The Geek In Me Speaks – VI

Here’s the status as I get ready for bed. Mandrake Linux is up and running. The laptop has no sound. There is neither Java or Flash with the browser. The wireless LAN is perfect, though I have no idea where I administer it from. I haven’t tried a wired NIC card yet. Printing over the network to my laser printer works.

I have lost both my taskbar and icons. The icons were part of a bug that I may have fixed. I followed info on Mandrake’s knowledge base. I have no idea why the taskbar disappeared, but not having it makes it difficult to do anything… including reboot. Once I did that, the taskbar was back.

I have installed OpenOffice, Gaim and Mozilla – none of which seemed to come with the distribution natively.

I hope this isn’t too boring.

3 thoughts on “The Geek In Me Speaks – VI”

  1. Geoff,

    I feel your pain regarding the linux installation, but I have to share a caveat that I think should be on the first install splash screen.

    The disclaimer should say something to the effect that you should not try a desktop installation with less than ~600 Mhz CPU and >64MB RAM and >16MB video memory if you want a pleasant experience. This is my personal opinion.

    I have installed linux (RedHat primarily) on a number of PCs and laptops and machines that were below these specs were painful for a desktop environment.

    However, if you are looking to just run a mail server, DNS, iptables, etc – then that is another issue.

    Your ~300Mhz(?)/ 64MB(?) laptop probably makes you a believer.

    It’s unfortunate that your first exploration into linux was this difficult, but I think you would have fared better with a more modern hardware configuration. Sometimes the open source community is too quick to brag about minimum specs for linux. Yeah, it runs, but like you said – like a pig.



  2. Actually, Mandrake and KDE seems to be a little more light on its feet than Red Hat and Gnome. And, today another 64mb stick came in the mail, so we’re up to 128mb. The Windows hd is in now, as my wife is using that laptop and I have my Vaio at work to use the DVD tonight.

    This wasn’t my first install. In fact, this is a RH9 install I’m typing on now. It’s my utility machine at work and where I do most of my non-graphical work.

    I am trying Mandrake 9.2 and have already found some problems, which have been reported. Icons and the entire taskbar disappear but can be recovered. On the other hand, I think their method of installs and updates is a little easier than RHN. Time will tell for sure.

  3. I’ve played with Linux for years. I use Mandrake as well. The joke is that the operating system software is free but the books and your time costs hundreds of dollars. I find Linux is best for network servers rather than desktop use.

    IMHO, KDE or any Linux Windowing environment needs about the same computer speed as Microsoft Windows. On the other hand, Linux can run in command line mode (like DOS, but really UNIX). This is where it shines on old computer equipment.

    I run a dual PII 333 MHz file server for my home network. (Linux uses both CPU’s.)A PI 166 runs my firewall/router to the internet without a hard disk (see LEAF on Google). The networking protocol implementations are more robust then Windows.

    The PIIx2 computer with Mandrake handles file transfers faster than my P4C 2.6 gigahertz w/hyperthreading and 800MHx side bus and Windows XP Professional!

    Now if you want to use one PC as a TIVO like PVR, store video on your hard disks and serve it all over your house via ethernet to your TV’s in the house –like me– then you will also use a TV set top box that will use Linux without you even knowing it.

    Linux has it’s uses. It won’t replace Windows on the desktop.

    For me Linux is a great TCP/IP network tool.

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