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sssiippp...

By Caffiend ·
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Me and the Penguin

by Caffiend In reply to sssiippp...

Working with Windows these 'lo many years I decided to turn my interests elsewhere and have begun to take on the little guy in the tux known as Linux. Something new, something different, something challenging. I'm no programmer and I don't know VB from .Net so working with Linux has been quite fun. I first tried a copy of Red Hat back in '99 and I thought it was pretty cool until I rebooted and lost the taskbar which really disappointed me seeing that I was holding on to my hat to be blown away by the alternative desktop. But talk about whole countries moving over to the os piqued my interests once again and I tried a couple of live CD's which really did impress me. For now I've been trying different distro's in an attempt to find os nirvana. Some are really impressive and others are so-so. I'll let you know what I find as I go along.

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Fedora Core 4 Test 3

by Caffiend In reply to sssiippp...

I was running Ubuntu on my daughter?s pc which is one of my favorite distros. Aside from being a well designed package Ubuntu is just a cool word to say. But something happened during the last update where the administrator settings and the package manager/update utility refused to launch. No window, no error, just nothing. So I figured it was time to try something new seeing that Ubuntu was living large for 3 months now. I downloaded the ISO for Fedora Core 4 Test 3 (because I like trying the latest and the greatest). The installation went well and the gnome desktop loaded and it looked great. Then I got a message stating there were updates available via a big blinking red icon in the sys tray that looked like a logo for ?The Incredibles? or something. So I said 'ok, update away'. It returned a list of available updates, a dozen or so choices. I clicked on 'select all packages' and it checked off the first one on the list but none of the rest. Worse yet the handy 'next' button remained grayed out. So I manually checked off a couple but guess what? That 'next' button stayed nice and grayed out. I rebooted thinking maybe there was a fluke. And I tried it again. Alas that 'next' button refuses to go any further. So at about twelve o'clock at night I'm goggling the problem and found that it's one of those 'known problems' that many people have come across using this version. Of course everyone has the same problem but no one quite has a resolution to it. Some suggested using something called 'yum' instead which is kinda like 'apt' in Ubuntu/Debian. So I tried that and I got a nice error message that one of my sources was invalid and it could not continue. Thus no update for me. A shame too because Fedora looked interesting enough to keep using. But then that's what happens when you use the TEST version, DOH! I?ll come back to it once they have the final version out.

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Sun Java Desktop

by Caffiend In reply to sssiippp...

I loaded up a copy of Sun's Java Desktop which is also Linux based. The installation went pretty smooth and it boots up quick. What makes me laugh though is that Sun went out of their way to put their logo all over the OS. It's on the start button, it's on the title boxes, it's just everywhere. Lest we forget who put this version together! It comes with some nice packages like StarOffice which is fancier than Open Office and of course integrated Java (and I do like me the java). The only thing was it could not detect my sound card. Yes, it's an older sound card, Sound Blaster AWE32 but it is name brand, not some cheapie knockoff you buy at a computer show for 8 bucks, thus the drivers should be in there somewhere. I tried running their version of Yast and so forth but nope, no sound for me. Everything else looks great though; easy menu, well labeled icons and everything you need to run an actual desktop or workstation. Okay, maybe not the big purple start button which you can't change. But then I?m too much about style and I'm just being picky. Another interesting thing is that instead of a version of RealPlayer it comes with a version called HelixPlayer which I understand RealPlayer is based on. Kinda like using FireFox instead of Netscape. Smooth video, no sound. All in all it?s cool to run something that has a big name behind it like SUSE who has Novell now. It makes you feel that someone is actually trying to do big things with Linux. I?m actually a bit surprised at how much of an uphill battle they have had since I first tried it way back when. I had assumed by now they would have had greater hardware and software support the way of the Mac. Wouldn?t it be cool to pick up a box of software and read on the side that it supports Windows, Mac AND Linux? I guess the problem being is that if it were that easy and it being free there would be a mass exodus to Open Source. I?m guessing they will pretty much remain the underdog of the technology universe. But that?s what also draws me to it. I always root for the underdog. w00t!

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Foresight Linux

by Caffiend In reply to sssiippp...

<p>Next:  I found a link to a site for a distro of Linux called Foresight Linux, because your desktop should be cool.  It comes with the latest and the greatest such as a desktop tool called 'Beagle' and a photo organizer called 'F-Spot'.  Built with the Gnome desktop it had a really nice installer and user setup. I really was pleased with this distro and thought it really did look 'cool' as it's website proposes.  So I decided to **** away my current distro of Suse 9.2 on my laptop and load Foresight.  The install went on without a hitch and I was up and running...except...my laptop uses a wireless card.  It's an older model Linksys Wi-Fi 802.11b.  Now of course when I say older in the tech world it's really only about 3 years old.  Of course with Windows XP and the proper driver I'm able to connect to my Wi-Fi router with no problems including being able to create a WEP encryption password at 256 bits.  Now with Linux that is another story.  Most of the live CD's I've tried have had a very hard time recognizing the Linksys card.  With the distro's I've tried some do (like Ubuntu) and a lot don't (like Slax).  With Foresight it comes with the Gnome 'Network Tools' configurator.  (yes, configurator, like the little alien dude with the green helmet from Bugs Bunny says)  It could see the built in ethernet card on the laptop but it did not recognize the Linksys card.  When I created a new connection it presented me with a nice long list of drivers but nothing came close to saying Linksys or as some distros say Prism.  So long story short I could not go wireless with Foresight because it didn't like my 802.11b pcmcia card.  Waa!  I've also noticed that on many, actually, all of the distros I've used so far if I am lucky enough for them to see and activate my card don't like it when I turn on the encryption option.  Does Linux not like 256 bits?  Maybe it can't support it?  It works fine with WEP turned off but turn that thing on and you got no connect.  Ah vell,  I don't have any super secreative information being transmitted to and fro.  But it would be nice just for ha ha's!  I did try a live distro of one called Mono which has a very cool logo of a monkey in a shadow which I thought was an actual distro but it turns out Mono is a set of tools which you can use for development in Linux and Windows and they were using the live CD as a sort of showcase.  The distro in the background was a debian/gnome/ubuntu deal which I've always found impressive.  Anyways, it found and connected with my card with no issue.  It was quite awesome.  Althought no WEP of course.  :)</p>

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