PcLinuxOs with Kde 4.3.3. desktop.
There are still some issues here and there, but all things considered, I find it cool, fast and with great multimedia performance.
This is the first time I have been running a distro, which made me think: This thing might eventually be able to beat Windows 7.
75 • Knoppix 6.2 DVD KDE4 & Gnome (by RollMeAway at 2009-12-01 05:29:22 GMT from United States)
I tried to point out last week in post #176:http://distrowatch.com/weekly.php?issue=20091123&mode=67
Knoppix 6.2 DVD uses the LXDE desktop, which is very lean,
but HAS ALL the kde4 and gnome 2.28 applications available, IN THE MENU.
This makes for a very low memory foot print, and still allows access to
whatever applications you prefer.
With a little reading, you can setup LXDE to be quite usable.
The DVD is live, so give it a try, if you want the apps and NOT the bloat.
Of course the same approach can be made with any distro, not just debian.
76 • re. 47 & 65 (by skag at 2009-12-01 06:11:24 GMT from United Kingdom)
Quebecoise francophile?! 'Doesn't boot' usually means everything stops, blank screen, etc., in most languages. As for HW, all machines in perfect working order, Athlon/nV or ATI/swap available/ and, as explicitly stated, no more than 512Mb. Also explicitly given that Zen, Mint & Vector, as well as all compact distros work just fine. Sometimes, you have to read between the lines, Adam, in brief commentary like this, but the info is all there.
Good to know I'm not shooting in the dark, gnobuddy .
Just when everything was going so well. Too many developers trying too hard, adopting all the latest bloat and shiny code. Exactly the same foot-shooting that drove/drives so many frustrated 'dozey users to seek their fortunes elsewhere? Let's hope they (developers) see the error of their ways or we'll have a greener grass scenario with millions turning back to the dark side.
77 • @73 (by Reuben at 2009-12-01 06:21:43 GMT from United States)
Something tells me that compiling a whole system on an atom processor isn't a very good idea. Well, if you have the patience, than I see no harm.
78 • RE:73 (by Landor at 2009-12-01 07:42:46 GMT from Canada)
There's quad core and dual core systems here, as well as single core. On something as low as the atom I'll use distcc and ccache. Also, with a stage3 it's really only finishing it up from a command line install. Desktop and functionality. With going for the lighter weight WMs/DE it will be a breeze compared to even a base KDE or Gnome install. X will be the killer to install, not much else for what I'm looking for. Only other thing that comes to mind that would be lengthy is Firefox.
Also, I've read quite a few who have done well with Gentoo on their netbooks.
Keep your stick on the ice...
79 • No "Printscreen" button on your HP netbook Caitlyn? (by M. McNabb on 2009-12-01 08:35:43 GMT from United States)
Just wondering as you can always use that to take screenshots (after hitting the printscreen key, open gimp, start a new graphic, and paste from the buffer into it -- the graphic should be started with a size based on the buffer already.) You probably know this already, but others may not and just in case ;-)
BTW, thank you for the review :-) It looks fun. I think I'll try it out on my X series Thinkpad. Tried UNR on it but the interface wouldn't work properly with the mouse cursor. Also, I know some of these Netbook specific Distributions are Atom specific (or at least I think you need an SSE3-capable processor) so it may not even boot the stick or CD.
80 • @76 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-12-01 08:39:45 GMT from Canada)
No, 'the info' is not 'all there'. Doesn't boot does *not* always mean 'everything stops, blank screen, etc.' (what's the 'etc.'?). Sometimes it means you get to a certain point in the boot process and then it fails - in which case it would be useful to know *where*. Sometimes it means the boot process fails with an error message - in which case it would be useful to know what the message is. Sometimes it means boot worked just fine but X fell over - in which case it'd be useful to know that too.
"Athlon/nV or ATI" is not a useful description of your hardware. AMD have released several hundred 'Athlon' processors going back over nine years, and NVIDIA and ATI have probably released over a thousand different graphics cards between them, going back over a decade. You are also magnificently silent with regard to motherboards, drive controllers 'etc'. Is it really that hard to just post the frickin' lspci output or smolt/some-other-hardware-tool profile somewhere?
"Also explicitly given that Zen, Mint & Vector, as well as all compact distros work just fine"
That's not useful information at all unless I know at least what kernel those distros are running. And what versions of them you're testing with. Mint is, so far as I know, based on Ubuntu, so it would seem odd that it would work and Ubuntu wouldn't, if you're testing equivalent versions of both.
81 • permission to view graphic (by anon on 2009-12-01 08:46:56 GMT from United Kingdom)
I seem not to have permission to view the graphic of zencafe. Is it a distrowatch problem or me?
82 • Fedora (by claudecat on 2009-12-01 09:46:18 GMT from United States)
FWIW, I have had problems with the last 2 Fedora releases on my Compaq Presario (Athlon/nvidia). For me, if I can't make Compiz work AT ALL, then a distro isn't up to snuff. OTOH, Fedora works great on my Dell Latitude D810 with Intel video. I guess it's just a matter of proprietary drivers but c'mon... I LOVED Fedora 10 (that blue flaming globe during startup ruled!) and Compiz worked on it once I jumped through a few hoops... why not now? It took me hours to even get the nvidia drivers installed on f12, only to find that Compiz either white-screens or leaves you without titlebars. I know this is off topic... sorry... as a final digression I'll just mention how much I despise grub2.
83 • re. 80 (by skag at 2009-12-01 09:58:38 GMT from United Kingdom)
First grumpy Canadian I've ever met! Seems to have great difficulty reading between lines. Start by assuming it's not an A750, nor kernel2.4 (DW tends to deal with the latest incarnations), etc., and who mentioned Ubuntu (left out because never use it). Blank screen doesn't leave many options for diagnosis.
There may be a vast range of abilities amongst folks posting here, but, Adam, surely you are mature and experienced enough to make an inspired guess at their abilities by cursory visual analysis of eg. language, grammar, spelling and command of technical terms in even the briefest of précis? That's the power of outline postings. You could always be wrong, but mostly not with your obvious experience and if you have a grasp of the human condition....!
84 • #66 (by megadriver at 2009-12-01 11:29:05 GMT from Spain)
The problem with Ubuntu wanting to remove all of GNOME if you uninstall Totem is due to a "virtual package" named ubuntu-desktop. It's "virtual" because it's actually empty, and only contains a lot of dependencies (including all of GNOME). As a result, if you try to remove one of those dependencies (like Totem), Ubuntu tries to remove the now incomplete "parent" package (ubuntu-desktop), and all of GNOME with it (because GNOME or the individual applications, like Totem, were never installed "by themselves", but as dependencies of this "virtual package").
If you use the alternate installation CD and install just what you want, step by step, you won't find this problem (you will find others, of course, like Ubuntu wanting to install the kitchen sink anyway because of this annoying feature called "recommended packages").
The Slackware approach ("you" are the package manager) has great benefits (more control and less bloat). The problem is, when I try to install Slackware (a customized installation, of course, can't have it any other way), every time I get to the "L" (libraries) part, I freak out, as there are lots of them. Some it's very obvious I will need them, others not so much, and it really drives me crazy. When installing Arch, on the other hand, I just deselect all the libraries, and let pacman "do its thing". I usually end with some stuff I don't need or want. That's what drove me to Gentoo/Funtoo, as I found myself compiling more and more custom PKGBUILDs.
I think I'm going to give Slackware another shot soon (in one of my "experimental" partitions). After all, slackbuilds are not as straightforward as PKGBUILDs, but I still like them more than ebuilds. I'm an Archer at heart, but sometimes I think there's a Slacker in there, too.
85 • Netbook window managers (by 1369ic on 2009-12-01 11:29:08 GMT from United States)
As a long-time user of small laptops -- mostly 12.1 inches, now 13.3 -- I can't understand why everyone is going through all the fuss of remixing the big desktop environments. Sure, people new to Linux will want the comfort of a panel and all the DE goodies, but what a 10-inch screen cries out for is a well-configured Fluxbox install. Personally, I go with Slackware and do it myself, but I think Anti-X would be a great distro for a netbook, too. Lightweight, but with the Mepis tools, runs Fluxbox and Rox-Filer by default. Perfect.
86 • Open Office Blues (by Simon on 2009-12-01 12:34:17 GMT from United Kingdom)
Any alternative to the overpriced MS office suite is to be welcomed for Window's users. My girlfriend downloaded it for her new vista installed laptop - saving her a lot of money.
Here on a Linux OS, there are two things about OO that makes me look elsewhere for word processing.
1. It's slow to start up and seems bloated. Pity they don't have a scaled down and faster version.
2. Auto correction. Drives me up the wall. I spent over an hour last week trying to figure out how to turn it off. Gave up. The help manual itself is life an Encyclopedia Britannica. OO will simply not allow me to format my own creating as I see fit.
Good to get that off my chest. I feel better now. Thanks.
87 • re: 86 (by Anonymous at 2009-12-01 13:49:26 GMT from United States)
dependent on version, hw, ram and distro OO is pretty darn fast start at least for me, and it's almost instantaneous after the first start. Wanna talk about slow to start apps then discuss FF - cause I don't think I have anything on my box that is as slow to start and no one ever complains about that hog
88 • Re: Landor about KDE4 (by Hank Schmidt on 2009-12-01 14:45:24 GMT from Germany)
I too have tried Kubuntu's implementation of KDE4 and it is very slow. However I found that KDE 4.3 under Mandriva and Opensuse (2010 and 11.2) feels very fast. I have Ubuntu and Opensuse on the same computer and both of them run at around the same speed. Just disabling the fade effect (which causes dialogs and menus to fade in) alone could greatly speed it up.
89 • #84 (by Barnabyh at 2009-12-01 14:52:05 GMT from United Kingdom)
Thanks for that. Over the years and with the appearance of the alternate installation cd tutorials have appeared, for example here on DW, on how to get a more minimal custom install with Ubuntu and even openSuSe, but it still seems a bit somehow "not right" to me. Then there are issues like upgrades overwriting your config files, changes not taking effect for no obvious reason etc.
So I've settled pretty much on 2-3 other distros that are always on my short list. Arch seems interesting too, I may give it another try in Virtual Box when time allows.
Slackbuilds.org has become a great resource and if you subscribe to the feed you will see there are huge updates with more builds added every three days or so. Also the Gnome.Slackbuild repository has a good deal to offer even if you don't want Gnome as environment, just for some apps like Openoffice and gstreamer stuff (taking the shortcut instead of compiling). Add slapt-get and gslapt and add this as a source and it's not so bad! (In case you'll be going to give it another shot.)
90 • @83 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-12-01 14:54:43 GMT from Canada)
It doesn't matter how many inspired guesses I can make, even if I have your abilities weighed down to the last milligram, I can't do anything about your problem if I don't know what your fricking hardware is or anything about the problem other than 'it doesn't work', and there's no way I can magically derive those things from what you've already posted. And of course I'm assuming it's not kernel 2.4, but that hardly helps much. kernel 2.6.31 is significantly different from 2.6.30, and so on.
Black screen leaves enough scope for analysis if you tell me _when_ you see the black screen and what you see _before_ you see the black screen.
I've had it with the guessing games. Please provide a useful description of the problems and a useful listing of your hardware. Without that there's nothing I can do, and I'm not going to reply to you any more.
91 • Just to expand on #89 (by Barnabyh at 2009-12-01 15:01:49 GMT from United Kingdom)
Ah yes, and this one, http://connie.slackware.com/~alien/efg/ , "Easy firewall generator for IPtables". The generated file is all you will need.
92 • #73: Gentoo and Slackware on a netbook (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-12-01 15:32:58 GMT from United States)
There's no reason Gentoo with a recent/current kernel shouldn't work on a netbook. I know from personal experience that Slackware works well. I had to compile my own Broadcom (proprietary) driver and patch the kernel to make it work but other than that it was pretty much a no-fuss, no-muss install. I agree with Barbnabyh that it takes much longer to get everything built, installed and configured the way I want it on Slackware and there is also more maintenance involved. If/when I run Slackware I do use Stefano Stabellini's mirror which supports dependency checking and I do install Slackware apt (slapt-get, gslapt and the notifier) for package management which makes life somewhat less painful.
93 • OpenOffice Labels crash openSUSE (by Anonymous at 2009-12-01 15:40:54 GMT from United States)
Ok, I posted bug report to OO.org, which later I thought was a mistake. Tried Novell bugzilla, but they wanted WAY too much personal information. Then posted on openSUSE forum.
I thought of trying the iso, and sure enough same result. If someone here has this Live iso, can you try it.
The live cd is "openSUSE-11.2-KDE4-LiveCD-i686.iso".
From Desktop Folder, click on Office > Templates.. > Labels. Then open and see if it crashes.
94 • re. 90 (by skag at 2009-12-01 15:42:35 GMT from United Kingdom)
Thank you for your kind attention.
95 • #86 OO bloated? (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-12-01 15:49:39 GMT from United States)
@Simon: For the features it provides I don't think OO is bloated and it certainly isn't slow on a modern system with at least 512MB of RAM. Even at 256MB the only thing that is very slow is startup.
By comparison, I'm doing a government contract. They won't send out a Windows XP machine with less than 2GB of RAM because any less than that means Microsoft Office 2007 is sluggish. Yep, in Windows you need 2GB for an office suite. By comparison OpenOffice seems very light and trim.
96 • VectorLinux (by Barnabyh at 2009-12-01 16:24:30 GMT from United Kingdom)
Hi Caitlyn, could you give a quick overview about changes in VL 7. Will it be independent or what will it next be based on? What's the reasoning behind a rewrite and which unique points will it introduce, perhaps with package management?
97 • #96: VL 7.0 (by Caitlyn Martin on 2009-12-01 16:29:39 GMT from United States)
Barabyh: The change was announced in the Vector Linux forum. VL will be independent, as in not based on any other distro. The rest of the information is something I just don't have. I probably should get back in touch with the developers again and ask.
98 • #85 (by TorikNo at 2009-12-01 16:35:53 GMT from United States)
You should give Puppy a try. It runs on almost anything. This distro will run on machines that no other distro will. Sure you could get Vector Light to run on a slightly older machine but it will be sluggish and unusable. Puppy will give you a hefty application suite and plenty of security. Don't be put off by the tin foil hat crowd. My wife actually uses it with Citrix to work from home occasionallly.
99 • openSUSE OO Label (by Anonymous at 2009-12-01 16:53:06 GMT from United States)
Here is my openSUSE version AND md5sum results:
If anyone has that exact version (i686), I would appreciate if you could see if you can create a Label from my description above, Thanks.
100 • Re: 66 - Dependency checking (by DG at 2009-12-01 17:43:12 GMT from Netherlands)
I appreciate dependency resolution as much as the next person but it all depends on the scenario and how different distributions implement it. Sometimes it's just nice to be able to tailor your system exactly the way you like.
I work with Lunar Linux, a rolling source-based distro, that tries to specify just those dependencies that are crucial for building a particular package, and allows the user to choose specific options for a package if the package allows more or less functionality (e.g. X interface, Python bindings, debug version, etc). This is all well and good. Lunar is not aimed at newbies, and most users are able to troubleshoot for themselves and supply local customizations of package configurations if necessary.
The problem with getting the dependency resolution right on a source-based system is that a lot of packages have configure (or equivalent) stages that probe what is already on the system and silently include options unless you specifically disable them. Sometimes these options are not documented in the configure --help output, so it's difficult for the packager to get the dependencies and/or options completely right. They don't have "whizzlib" installed on their system, but you do, and the package pulls it in. You later check for packages that depend on "whizzlib" and find nothing, but when you remove or update "whizzlib" your system starts misbehaving.
So the question is: does the packager include some means of enabling/disabling every single option that s/he can find in the package documentation, which means a lot of questions for the end-user during installation; screw all options down so tightly that the user isn't bothered by questions but also has no flexibility; or provide the "common" options as a baseline and let the user add/remove options as required? The answer isn't always clear...
101 • Re Disappionting (by Smaher23 at 2009-12-01 19:29:13 GMT from Australia)
Comment deleted (off-topic).
102 • that other os (by hab on 2009-12-01 20:21:39 GMT from Canada)
Another innovation from the gang in redmond.
And another reason (as if we needed one) for not using it. The blue screen of death has acquired another colour. See here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8388253.stm
A persuasive argument if there ever was one, no!
103 • @84 (by Nobody Important at 2009-12-01 20:34:09 GMT from United States)
That is not true in the slightest bit.
The Ubuntu-desktop package is indeed an empty file whose only use it for its dependencies. But even if you remove it, its dependencies still remain.
I've removed Evolution and other various Gnome applications off of fresh Ubuntu installs for years without nuking Gnome. The Ubuntu-desktop package does nothing, and contrary to popular belief, removing it will not remove all of Gnome. Removing it alone does nothing. Go ahead and check in Synaptic if you don't believe me - see what it removes it you remove the ubuntu-desktop package.
apt-get does not uninstall packages' dependencies. Rather, the issue may be with Totem alone - its package may be too engrained with Ubuntu's Gnome to uninstall. I cannot try it at the moment (I'm sticking with Fedora, which does allow you to ininstall Totem alone) but I can at least vouch for what I have done in the past in Ubuntu.
104 • #100 (by Fred Nelson at 2009-12-01 20:37:20 GMT from United States)
There's a reason that Gentoo is far and away the most popular source-based distribution. USE flags control all of what you want there; simply put "app-example/mypackage -whizzbang" in package.use to produce a mypackage free of whizzbang on an otherwise-whizzbanged system, or if you've already compiled lots of packages with whizzbang and then remove it, you can simply put "-whizzbang" (or more likely, simply remove "whizzbang") from your make.conf and "emerge --deep --newuse world" to remove all traces of whizzbang from anywhere on your system. Automation done right is a *good* thing, whether you want a slimmed-down system or a bells-and-whistles system.
105 • Couple comments (by Barnabyh at 2009-12-01 22:06:10 GMT from United Kingdom)
#97. That would be interesting, please let us know.
#100. You brought up an interesting point about decisions how far a distribution wants to go, which is exactly my point re what level of integration a user is comfortable with. That's one good reason for having so many distributions. It also illustrates the point of the importance for developers of always building on a clean system.
#103. I believe that this was the case in Ubuntu 5.10, but that was a long time ago and is impossible to verify now. Maybe you had recommended turned off, who knows. Even if it is not, getting a message that it will remove your entire desktop (although that is only a meta-package) is scary for the average newcomer. Anyway, I have encountered similar on many distros. DG has explained the process quite well in #100. On occasion it is an upstream problem, but more often a design choice made by the distribution, which is fine. Different distros for different user groups and scenarios. One can always change and change back, depending on usage.
#104. That's it. Automation done right, but can we trust it?
106 • @45 disk writes (by Luke at 2009-12-01 22:36:57 GMT from United States)
Perhaps it is unnecessary, but after the original SSD that came with the Aspire One died on me after less than a year I decided not to take any chances. Granted I may have received a bad disk, or perhaps I messed something up myself (I took it apart to install the extra 1GB of RAM, and problems started occurring a couple months later). But my quick boot times and overall performance suggest I haven't taken too much of a hit there. And fsck is quite brisk when it performs its periodic check since my 16GB SSD isn't very full.
As for the logs, as part of my tweaking I already execute certain code on system halt so it wouldn't be difficult to copy them to disk then. I haven't needed them yet, but I'll be sure to perform that archival if I start having problems again. The only downside for me so far is that Ubuntu complains during startup when it can't find them.
But you are right about journaling: Arch and Ubuntu both suggest ext4 these days. I'll definitely go that route if I ever need or want to reinstall, as it is much faster than ext3 was on my main system. Arch still suggests no swap, however, as well as mounting ext4 with noatime and performing a couple other SSD tweaks. They also recommend the deadline scheduler over noop, which was an argument I remember reading about before and I guess deadline won out.
P.S. I was referring to disabling Java just in Open Office. I still have the JRE and web plugin installed and functional.
107 • Landor and Gentoo on a netbook (by RollMeAway at 2009-12-02 03:05:37 GMT from United States)
Landor, if you (or anyone else for that matter) decide to install gentoo on your netbook,
i think it would be interesting if you kept a diary / log of the experience.
Keep track of your time, and the compile time. Adding a date-time to the terminal prompt will allow you to time overnight compile times.
I have done this for years, and am always amazed at the end of my tasks, at just how much time it took me.
Hope you choose something more than blackbox and links for the system.
108 • OO Autocorrect (re #86) (by M. McNabb on 2009-12-02 03:59:23 GMT from United States)
Opened Help in OO version 2.4: 5s
Searched for "Autocorrect": 5s
Clicked on "Switching on/off in Calc": 1s (see below)
Sets the options for automatically replacing text as you type.
To access this command...
Choose Tools - AutoCorrect
Deactivating Automatic Changes
The AutoCorrect settings are applied when you press the Spacebar after you enter a word.
To turn on or to turn off the AutoCorrect feature, in OpenOffice.org Calc choose Tools - Cell Contents - AutoInput, and in OpenOffice.org Writer choose Format - AutoFormat - While Typing. To apply the AutoFormat settings to an entire text document, choose Format - AutoFormat - Apply.
I really dislike these automations too, but it's pretty easy to turn off...maybe it's harder in the new OpenOffice? That would be too bad.
109 • P.S. lightweight editors... (by M. McNabb on 2009-12-02 04:06:30 GMT from United States)
If you like windows clones try "xfe" This is an explorer file manager clone that also include a notepad clone.
A really nice one (albeit a bit heavier) is gedit. It's got a great highlighting feature that includes dozens and dozens of options (java script, C, Pascal, html, xml, Octave, etc. etc...)
110 • @6,76,80 etc - booting Mandriva 2010.0 (by gnomic at 2009-12-02 04:54:30 GMT from New Zealand)
Posting from KDE4 2010.0 live via wireless on a ThinkPad Z60m w/ 1.86GHz CPU, 1G RAM, and Intel 915 grfx. As per some review comments live CD is notable slower starting up than other recent releases, eg SUSE 11.2. However once started, it's working OK for me. I have also run the Xfce version on this machine, compiz worked, and overall a pleasant experience. KDE4 also ran on T23 Thinkpad, 1.13 GHz PIII, 768MB RAM, Super Savage 16MB video, as did the Xfce version.
Now I was going to say no problems with booting Mandriva here, but then I tried live CD on a desktop machine, AOpen mobo, 1.5G RAM, and GeForce4 MX440 with 64MB. 2.8GHz Celeron D. In this case Mandriva KDE4 did not reach a gui desktop but stopped at a console login prompting for user/password. Then followed SUSE 11.2, Kubuntu 9.10, and alpha4 of Chakra. All put up the KDE4 gui. (Points deducted for SUSE however when I tried to run the SaX gui config tool and X Window fell back to a console login screen). Archiso-live from 8th Nov using Xfce also ran OK. So maybe there is an issue for Mandriva with older nv cards? However my experience is far from the apparent comprehensive failure claimed by some posters.
On the bloat issue, surely it is horses for courses to some degree. If you have machines with ample resources, then throw the latest and greatest at them. For more modest machines try Puppy and its spins, or the various Slackware derivatives. One I have found good value of late is fluxflux at lin2go.com, 2009.2 just released.
As for #6, go on, shout yourself some more RAM. I had a couple of laptops with 512 and took them up to 1G at trivial cost which helped with a smoother computing experience. How does it go, it's impossible to be too rich, too slim, or have too much RAM? And I say that as someone who occasionally checks to see Linux can do with a PIII/450 and 256MB RAM, or in moments of extreme masochism a K6/400 with 192 RAM :-)
111 • buggy Firefox download manager-falsely reports download complete (by gnomic at 2009-12-02 06:24:49 GMT from New Zealand)
This is starting to become REALLY ANNOYING. Round here I strike it just about daily. And it has been around since 2004. Hello? Maybe this isn't the proper venue, but is anybody listening?
112 • re. 110 (by skag at 2009-12-02 07:46:22 GMT from United Kingdom)
Thank you for that erudite confirmation, gnomic. Yes, Xfce version of M2010 boots OK for me too. Great screen with the liveCD, but their old problem has returned with a full install - X is broken at first boot! To save time, I copied the entire X11 directory over and fixed it from there. It used to be like this all the time with Mandrake. Sloppy programming - if the LiveCD gets video card detection correct, why not the install?!
I am, however, going to decline your invitation to bump up the RAM. Thin edge of the wedge. Strike a blow for those less fortunate in this unequal world. Maybe I can afford it, but that old Wintel strategy has left us with piles of landfill, toxic wastes in the Third World, poisoning young children as they strip components and pms with mercury, cyanide, etc. Time to tell greedy hedonists where to stuff their wastes?
113 • No subject (by forerst at 2009-12-02 11:45:03 GMT from United Kingdom)
Skag, as you have similar ideas as myself about about the general abuse of the planet and inhabitants...by the inhabitants...were you to install more RAM you could do the distro hopping thing whilst running in live mode. As remarked in other posts, running live gets round a lot a problems encountered when attempting an install.
I mentioned weeks since that a "lot" of devs suggest a permanent install is unnecessary...a cynic could suggest it saves them having to deal with numerous queries along the lines of "it runs OK live but won't recognise my 'xyz' when I try to install it to h/d"...witness Adam W who makes laudable attempts to help whomever asks and is adept at damage limitation...granted installs to h/d are not his only "worries".
(An even more cynical observer would suggest the more hobbyist oriented devs know the distro hoppers will drop their distro in a heartbeat when the next "big" thing gets published hence the "advice" to run live.)
Sadly, and no criticism of AW or Fx, a disinterested observer might decide this is akin to pushing water uphill...no sooner does one version get "sorted" then the next offering is upon us and the whole cycle starts again. By my reckoning AW is by far the most prolific poster following any Fx release. T-i-c...why put him thru' all this again and again?
However, to continue the saving the planet theme, if a distro is run live on a big lump of RAM (assuming you can access it with the proc you are running) you could dispense with an internal hard drive altogether and store stuff externally. You can of course run/load off a stick...probably faster than loading off a disc.
CM mentions earlier in the forum that SSDs are being regarded in a more favourable light owing to the "discovery" they are not so fragile as first assumed. Obviously, technologies mature over time...
This has to be a "good" thing owing to less energy required in their manufacture, subsequent running costs, shipping etc etc. [CM's] debunking the old shibboleths (criterion sense) of SSDs should be more widely accepted.
As an aside, IMNSHO the introduction and usage of 1TB (mechanical) hard drives is gambling with the odds stacked against you. Imagine filling up a drive that size and it packs up...a prudent person would be far better to back up to DVD or CD...and run with "a" OS in RAM.
Some do this already, dog walkers for examples, and never tire of barking about it, Others achieve the same result, say, by running a virtual distro, but do advise of speed restrictions on occasion.
So in conclusion, use more RAM, ditch your internal hard drive and run more SSDs.
Crikey,it's amazing nobody has thought of this already and called it Cloud...
114 • antiX-M8.5-pt1-beta available for testing. (by anticapitalista on 2009-12-02 12:24:34 GMT from Greece)
As it was not put on the Latest News and Updates page (no idea why not), I'll mention it here.
antiX-M8.5-pt1-beta full and base versions are available.
Here is the release announcement form Warren at MEPIS.
115 • No subject (by Anonymous at 2009-12-02 12:50:24 GMT from Norway)
#53, Jeffersonian, wrote: "There is still much progresses to be done on Linux, in simple usability: UBUNTU (and derivatives) is not my favorite distro, but I would agree that it is the most usable, "out of the box", with MINT taking this a bit further.
The UBUNTU visionaries deserves some kudos there.
So what about the definitive "KDE-neat" windows manager?
Please disagree, and be as specific as possible."
Well, I can't disagree, but will say this: Hardware beats software every time.
After upgrading to a multicore Intel processor etc., I don't have to wait for anything anymore. Except for OO.o, of course :)
And you are right about Linux needing more progress, too. Basic stuff like decent drivers for newer video cards, to mention just one screaming (screeching?) problem. They say the IT world is moving fast forward, but when you remove all the applicable practical qualifications, all you are left with is a shadowy principle...
116 • re. 113 (by skag at 2009-12-02 13:08:39 GMT from United Kingdom)
Thank you for those observations, forerst .
You don't get the full SP in these short exchanges.
I already have piles of 16, 32, 64, 128....Mb strips in SDRAM, DDR, DDRII not to mention EDO. I try to recycle as much as possible into renovated boards running compact distros.
I also have piles of smaller HDs in perfect order that I recycle into....
Optical drives are slower and a lot less reliable than HDs, although much better than early devices. USB & SSD is good, but adds rather recycles kit. There is a lifetime issue hanging over flash memory.
But the killer in the memory argument is that it is a heavy user of power.
If you consider all the pertinent factors, you will easily see why I do what I do.
117 • Re: Firefox download manager (by Anon on 2009-12-02 13:08:57 GMT from Norway)
#111, gnomic, wrote: "Hello? Maybe this isn't the proper venue, but is anybody listening?"
I think you are being a bit unfair. You do realize that most open source devs are sweating profusely reinventing the wheel? Be very patient.
118 • More pieces more recycling (by Jesse at 2009-12-02 14:01:37 GMT from Canada)
A lot of places in North America and Europe have computer recycling organizations which will either refurbish and redistribute your old hardware, or try to recycle the materials. So there's not much risk in your extra hardware going to a 3rd world landfill. It's a lot nicer than leaving the pieces lying around the office/home. Your post suggests you're in the UK, so here are a couple of links to PC recycling places:
Some places require a minimum amount of units or a small fee, but it seems well worth the effort. Some organizations will even pick up pieces for free during drives to refurbish schools or non-profit groups.
119 • No subject (by forest at 2009-12-02 14:22:05 GMT from United Kingdom)
Skag, did not get your thrust on "heavy use of power".
Perhaps this might be of interest:
It may be of interest to read the comments arising from that copy too.
I believe the article set out to debunk an assertion that SSDs were greedier than h/ds for power. Technology moves on apace, and, whilst the earlier generations may very possibly have been less efficient energy wise, it seems this is no longer the case.
Similarly with the "wearing out" of memory elements (for lack of a better description) in an SSD, or using your term, lifetime issues...to paraphrase CM's comments above, SSDs ARE becoming more reliable from the longevity angle.
Is this a compelling argument for a mass migration to SSD? Admittedly not...yet.
But, it does beg the question of why we see the latest generation of netbooks emerging with SSDs on board (pun intended)...battery life?
120 • No subject (by forest at 2009-12-02 14:42:23 GMT from United Kingdom)
I should have said with an option for an SSD drive on a netbook.
It occurs to me too that most folk might possibly/probably only want/need a computer for emails, surfing, photo editing, watching films, listening to music.
None of the above require stupendous amounts of processing power or memory anyway so possibly some brainy bloke(ss) said if we could tailor/build a machine to meet the needs of the majority perhaps we could make it portable too...so they could use them everywhere...a laptop might be too heavy so let's call it, for sake of argument, er, um, er...I know, (eureka moment warning) a netbook!
Which brings me to your recycling efforts...they are splendid as they stand, but, by using old power hungry gear you might only be extending their power hungry lives.
Just a thought Skag.
121 • re. 118 (by skag at 2009-12-02 14:44:39 GMT from United Kingdom)
We've just had a TV documentary showing where 90% of the computer junk we generate ends up. This is not what we are led to believe - only a tiny fraction of our well-meaning gifts of old PCs actually end up being recycled. Have you contacted the charities or looked on Freecycle recently? If it isn't a quadcore running XP/Vista/7 they aren't interested. Too much money, not enough education/intellect?
re.119 - heatspreaders have become fashionable. Where do you think the heat comes from?!
122 • re.120 (by skag at 2009-12-02 14:56:28 GMT from United Kingdom)
"old power hungry gear you might only be extending their power hungry lives"
More mythology, I'm afraid. Ever looked on the side of PSUs? Those old AT boxes typically ran at <=200W. Furthermore, you had to bend down (oooh! painful) to push the OFF button, instead of the continuous drain of standby required by ATX types, which usually start at 300W and up, and for which a visit to the mains wall socket is required to terminate power usage. [Actually, if you can find an old miniATX board with on-board video (horrible as that might be) you can get away with a 145W PSU and 128Mb with a careful selection of compact distro and still do all the things that 90% of users require.]
123 • No subject (by kaprikornix on 2009-12-02 15:54:43 GMT from Belgium)
I just tested CDLinux 0.95 and installed it on a 8 GB SD mini card. It works. It works even well. It says Slack 11 is the father and the reference. It does not offer any possibility to download anything interesting, like VLC. It does not install Crossover or any other stuff. WINE is standard but it refuses to install Win OfficeXP. That's it. Just reporting.
124 • Waste/efficiency (by Antony on 2009-12-02 16:01:33 GMT from United Kingdom)
Computing nowadays is pretty boring. Yes, modern computers can do most anything.
Still, I miss the real deal - the days of 'home computers' and the very different relationship with computers (for me, anyway) at that time. ZX81, Dragon 32, Einstein, Amstrad, Elan Enterprise, Atari 1040ste and Amiga 1200 - then I 'progressed' to the 'PC' scene.......
What could be achieved then in 1k?
Typing in the BASIC from magazines. The magazines....have not bought one for years (yes I know, internet, but I still like to actually read stuff). PCW.....now that was a read. Magazines, and software today are ghostlike in comparison.
Having very limited hardware resources was responsible for wonderful levels of software creativity.
As usual, I've allowed myself to get a bit carried away. Sorry for being a fossil.
125 • openSUSE & OpenOffice Labels crash (by Anonymous at 2009-12-02 16:24:17 GMT from United States)
FYI. If you followed by problems regarding openSUSE and OpenOffice crashes, using Labels. I filed a bugzilla report.
Here is the ISO that fails and the accompanying MD5Sum
126 • "What could be achieved then in 1k?" (by skag at 2009-12-02 16:40:48 GMT from United Kingdom)
Rhetorical? Three men to the moon and back! Everything back then was assembler - super-efficient. Now, the kids throw a pile of picture cards together and expect it to work. Who on Earth started such a mindless lazy trend?
127 • Office suites (by Nelson Álvarez on 2009-12-02 16:47:58 GMT from Chile)
In the Q&A section about office suites you forgot to mention IBM's Lotus Symphony. It might not be free as in free speech, but it is still an excellent alternative and it's multi-platform.
128 • Re:124 (by Alan UK at 2009-12-02 17:32:37 GMT from United Kingdom)
Circa 1983 I bought a Sinclair ZX81 from a mate at work. Plugged it into a 26" colour TV and a portable cassette recorder after my parents had gone to bed.
Spent the midnight hours copying programs from a computer magazine, line
Achieved bugger all apart from a few on-screen patterns.
Put me off computers for years...
129 • re#124 (by hab on 2009-12-02 17:52:57 GMT from Canada)
I hear ya. You lucky blokes (and blokettes) in the UK (and the US) had a much greater choice of platforms than us poor colonialists.
Me, i bought an atari 400 in '81. Didn't take me long to find a real keyboard to replace the membrane piece of shite that it came with. But it was fun to get in on the "home computer revolution".
Later i bought a commodore 64 and later still an amiga 1000. Now that was a really nice computer system. Thanks to it i was able to completely avoid windows and in oct '95 i was shown Linux and have not looked back.
Ah, the days of hammering in magazine program listings. I remember them tho not necessarily with a sense of nostalgia.;)
What could be done in 1 or 2 k of ram. In retrospect that was awesome. Nowadays we need terabyte harddrives and gigabytes of ram and cpu speeds that are greater than the sum total speeds of all our previous machines.
130 • No subject (by forest at 2009-12-02 18:28:05 GMT from United Kingdom)
Skag you old wag.
Of course old kit is power hungry, lol. My old HP tower was running a 300 watt PSU and it was replaced twice in 8 years. Old h/ds might be getting a bit past it depending on usage, old fans getting a bit worn. Possibly optical drives are not as "efficient", as it were, cf todays offerings, ie better lasers, higher data packing, dual layer etc.
I would suggest that being old technology such kit is approaching the end of its design life and if worn is likely to be less efficient and possibly more power wasteful than when they were new.
Nowadays I use a recycled Dell Opti with 90 watt PSU and a recycled generic business Compaq something or other with a similar small PSU, which do all the stuff the old HP did (but faster, if that is really relevant), hence my expression power hungry.
So, I'm afraid your argument fails, lol.
131 • OpenSuse 11.2 (by pfb on 2009-12-02 18:43:23 GMT from United States)
#125 On my fourth or fifth attempt at getting a successful install, I find that Opensuse 11.2 works just about perfectly. I cannot duplicate the label crash in OO. How I got this super system was with a net install.
Prior to that I tried to upgrade my 32 bit 11.1 with zypper. That resulted in a totally useless operating system. So I took a live CD and re-installed the root stuff, leaving my /home partition unformatted. That was better, but still had problems too numerous to fight. So I replaced it with Mandriva 2010.
Not giving up on opensuse, I installed it on my 64 bit AMD machine with a live CD (64). It was almost a good system. However it had some major speed bumps with Opera. Mandriva 2010 (64) on the same machine runs Opera without a hitch.
So I replaced it with Fedora. But then, Fedora has some major speed bumps with nVidia. So, I thought I would give Suse one more try. I did a net install, which was trouble free, and possibly faster than than any other method, considering subsequent updates. The only speed bump is sometimes samba can't surf because (I think) nmb is started too early. IIRC this was a problem with 11.1 and there was a fix that involved restarting nmb some place else. But I haven't been able to find that information again. (The Internet is such a wonderful resource -- sometimes!)
I guess all this rambling boils down to a very good possibility that all my problems were a result of poor media/ISO/burn-speed/etc. If you decide to reload, I recommend the net install. I worked very well for me.
132 • Efficiency (by Patrick on 2009-12-02 21:28:41 GMT from United States)
I have to admit I am an absolute nut when it comes to efficiency, both in my trade (embedded systems) and for my personal computing. I love getting as much as possible accomplished with as little (power/cost/size) as possible. That's one of the reasons why I love Linux, although by my standards, it is often too big. It is perfect for regular computers though, and can be more efficient than hulking Windows by leaps and bounds. It is all about using the right tool for the right problem.
For my trade in embedded engineering, I deal with memory sizes in kilobytes all the time. At the moment, I am working on a rather "big" program that has to fit in a 48kB microcontroller. In my spare time, I'm working on a project that needs to run for 3 years on a CR1616 coin cell. That chip has 1kB code space. Efficient coding is still very much alive today, only not for general computing it seems. But in my trade, where chips cost about $1, we fight for every kilobyte to fit the program in the next size down that will save us $0.10 per chip, because in high volume it will save us hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.
As for my personal computing, I just replaced my power burning dual P4 home server with a $99 SheevaPlug that is running Debian's ARM branch to implement a file server, an automatic network backup system and a MythTV master backend. The SheevaPlug is a wall-wart sized computer that consumes only about 5W. It's working great, streaming recorded or live HDTV shows to my upstairs PC at only about 20% CPU usage. If anyone is interested, I wouldn't mind writing up my experiences with it.
I think efficiency in computing is still very much alive, but not very visible to the general population. The main players in general purpose computing have a large vested interest in making people dump their old stuff and buy new stuff. A great way to do that is by making bloatware (like Windows).
The real push for efficiency today is in embedded systems, where doing more with less is the best way to be competitive. And to bring this back on topic, that is why Linux is very popular in the larger embedded systems today. Lots of high quality, free code, that is flexible enough to fit any system ranging from 80MHz and 8MB to the largest supercluster.
133 • Netbooks (by Anonymous at 2009-12-02 23:34:15 GMT from United States)
Why are netbook screen sizes limited to 600 pixels vertical??
Some netbooks are like small laptops in physical size.
Is this really just a ploy to drive laptop sales?
Does anybody make a 1024x768 netbook?
134 • Various (by megadriver at 2009-12-03 00:54:25 GMT from Spain)
#100: The funny thing is I've even had this problem with some binary packages from Arch. If you don't have the jack-audio-connection-kit package installed, install the mednafen package, then try to run it. Looks like this Arch packager in particular had jack installed on his machine, so a reference to it was "silently" included in, and mednafen refused to run without it (not sure if this bug has been fixed yet, as I currently don't have Arch installed).
#103: Mmmm, I'm sure I had the "treat recommended packages as dependencies" stuff turned off. Maybe that's the reason it happened to me. But it definitively happened to me, as recently as with 9.04. Or, I dunno, maybe Ubuntu doesn't like me that much (the feeling is mutual, hehe).
#104: Indeed, USE flags are such a useful (no pun intended) thing! I'd love to see a form of them implemented in more distros.
135 • Recycling the recycling topic. (by forest at 2009-12-03 01:00:44 GMT from United Kingdom)
All this discussion of recycling prompted me to do more googling, and, ref the comment you made Skag in #121 apropos the recyclers being interested only in "top end" gear I'm wondering if the RoHS regs may influence any decision on what to accept or reject?
For those interested, and we should all be, after all it is our planet and at present we've only got the one...RoHS is short for Restriction of Hazardous Substances (currently only six proscribed but who knows what else might be added to the list?) and is allied with WEEE, see links:
There are similar directives in other countries, so you are not being left out if you don't live in Europe; google is your friend on this one.
Recycling of RoHS stuff is the stuff of nightmares for industry (read: not cheap) so it is not at all surprising such waste is exported to as yet non-complying countries (or countries where such directives are only on paper).
Which brings me back on topic...if older machines, which are not RoHS compliant, are being recycled with pre loaded GNULinux software to schools, say, are there any laws being broken and who is liable for any consequent injury in law?
Or, if the ethos of some GNULinux adherents is to only ever use non-proprietary software, would it be ethical to recycle non compliant machines to third parties?
136 • No subject (by forest at 2009-12-03 01:22:56 GMT from United Kingdom)
Ooops, should be NON RoHS stuff, sorry, it's way past my bedtime.
137 • re. 130 (by skag at 2009-12-03 05:12:40 GMT from United Kingdom)
Urban myth, old fella. Get a power meter and you'll quickly see that old kit uses a fraction of the latest HW. Patrick is on the right track, although that still requires disposal problems rather than recycling. ARM is always going to be the best option with available technology.
138 • Mandriva KDE4 live - hibernation oh no! / #117 Firefox d/l manager bug (by gnomic at 2009-12-03 05:35:41 GMT from New Zealand)
Alas - have to deduct serious points from Mandriva KDE4 2010.0 as live CD. Closed the lid on ThinkPad Z60m in running session. Half an hour later opened the machine which I noticed appeared to be hibernating. Agh!, thought I and sadly my fears were justified. The session did not resume. Blue blistering barnacles and so on. My thoughts for what they are worth - why on earth make hibernation a default behaviour with a live CD?!! What are the chances of it working? From my observations, less than 5%. In fact I don't recall seeing a live CD ever succeed.
#117 - Point taken - however the Firefox project seems to me somewhat different from an enthusiast toiling alone or with a few associates - moreover looking through the thread associated with the bug there seems no indication this reasonably significant problem is getting any attention after many moons.
139 • useless office programs (by creabor at 2009-12-03 06:13:21 GMT from Canada)
Unfortunately using office suites in Linux is pointless as the compatibility with MS Office is very poor, especially when it comes to objects, diagrams, textboxes etc.
Creators of these programs should realize that e.g. word processor is used for more than typing. If I cannot share my work with vast majority of people (who use Windows) and vice versa those programs are just waste of my hard drive space. :(
140 • @113 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-12-03 06:15:15 GMT from Canada)
"I mentioned weeks since that a "lot" of devs suggest a permanent install is unnecessary...a cynic could suggest it saves them having to deal with numerous queries along the lines of "it runs OK live but won't recognise my 'xyz' when I try to install it to h/d"...witness Adam W who makes laudable attempts to help whomever asks and is adept at damage limitation...granted installs to h/d are not his only "worries"."
Eh? I'm not aware of any developers who suggest that, I don't know any developer at MDV or RH/Fedora who doesn't use a permanent installation. I always have. It's unusual for X on MDV to work on a live boot but fail when installed, there's no intentional difference in the way things work between the two, they should be identical. skag has never provided enough information to figure out what's actually going wrong, though.
In your case I'd guess there may be a problem with the legacy NVIDIA proprietary driver which Mandriva would likely try and install to work with your older GeForce, but I haven't been keeping up to date with MDV 2010 so I can't provide any details. Have you checked MDV forums and Errata?
141 • @133 "netbook screens limited to 600 pixles vertical" (by Henning Melgaard on 2009-12-03 06:15:34 GMT from Denmark)
Well, this is an example of the power Microsoft has because of their dominant position.
Netbooks are limited to 1024x600, because Microsoft demanded it.!! Otherwise they will not allow the netbook vendors to sell netbooks with the cheap version of Windows XP.
142 • @134 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-12-03 06:19:51 GMT from Canada)
"Looks like this Arch packager in particular had jack installed on his machine, so a reference to it was "silently" included in"
Er, what? surely Arch uses a clean build environment for each package build, like any grown-up distro?
143 • @130 @137 etc re power (by Adam Williamson on 2009-12-03 06:27:28 GMT from Canada)
You're all falling over each other's anecdotal evidence. :)
A typical current mid-range desktop system uses about as much power as a typical mid-range desktop from 5 or 10 years ago, I'd say - around 200W. These days there's more variation at _both_ ends of the scale - you can buy a nettop (or just use a netbook or laptop instead of a desktop) and go down under 100W, or you can run a ridiculous gaming rig and easily go past 500W. In the past there weren't any really low-consumption or really high-consumption desktops. The high consumption of gaming rigs is due almost wholly to the graphics card - really silly modern NVIDIA ones can suck up over 200W on their own. Another part of it is the CPU; high end CPUs go up past 100W these days, whereas for most of the Pentium I to Pentium III era, somewhere around 40W was more normal, and pre-Pentium CPUs were even lower (that was back when you didn't need a fan...)
I'd say, though, as a general truism, that there needs to be a _really_ big difference in the power consumption of Old Thing and New Thing before it becomes worthwhile, in overall resource consumption terms, to dump Old Thing before the end of its serviceable life in favour of New Thing. For most electronics, something like 50% of the entire lifetime consumption of resources comes during manufacturing and shipping. So it's probably not often the most efficient thing to do to junk an old desktop and buy a new one, even if the new one's a nettop that uses half the power in regular use.
It's true that most electronics collected for 'recycling' in government-sponsored schemes wind up getting broken down into bits and recycled for metals (if recycled at all), but most areas do have charities who really will take just about anything that works and has a workable amount of RAM, and will usually find a good place for it. So that's the best thing to look out for first.
my old systems tend to lie around in pieces until I figure out something to do with 'em. I've got an Athlon XP sitting in pieces next to my TV at the moment =)
144 • re. above, several (by skag at 2009-12-03 08:36:51 GMT from United Kingdom)
"...but most areas do have charities who really will take just about anything that works and has a workable amount of RAM, and will usually find a good place for it."
As cited previously, the visual evidence, which would be very difficult to fake, shown on our documentary, strongly suggests that Joe Public is being seriously misled about their charitable donations to the detriment of the Third World in the short term and all of us in the longer term. What's new!
145 • Worried about resources...? (by TorikNo at 2009-12-03 10:37:35 from United States)
The topic this week seems to be mainly about office applications and their size. In that same vein I want to mention a window manager that seems to be taking a back seat to KDE 4 lately. I am referring to Enlightenment. I have been playing around with MoonOS recently and am very impressed with the stability and speed of this "re-spin" of Ubuntu. It runs faster than Gnome, KDE, or Xfce on my machines. If you don't care for the "busy" theme and artwork it is simple to change. Enlightenment is worth another look if your machine is feeling sluggish.
Interesting news regarding the Enlightenment window manager:
146 • Power requirements old vs new (by forest at 2009-12-03 11:28:34 GMT from United Kingdom)
Well, thanks AW for your input and also to Skag.
It seems that, and I blush to say this, there are no hard and fast truths about our subjective arguments, especially, if as you point out AW we rely on anecdotal evidence.
However AW, that does not prevent me claiming I'm using less power that a few years back, especially as I now use a flat screen, lol.
Your comments are almost there but not quite and here's why:
which is fairly comprehensive to the point of making your eyes water. From the article it seems how your machine is configured is more of a factor than you might think. This is not to be confused by how long it runs or how you use it btw.
And of course if you use a CRT or older flat screen or newer flat screen or what peripherals you use.
How your machine is configured to run means, in the hardware sense, as far as I read it, is how efficient the PSU is, how closely the PSU output matches the load and even how the supply rails are loaded. Overclocking your machine brings a whole new aspect.
Measuring the load thru' a power meter would certainly give a figure but you would have to qualify that figure ie. what task the machine was doing at that instant. The article covers that point so you can read it for yourselves.
Interestingly, with regard to the usage angle, the power consumption varies with what OS you are running.
Another article dealing with power is to be found here:
There are, as you might expect, one or two more articles to be found in google. One which I have not linked, from a US uni discusses the pros and cons of leaving a machine running 24/7 or switching it off at night, say. The power cost is insignificant compared to the costs of replacing hard drives, which were found to last longer if left running continuously and not powered up when needed.
Lastly AW, if you read the copy on a lot of distros featured in DW a comment is made about there being no need to install the distro to a hard drive, hence my earlier assertion.
Naturally, what folk actually choose to do is up to them; just because you and your fellow Fx devs run off an h/d could not be construed that everyone else does.
147 • @142 (by Allan on 2009-12-03 14:39:08 GMT from Australia)
The vast majority of Arch devs & TUs do, but others need sense beaten into them...
148 • RE: 144 Recycling (by Jesse at 2009-12-03 15:13:45 GMT from Canada)
While the documentary you saw may have been hard to fake, it doesn't tell the whole truth. As Adam pointed out, there are lots of charities all over which will take computers, clean them up and hand them over to people who want them. Around here, there are electronic recycling places which will break down and collect the materials from the components. I have personally worked with four groups thus far who will take just about any computer, fix it up and give them away. Generally these groups assist non-profit organizations, students and people on social assistance. I volunteered with a group a few years back, taking old 386 and 486 PCs and setting up in schools with minimal operating systems.
So, if you're concerned, check out some specific groups in your area. But please don't paint all recycling places and charities with the same brush, that's not how most of them work.
149 • I see the MS Office FUD train is still full steam ahead (by Duhnonymous at 2009-12-03 15:38:34 GMT from United States)
Fantasy: Microsoft owns the world and everyone uses their badly-designed, bug-ridden "software".
Reality: The majority of people use Abiword or OpenOffice, and only the extremely gullible or dangerously narrow-minded are still using MS Word.
150 • @137, 143 (by Patrick on 2009-12-03 15:40:32 GMT from United States)
Skag, you are right that I still have the disposal problem to deal with, and it is always hard to decide what will turn out to be the better option: keeping the (in my case obviously) more power-hungry gear in service and not adding to the manufacturing/disposal waste, or adding to this manufacturing/disposal waste and generating less waste myself. :)
In this case, I think overall it will be a good thing. I'm reusing two of the hard drives in the old system myself, and the rest will still be a usable system that somebody would probably want: dual P4, 1GB of RAM and 10KRPM hard drive, in a nice heavy duty workstation case. If I can sell or donate that to someone else, it might prevent them from having to buy a newly manufactured system, with its associated manufacturing waste.
Of course, once it is out of your hands, you never know what will actually happen. I have given perfecly good old systems to friends (loaded with an optimized Linux install of course), and they were perfectly happy with it. But then after half a year, they decided, with the help of big business marketing of course, that they would be "better off" with a new system with Windows Vista on it. Sigh. And for what? Some web surfing, word processing and email use. Which the old system did better than the new bloat box. It always amazes me how much money people are willing to throw away for absolutely nothing. There are gazillions of people who buy expensive, power hungry quad core systems with piles of RAM, just to surf the web. What a waste!
When I look for gear, I always follow these rules:
* What system is the best fit for what I want to accomplish? For my main system, I will usually go with mainstream, but toward the higher side of specs, because I will probably be compiling software on it. But I will not get the latest and greatest just because it is the latest and greatest. In general that is overkill, and I hate overkill. Usually I end up spending about $300 on parts.
* The smaller the better! Less materials generally means less waste during manufacturing and less to dispose of at the end of its life. It also means it takes less space in my small house. :)
* The cheaper the better! Good for the pocketbook, and you know for a fact that the manufacturer will not sell it for less than he needed to spend to make it. If the manufacturer spends less to make it, this usually means less energy and raw materials were used (or waster) to make it. Or conversely: if the manufacturer uses or wastes a lot of raw materials and energy to make it, they will have to sell it for a higher price.
* Prefer stuff that doesn't have fans. It means it doesn't burn as much energy as stuff that requires a fan. And it is quiet, as an added advantage. :)
* Avoid paying any Microsoft tax. Hmm, how can I fit that in with the energy use theme... ;) Oh, let's see: If Microsoft would be shut down, this would end the useless power use of their huge campus, all the shipping for the boxed Windows versions sent to stores, and people wouldn't need to buy new gear all the time to be able to run their bloatware... :P
151 • Macpup Foxy (by octathlon at 2009-12-03 16:05:36 GMT from United States)
I am trying out Macpup Foxy on my Eee 701 4G right now, and I am really liking it! The Enlightenment desktop works very well on the tiny screen. The default theme is pretty, but kind of hard to read for me, so I downloaded a different theme. The default apps cover almost everything what I want on my netbook. Puppy is so easy to coexist with any other OS via the frugal install, so I will definitely add Macpup Foxy alongside my Easy Peasy install. Nice job!
152 • All relevant above (by skag at 2009-12-03 16:22:21 GMT from United Kingdom)
Things are a lot better in N America, allegedly. Take a look at the heavily advertising:
They want P4s, laptops, etc. Doesn't everybody?!
153 • @132 SheevaPlug (by octathlon at 2009-12-03 18:31:36 GMT from United States)
Well, I would definitely be interested in hearing how you set up your SheevaPlug. I've thought of doing something like that, not so much for TV, just for NAS and print server, maybe also music.
154 • RE 151 MacPup foxy (by Anonymous at 2009-12-03 20:09:09 GMT from United States)
I too am impressed, it even ran flash OK out of the box on a K6/2 333mhz and 192mb ram (toram worked).
Did encounter a weird problem, some video previously working video modes (puppy 4.3.1) did not work in MacPup. Others I had to turn the monitor off and back on then worked OK. I also had to run test to build the config file or it dropped back to the command line to rerun the config program.
I too found the font small and too dark and could not figure out how to change it to something lighter.
155 • RE:61 - Mint Mumblings (by Anonymous at 2009-12-03 20:15:46 GMT from United States)
Did I miss something or is this no longer the case...
I thought you could only have 4 primary partions on a HD.
MS, 2 linux and a swap is 4. Or is Grub2 able to handle and I missed it somewhere.
BTW Mint 8 is OK with me and I agree it is a bit faster than ubuntu and it will run with 256mb of memory.
One machine did not like it, it would come up with a white or black screen with a frozen "X" cursor in the middle of the screen (Samba 1541). It was fine with 7. I can't wait till the XFCE version.
156 • @144 / 152 (by Adam Williamson on 2009-12-03 21:42:28 GMT from Canada)
My local charity has nothing to do with the third world, they just redirect the systems to needy projects locally. They specifically state "Free Geek accepts ALL computers and computer-related hardware, in ANY condition", and under "Specific Computer Equipment Needs", only list "Pentium 3 and newer computers" and "Laptops". Seems reasonable to me.
157 • @144 / 152 - Recycling (by DG at 2009-12-04 09:23:13 GMT from Netherlands)
The documentary I saw was not about recycling by refurbishing old computers, but
rather people taking old hardware for disposal at UK council-approved sites where they
were given the impression that the parts would be broken down and recycled.
Unfortunately this recycling was outsourced to contractors who sold the scrap on for
disposal in the developing countries. On the one side there were poor people and
kids in India breaking circuit boards down to reclaim components and metals, and
using or releasing toxic chemicals while doing so without the usual western health and
safety measures. On the other side, there were criminal gangs in Nigeria scanning
hard disks to extract personal information, bank details, etc. to exploit or sell on.
158 • VLOS (by Anonymous at 2009-12-04 21:58:55 GMT from Italy)
Welcome back to VLOS, AKA Vidalinux.
I thought it had gone forever.
Back then it was the most promising project aiming at making Gentoo easy for (almost) everybody.
159 • @155 Mint mumblings (by mikkh at 2009-12-05 01:41:26 GMT from United Kingdom)
Did you miss something?
Yup, Linux doesn't need to be on primary partitions. Windows is the only primary partition on my hard drive.
Mint 8 is looking better each day. It unsurprisingly made itself the default in the bootloader, and so far I haven't felt a need to change it. I've yet to try it on one of my lesser machines though
160 • Macpup Foxy 3, SRWare Iron browser based on Chromium (by gnomic at 2009-12-05 02:13:28 GMT from New Zealand)
Posting from Macpup Foxy 3 which works for me. Worth sampling, especially for those who like Enlightenment. Firefox is fitted out with Flashblock, an extension I hadn't seen before. Definitely improves the web experience for the Flash-phobic.
Came upon this today, a browser based on Chromium source.
Haven't sampled the goods, but it sounds interesting. Mentioned on a page about a Puppy version based on Barry Kauler's latest work.
161 • ARM Netbooks (by merlin at 2009-12-05 21:33:19 GMT from Canada)
I heard the first generation of ARM processor based netbooks is franticallty trying to make their way to market. ARM based netbooks promise an even lower pricepoint, lower power consumption, and performance on par or better than the Atom. And guess what? They don't run Windows. Not yet at least. So far it's Linux-only territory. ARM is working with Adobe to bring flash to these devices too, and apparently with Canonical too. Let's watch this segment and maybe have a few mini-reviews if anyone gets their hands on one. So far the only real production unit I've been able to find is the Touchbook.
162 • @161 ARM Netbooks (by merlin at 2009-12-05 21:39:02 GMT from Canada)
Error... Windows CE does have an ARM port so theoretically it could run on an ARM netbook.
163 • End of the CrunchPad (by RollMeAway at 2009-12-06 04:08:15 GMT from United States)
I have been watching this touchpad for most of this year. Sad to see it fail.
It was based on a "via nano" processor running a modified ubuntu.
The target price of $200 was creeping up to the point I likely would not have bought one anyway.
I feel sure there will be many similar products appear in 2010.
164 • #161: ARM netbooks, Linux marketshare (by Caitlyn Marti on 2009-12-06 18:48:50 GMT from United States)
I actually have an article for O'Reilly on the subject this week. The ARM-based systems are expected early in 2010. Despite the fact that 90% of netbooks sold in 2009 have Intel Atom processors Linux did regain market share this year, up to 32% to 68% for Windows. See:
165 • Asus : 1405 euros penalty ! (by glyj at 2009-12-06 19:40:09 GMT from France)
In France, it is forbidden to sell hardware-software bundle (they call this "tied sold" )
have a look:
You may translate that using uncle Google.
Number of Comments: 165
Display mode: DWW Only • Comments Only • Both DWW and Comments
|• Issue 843 (2019-12-02): Obarun 2019.11.02, Bluestar 5.3.6, using special characters on the command line, Fedora plans to disable empty passwords, FreeBSD's quarterly status report|
|• Issue 842 (2019-11-25): SolydXK 10, System Adminstration Ethics book review, Debian continues init diversity debate, Google upstreaming Android kernel patches|
|• Issue 841 (2019-11-18): Emmabuntus DE3-1.00, changing keys in a keyboard layout, Debian phasing out Python 2 and voting on init diversity, Slackware gets unofficial updated live media|
|• Issue 840 (2019-11-11): Fedora 31, monitoring user activity, Fedora working to improve Python performance, FreeBSD gets faster networking|
|• Issue 839 (2019-11-04): MX 19, manipulating PDFs, Ubuntu plans features for 20.04, Fedora 29 nears EOL, Netrunner drops Manjaro-based edition|
|• Issue 838 (2019-10-28): Xubuntu 19.10, how init and service managers work together, DragonFly BSD provides emergency mode for HAMMER, Xfce team plans 4.16|
|• Issue 837 (2019-10-21): CentOS 8.0-1905, Trident finds a new base, Debian plans firewall changes, 15 years of Fedora, how to merge directories|
|• Issue 836 (2019-10-14): Archman 2019.09, Haiku improves ARM support, Project Trident shifting base OS, Unix turns 50|
|• Issue 835 (2019-10-07): Isotop, Mazon OS and, KduxOS, examples of using the find command, Mint's System Reports becomes proactive, Solus updates its desktops|
|• Issue 834 (2019-09-30): FreedomBox "Buster", CentOS gains a rolling release, Librem 5 phones shipping, Redcore updates its package manager|
|• Issue 833 (2019-09-23): Redcore Linux 1908, why Linux distros are free, Ubuntu making list of 32-bit software to keep, Richard M Stallman steps down from FSF leadership|
|• Issue 832 (2019-09-16): BlackWeb 1.2, checking for Wayland session and applications, Fedora to use nftables in firewalld, OpenBSD disables DoH in Firefox|
|• Issue 831 (2019-09-09): Adélie Linux 1.0 beta, using ffmpeg, awk and renice, Mint and elementary improvements, PureOS and Manjaro updates|
|• Issue 930 (2019-09-02): deepin 15.11, working with AppArmor profiles, elementary OS gets new greeter, exFAT support coming to Linux kernel|
|• Issue 829 (2019-08-26): EndeavourOS 2019.07.15, Drauger OS 7.4.1, finding the licenses of kernel modules, NetBSD gets Wayland application, GhostBSD changes base repo|
|• Issue 828 (2019-08-19): AcademiX 2.2, concerns with non-free firmware, UBports working on Unity8, Fedora unveils new EPEL channel, FreeBSD phasing out GCC|
|• Issue 827 (2019-08-12): Q4OS, finding files on the disk, Ubuntu works on ZFS, Haiku improves performance, OSDisc shutting down|
|• Issue 826 (2019-08-05): Quick looks at Resilient, PrimeOS, and BlueLight, flagship distros for desktops,Manjaro introduces new package manager|
|• Issue 825 (2019-07-29): Endless OS 3.6, UBports 16.04, gNewSense maintainer stepping down, Fedora developrs discuss optimizations, Project Trident launches stable branch|
|• Issue 824 (2019-07-22): Hexagon OS 1.0, Mageia publishes updated media, Fedora unveils Fedora CoreOS, managing disk usage with quotas|
|• Issue 823 (2019-07-15): Debian 10, finding 32-bit packages on a 64-bit system, Will Cooke discusses Ubuntu's desktop, IBM finalizes purchase of Red Hat|
|• Issue 822 (2019-07-08): Mageia 7, running development branches of distros, Mint team considers Snap, UBports to address Google account access|
|• Issue 821 (2019-07-01): OpenMandriva 4.0, Ubuntu's plan for 32-bit packages, Fedora Workstation improvements, DragonFly BSD's smaller kernel memory|
|• Issue 820 (2019-06-24): Clear Linux and Guix System 1.0.1, running Android applications using Anbox, Zorin partners with Star Labs, Red Hat explains networking bug, Ubuntu considers no longer updating 32-bit packages|
|• Issue 819 (2019-06-17): OS108 and Venom, renaming multiple files, checking live USB integrity, working with Fedora's Modularity, Ubuntu replacing Chromium package with snap|
|• Issue 818 (2019-06-10): openSUSE 15.1, improving boot times, FreeBSD's status report, DragonFly BSD reduces install media size|
|• Issue 817 (2019-06-03): Manjaro 18.0.4, Ubuntu Security Podcast, new Linux laptops from Dell and System76, Entroware Apollo|
|• Issue 816 (2019-05-27): Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0, creating firewall rules, Antergos shuts down, Matthew Miller answers questions about Fedora|
|• Issue 815 (2019-05-20): Sabayon 19.03, Clear Linux's developer features, Red Hat explains MDS flaws, an overview of mobile distro options|
|• Issue 814 (2019-05-13): Fedora 30, distributions publish Firefox fixes, CentOS publishes roadmap to 8.0, Debian plans to use Wayland by default|
|• Issue 813 (2019-05-06): ROSA R11, MX seeks help with systemd-shim, FreeBSD tests unified package management, interview with Gael Duval|
|• Issue 812 (2019-04-29): Ubuntu MATE 19.04, setting up a SOCKS web proxy, Scientific Linux discontinued, Red Hat takes over Java LTS support|
|• Issue 811 (2019-04-22): Alpine 3.9.2, rsync examples, Ubuntu working on ZFS support, Debian elects new Project Leader, Obarun releases S6 tools|
|• Issue 810 (2019-04-15): SolydXK 201902, Bedrock Linux 0.7.2, Fedora phasing out Python 2, NetBSD gets virtual machine monitor|
|• Issue 809 (2019-04-08): PCLinuxOS 2019.02, installing Falkon and problems with portable packages, Mint offers daily build previews, Ubuntu speeds up Snap packages|
|• Issue 808 (2019-04-01): Solus 4.0, security benefits and drawbacks to using a live distro, Gentoo gets GNOME ports working without systemd, Redox OS update|
|• Issue 807 (2019-03-25): Pardus 17.5, finding out which user changed a file, new Budgie features, a tool for browsing FreeBSD's sysctl values|
|• Issue 806 (2019-03-18): Kubuntu vs KDE neon, Nitrux's znx, notes on Debian's election, SUSE becomes an independent entity|
|• Issue 805 (2019-03-11): EasyOS 1.0, managing background services, Devuan team debates machine ID file, Ubuntu Studio works to remain an Ubuntu Community Edition|
|• Issue 804 (2019-03-04): Condres OS 19.02, securely erasing hard drives, new UBports devices coming in 2019, Devuan to host first conference|
|• Issue 803 (2019-02-25): Septor 2019, preventing windows from stealing focus, NetBSD and Nitrux experiment with virtual machines, pfSense upgrading to FreeBSD 12 base|
|• Issue 802 (2019-02-18): Slontoo 18.07.1, NetBSD tests newer compiler, Fedora packaging Deepin desktop, changes in Ubuntu Studio|
|• Issue 801 (2019-02-11): Project Trident 18.12, the meaning of status symbols in top, FreeBSD Foundation lists ongoing projects, Plasma Mobile team answers questions|
|• Issue 800 (2019-02-04): FreeNAS 11.2, using Ubuntu Studio software as an add-on, Nitrux developing znx, matching operating systems to file systems|
|• Issue 799 (2019-01-28): KaOS 2018.12, Linux Basics For Hackers, Debian 10 enters freeze, Ubuntu publishes new version for IoT devices|
|• Issue 798 (2019-01-21): Sculpt OS 18.09, picking a location for swap space, Solus team plans ahead, Fedora trying to get a better user count|
|• Issue 797 (2019-01-14): Reborn OS 2018.11.28, TinyPaw-Linux 1.3, dealing with processes which make the desktop unresponsive, Debian testing Secure Boot support|
|• Issue 796 (2019-01-07): FreeBSD 12.0, Peppermint releases ISO update, picking the best distro of 2018, roundtable interview with Debian, Fedora and elementary developers|
|• Issue 795 (2018-12-24): Running a Pinebook, interview with Bedrock founder, Alpine being ported to RISC-V, Librem 5 dev-kits shipped|
|• Issue 794 (2018-12-17): Void 20181111, avoiding software bloat, improvements to HAMMER2, getting application overview in GNOME Shell|
|• Issue 793 (2018-12-10): openSUSE Tumbleweed, finding non-free packages, Debian migrates to usrmerge, Hyperbola gets FSF approval|
|• Issue 792 (2018-1203): GhostBSD 18.10, when to use swap space, DragonFly BSD's wireless support, Fedora planning to pause development schedule|
|• Issue 791 (2018-11-26): Haiku R1 Beta1, default passwords on live media, Slax and Kodachi update their media, dual booting DragonFly BSD on EFI|
|• Full list of all issues|
Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
View our range including the Star Lite, Star LabTop and more. Available with a choice of Ubuntu, Linux Mint or Zorin OS pre-installed with many more distributions supported. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.
|Random Distribution |
Zencafe GNU/Linux was a desktop Linux distribution designed specifically for public Internet cafés. Based on Slackware and Zenwalk Linux, it includes auto-recovery features, Internet café billing and management software, and other graphical system administration tools. Zencafe's default edition uses Xfce as the main desktop, while its "Lite" edition, designed for older or less powerful computers, installs the IceWM window manager.