Update on my Linux installation


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Old 02-23-08, 06:34 PM
L
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Update on my Linux installation

I got involved in an OS discussion here a couple of weeks ago and thought I'd post my experience with Linux so far.

The distro I'm using at the present time is PCLinuxOS, I tried several of the big name distros and this one works best for me so far. It's still no. 1 at Distrowatch so I assume that my experience is fairly typical.

I'm fairly pleased with PCLOS so far. I had some trouble with it in this computer at first, the OS would fall apart over a short time, but the fact that this seems to have stopped makes me suspect that maybe it was something I was doing that was causing the trouble. On the other hand, I ran PCLOS in an old HP Pavilion of Win98 vintage for some months and it worked fairly flawlessly.. but I used it as it was, with no attempted tweaking.

Installation is remarkable. The CD had everything on it that my 4 year old Compaq needed, installation of the operating system took around 15 minutes. All the drivers I needed were there, when the installation was finished I was online and ready to surf.

It's pretty user friendly, one thing I notice is that if I have music playing on the computer, it plays smoothly no matter what- I can open apps with the processor already at 100% of capacity (due to Folding@Home) and no gaps or hesitation in the music. Same with video playback and browsing.

Boot time reasonable- it's fast and necessary only on occasion.

I was running 256M of ram, things worked but not as well as they could have. 512M has turned out to be more than adequate for everything I need except The GIMP- that needs more ram but will run well if I shut other stuff down.

Haven't had to do any of the command-line thing ,which is good because it would probably have stopped me. I have played with it a little and I see that there's enormous potential there but I don't need it.

The wife and the daughter both complained a little (they're the sort that find change unwelcome) but have settled down and use the Linux machine with no trouble- they agree that the increased speed is worth the bit of learning it takes to use it.

So, as I state earlier in this post, I'm pretty pleased with things so far. I was able to bring a machine that was becoming useless (a failing XPsp1 OS that the Microsoft site wouldn't upgrade for me) back to usefulness and encountered a few pleasant surprises (and a few unpleasant ones) along the way.

lp
 
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Old 02-23-08, 11:26 PM
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I wonder how long you'll keep it installed though. I remember I first installed Linux when I was 13 (I'm 26 now) and while it was a great thing to do so I could learn another OS, I noticed that I was relying on Wine (windows app emulator) more than anything else. So I gave up and went back to Win.

My opinion is that Linux is a great system for servers, as it's free and provides high reliability.. but I just don't think it's ready for home use yet.
 
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Old 02-26-08, 02:52 PM
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Interesting post. I've tried a few distros but not PCLinuxOS yet. I've been running Ubuntu/Kubuntu for about 3 years now, and had YellowDog on my old Mac back in '02-03.
I only have 256mb RAM and Ubuntu can get kind of poky after a while, mostly due to Firefox being a memory hog. If I don't pay attention and open too many apps it will become exruciatingly slow and I have to do the skinny elephants keystroke sequence--RSEIUB . That's ALT+SysRq and those keys in sequence, with the phrase as a memory aid Raising Skinny Elephants Is Utterly Boring.

Recently I tried SimplyMepis 7 and find it quite a bit better than Kubuntu, and it's Ubuntu-based but is more up-to-date with software. For some reason it seems to manage memory better as I haven't had a crash once yet after a couple weeks with Firefox open almost continuously plus Thunderbird, and Gimp.

I also really like Puppy Linux but only use it for a Rescue CD when something goes wrong.

Wadee, have you tried some of the current distros? I think you will be surprised by the usefullness of Linux, and how fun it's gotten to be.
 
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Old 02-27-08, 12:37 AM
L
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A word I haven't used yet..

"Fun". Honestly, I hadn't considered it but, yes, I also find Linux to be fun. Win95 was fun too, everyone hates 95 but I liked it. Maybe I didn't know enough to be unhappy with it..

Gonna have to see if that skinny elephant command works here, thanks for the tip.

RAM is cheap on ebay right now, I got 512M of 300Mhz DDR (two sticks) for about $6 including shipping. New in the bag, Memtest says it's good RAM, it's working so far.

I'm going to try Ubuntu again some time, I tried it before PCLinux and it seemed hard (it could also be that I'm getting denser as I go downhill;-). There's a lot of people using it though, there's a huge amount of information on the Ubuntu forum.

In response to Wadee, I'll say that I expect to keep one or another flavor of Linux. I've been doing quite a lot of research on the subject and I really don't want to continue with MS. Microsoft has done some great work, they were a major driving force in the early days of the internet and that's good for all of us here, but they're going in a direction that I don't want to go.

lp
 
 

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