Mostrando entradas con la etiqueta mepis. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando entradas con la etiqueta mepis. Mostrar todas las entradas

domingo, 21 de julio de 2013

My Revised Wish List

In February, I wrote a small list of the releases that I wanted.  It was sort of a wish list of Linux distros.

The first three items have been granted:  Mageia 3 is powering most of the computers at home (I upgraded the Mageia 2 partition on Eimi's desktop PC today), Pardus Anka was released as Pisi GNU/Linux Beta Sueño (which also has a partition on my laptop), and I am typing this entry using OpenMandriva LX beta on my desktop PC, now with sound and the ability to access my other HD partitions.

That means that I'm only missing Mepis and Elive from that original list.

My birthday is pretty close.  Then time seems to fast forward and, in a blink, it will be Christmas and 2013 will have ended.

Allow me to daydream and revise my wish list.  This time, I'll organize it in software and hardware.

A.  Software
  1. Mepis. This distro always surprises me with its stability.
  2. Elive. I really want to see this distro in action.  It will give me the opportunity to start learning how to use Enlightenment.
  3. Voice command running on Linux.  C'mon!  Windows 8.1 Blue is trumpeting this feature as an innovation, when the Linux netbook that I bought in 2009 could do it.  So can my wife's ancient Asus Eee PC 901.   Granted, Mageia 3 now runs Jovie and Kmouth like a champ, but I miss the voice command.  I have tried PerlBox Voice to no avail, so I dream on. 
B.  Hardware

  1. The elusive Vivaldi tablet.  I'm waiting for this one eagerly.
  2. A new laptop with Linux preinstalled.  I am studying my options here.  (Interestingly, now I have options.  Times change, oh you would not believe how times change, Ballmer!)  I have seen that I can get Suse and Ubuntu machines from Dell and HP.  However, given that Megatotoro had a wonderful experience with ZaReason, I might go for one of their excellent offerings.
  3. A Firefox OS phone.  I am one of those rare individuals who have refused to own a mobile phone in this era.  I don't  like them.  Nevertheless, the carrier that starts selling a Firefox OS phone here will get me as a costumer.  I guess I am one of those rare individuals that does care about the OS of the phone, too, and with Mozilla being attacked by protecting individuals instead of advertising companies, I root for Firefox.

So that's my wish list ;-)

UPDATE: Tuxmachines.org reports that there is progress regarding the Vivaldi tablet.   Great!!!

viernes, 23 de diciembre de 2011

I give up; my search for the perfect Linux rescue distro is over

When I discovered Linux two years ago, I started looking for what I called "The Perfect Rescue Distro", a somewhat mythical distribution that fitted into a CD, could mount Windows partitions, play all sorts of video/audio formats, include a productivity suite, decent image-manipulating tools, and burn backups...all in Live mode. Hence, over these two years, I have tested lots of distributions and some of them came really close to the ideal. I felt as if the Holy Grail was between an arm's reach.

However, something happened and I must abandon my quest. I never found what I was looking for; all distros I tested lacked either one feature or another. So, yes, I give up; I declare that my search for the perfect Linux Rescue Distro is officially over.

What made me abandon what once was my fundamental motivation to use Linux?

To begin with, 2011 was a real convulsive year in the Linux world. No, I will not talk about Ubuntu and its Unity UI; the distro that attracted me to Linux was Mandriva 2009, not Canonical's child.

Mandriva stumbled and, before I knew, I was not only using Mandriva, but also Pardus, Mepis, Mageia, and PCLinuxOS. I never distro hopped: all those beautiful OSs share my hard drives and I became pampered by the simplicity of Mepis, the consistency of Pardus, the familiarity of Mageia, and the responsiveness of PCLinuxOS. All Linux OSs interconnect, so I do not need to reboot to get my files from a different partition.

Along my process of adaptation, the role of the different communities was central. Everyday I go online, I visit the forums of those distros and I have learned about computers and technology as I had never in my life. For example, thanks to the help (and jokes) of PCLinuxOS users, the laptop that once sported a Windows 7 OS now boots three different Linux systems...and Microsoft's products were wiped out from the HD without any regret.

You see, it is this empowerment that made me abandon my quest for the perfect Rescue Distro. As I became a user of multiple Linux OSs, I discovered that my once primordial drive to use Linux was meaningless: there is not anything to rescue any longer! My computers work as they have never done it: now they are quick, efficient, and aesthetically-pleasing. I have no reason to use Windows and, consequently, I do not need to worry about how to rescue it.

With Linux, using a computer and retrieving files cannot be easier...even for a non-technical user like me. My search was over and I had not even realized it.

lunes, 24 de enero de 2011

My Netbook running Pardus 2011

So I installed Pardus 2011 as a third booting option in my netbook. I'm running Mandriva, Mepis, and now Pardus (Yes, no windows in my netbook) and I must say that it is working perfectly. I haven't had any plasma crash and everything looks nice. I even used the new Firefox to find pictures (Pardus picks up the wi-fi without any problem) and the GIMP to modify them. The result was this simple wallpaper ;-)

There are certain points that one has to notice:
1. Mepis can access the Pardus home partition, but Mandriva can't.
2. Pardus and Mandriva handle KDE effects better than Mepis does.
3. The Mandriva control center is still the most centralized and user-friendly tool for handling everything in the system.
4. Mandriva has access to Pardus through Samba
5. Mepis helped me make room for Pardus because Mandriva would not resize the home partition.
Well, I'm happy with the three operating systems. They have very interesting features and their stability is certainly notorious.

Here's the KWIN desktop grid effect in Pardus

I've also discovered that having three Linux systems is helping me organize my writing production.

viernes, 17 de diciembre de 2010

Intellectual work, speeches, and Linux

After a week of buzzing academic work in the University, the II Congress of Modern Languages is over. It was a successful reunion of international participants and speakers who, with their intellectual stimulation, made that activity a memorable one.

Megatotoro and I had to prepare a speech and a workshop. The former was on gender issues and criticism. The latter aimed at teaching colleagues how to use GNU/Linux & FOSS to solve common problems involving technology... nothing fancy, as both of us are plain users, not computer gurus.

The Speech

As I commented previously, Megatotoro and I gave a speech on masculinity in the Japanese film Shall We DANSU?. Since the presentation was made using mainly open source software (which includes programs we had never used before), I consider that it is relevant to post my after thoughts about that particular activity. Apparently, the audience liked the speech and I know that part of its success was due to the fact that we could rely on software that not only acted as expected but also displayed the information beautifully. Basically, the speech consisted of a Prezi presentation running on Wine (waiting to be summoned, on desktop # 2) complemented by some clips taken from the movie via Avidemux, which were opened as a playlist in Kaffeine (hidden, sitting on desktop #4). We used my netbook (running Mandriva 2010 Spring) and we started with nothing on desktop # 1. As we moved to desktop #2 for the presentation, the change of the cube got the attention of the audience, that was probably expecting a traditional PowerPoint slide show. Prezi might not be as fancy as Open Office.org transitions, but its novelty did catch the participants' eyes... and then we switched from desktop # 2 to #4 to display the clips. This was easily done thanks to KDE Kwin's cube.

The result: many positive comments after the speech was over. One of them was particularly meaningful for us, as it came from an intellectual giant who was a former professor of ours, a woman whose incisive criticism made us question lots of gender/literary/social paradigms as we coursed undergraduate and graduate school.

I wish I could say that our argumentation was effective...but I know that much of the success of this talk comes from the technological delivery. I feel happy because I can trust my OS. Linux has never betrayed me in public.


The Workshop on Technology

All I can say is that it was heartwarming to see the reception that this workshop had. We made 25 Mandriva CDs, 25 SimplyMepis CDs and some bootable flashdrives. Yes, we were prepared to work with 25 people, expected no more than 10, and ended up working with 28 participants, who were very happy because we gave them the CDs and the flashdrives as a present.
Someone told me that several people were sad because they could not register for the workshop. This activity was also successful.

I'd love to get into the details, ... except that Magatotoro already did it.

domingo, 28 de noviembre de 2010

And I thought I was daring!

Those who saw the 1989 movie entitled "Dead Poets Society" might remember Mr. Keating's romantic words concerning "living life to the fullest". As the English teacher, he would use the powerful poetry of Walt Whitman and Robert Frost, among others, to urge his students to break out from the shell and be daring.

Yesterday, I posted an entry on how I decided to use Linux and Open Office in my yearly report presentation for the University Professor Assembly, and I really thought I was being daring then.

However, I realized that there are others who are far more daring than I was or could have been. How about risking your chances of finishing your studies in a graduate program to prove that open source software and Linux can be used in a demanding professional context? Read about this experience here.

That is being daring!

domingo, 17 de octubre de 2010

Is Ubuntu 10.10 the perfect rescue distro?

The coming of Canonical's new release, Maverick Meerkat, has stirred a beehive and we hear a lot of noise among Ubuntu fans lately. Claims like "the best Ubuntu release", "the fastest boot up", and "a truly horrible wallpaper" were repeated in many blogs. All these words in the wind have stung my curiosity.

Although I am not particularly a fan of Ubuntu, in my quest to find the perfect rescue distro, I decided to download the Meerkat Live CD and give it a try. One never knows...maybe Canonical discovered the philosopher's stone.

A rescue distro is what I call a GNU/Linux distribution that can help a computer user backup, restore, and modify files from other OSs sitting on different partitions. That is, a rescue distro does not need to be installed to achieve that purpose, otherwise most Linux distros would do the trick. Another characteristic that I ascribe to a rescue distro is its ease of use: a plain computer user should be able to resort to it without a great deal of effort or technical training.

Can the Meerkat enter the arena and claim the crown? To discover Ubuntu's potential as a rescue distro, I ran my newly-downloaded distro and
I found that the fast boot claim is true, even for a Live CD. The Meerkat started in less than 1:45 minutes, beating my install of SimplyMEPIS 8.5 and the boot of Mandriva 2010.1 ONE in Live mode (which takes a lot longer). There is a catch, however. Even though you see the familiar aubergine desktop, it is not ready for use: you get the installation/trial screen next. So, I chose "try" and the boot up sequence got a little prolonged. I could use the system after 3 minutes had elapsed. That is rather fast for a Live CD in my opinion.

Unfortunately, I cannot say anything about what new features Ubuntu brings for I am not familiar with this Linux distribution. I was not crazy about the wallpaper, but it was not so disturbing as the one I had seen Ubuntu fans criticize so much. I had also heard that this Ubuntu release would bring LibreOffice instead of OpenOffice.org, but I saw the latter.

Positive Side: performance and software
I liked the fact that you get an automatic preview of .ogg sound files by just hovering over the icon (this feature does not work with MP3s, though).
Firefox (3.6.10) runs fast, too. The dictionary is a nice add-on. Hibernation seems to be working (I am not sure because I was running a Live CD, but the computer reacted as it should have). Both my USB card reader and my MP4 player were supported. Wired network connectivity was perfect.

Negative Side: performance
Interestingly, Ubuntu Software Center crashed when I was just browsing the options the first time I used the Live CD (I tried to replicate the crash unsuccessfully, so maybe it was an isolated problem).

Although other partitions are mounted, the Meerkat did not let me delete files from any of them. I can copy files to a Windows partition from Ubuntu 10.10, but it is impossible to copy to or delete files from my Mandriva partition and, therefore, I must conclude that the Maverick Meerkat does not outperform SimplyMEPIS 8.0 for rescuing a troubled OS in Live mode. Maverick Meerkat might be very good to recover files from Windows in Live mode, but it did not work with a Linux system like Mandriva.

I must keep looking.

miércoles, 13 de octubre de 2010

SimplyMepis 8.5 Challenge: Conclusions

Although Xandros introduced me to the world of Linux, Mandriva was my definite choice for both desktop and netbook use. I am a regular computer user, not a techie, so Mandriva became a perfect selection because it is easy to use, beautiful, and functional. However, among the many Linux distributions, there is one that generally goes unnoticed: SimplyMEPIS. This is a distribution that can beat Mandriva's simplicity and, thus, I decided to install it and test it for a week to compare them. Of course, my feedback is not technical; my impressions are those of a common computer user that has used Mandriva for almost two years without any formal Linux training. In the last days of my experiment, this is what I saw:

A. Repositories: Synaptic vs Mandriva Control Center
I had assumed that my previous usage of Synaptic in Linux Mint was enough training to use Synaptic in SimplyMepis. However, I stumbled on the installation of VLC because I used the Debian repositories for that purpose and they have dependency conflicts. I tried to undo what I did, but I could not trace my steps back appropriately and could not improve the quality of video.
However, I could solve the low volume problem. I also had some problems adding the Mepis Community Repositories.
I guess that my problems were generated because you cannot transfer the experience of using Mandriva Control Center to Synaptic so easily after all. In Mandriva, you have Mandriva repositories by default, so it never occurred to me that you had to add Mepis Community Repositories manually.

B. KDE/Plasma crashes
Even though both distributions work with KDE very well, they both have certain issues:
MEPIS: When opening kmplayer, KDE crashes. I think that it is because of the mess I made with codecs trying to install VLC. Sometimes MEPIS suspends the composition and the effects are therefore disabled temporarily.
MANDRIVA: The clock sometimes freezes (only in the netbook). This is corrected by enabling the display of seconds in the clock options.

Concerning performance and ease of use, both distributions can satisfy the needs of users who lack technical computer knowledge or formal Linux training. I feel that SimplyMepis might be a better choice for users who want a simple system and do not really care much for eye candy. In addition, Mepis comes with Java pre-installed, whereas you must install it in Mandriva.

I decided to keep Mepis next to Mandriva in my netbook's HD for further learning.

jueves, 7 de octubre de 2010

Simply Mepis 8.5 challenge: the first four days

I decided that it was time for me to test SimplyMepis 8.5, so that I could have a closer impression of this efficient Linux distribution to write a non-technical review. As I promised, I have been running SimplyMepis consistently for four days now and these are my first findings:

DAY 1: Access to networks and browser customization
Mepis magic was a perfect match for Mandriva magic concerning picking up networks, both wired and wireless. I had to do absolutely nothing: just click to see the available networks and then click again to pick one Actually, I am typing this post from Mepis, using a wireless connection down here in campus four days after the experiment started. I downloaded my favorite add-ons for Firefox and customized it.


DAY 2: Desktop configuration and package installation
I had anticipated that, being a Mandriva user, the lack of an orchestrator of all the processes in Mepis could bother me a little. After all, Mandriva Control Center has become an innovation that some other Linux distributions aspire to emulate. However, my previous training with Linux Mint enabled me to use Synaptic without a great effort. Visually, there was a difference between downloading packages with Synaptic and doing it with MCC, but it was nothing to be traumatized about. I tried to customize the KDE desktop a little. I noticed some unresponsiveness of the desktop cube, but that was nothing I ignored, so I counted it as a minor bother. What actually became a major headache was the placement of four different wallpapers on each side of the cube. Everytime I booted the computer, the wallpaper images would play hide and seek with me. Sometimes, the images I selected went to a different cube side; some other times, they would be replaced at random and I would get a solid light blue wallpaper instead. I was also familiar with that behavior because Mandriva 2010 (Adelie) was shipped with the same KDE environment and, consequently, would show the same Kproblem...after several trials, I think that the four wallpapers have finally stabilized.

Package installation went fine. I installed Cheese! for the cam (it can take snapshots, but I do not get cam image) and then tried to install aMSN. That was a real problem because it would not finish installing a dependency, so used Kopete.

DAY 3: More installation and configuration
I tried installing aMSN again and it turns out that a Debian server might have been down because the installation went smoothly. Aside from that, there is not much to say because the computer is working perfectly.

DAY 4: General use
I have used SimplyMepis for my everyday work (typing letters, checking email, sending documents, opening video/audio files) and it has met all my needs magnificiently. I hardly find any problem other than my Mandriva customary behavior. Well, and maybe the visual impact was also a minor concern when I started. However, I am used to seeing the Mepis dark blue by now.

To sum up, my experience as a Mandriva user handling Mepis is satisfactory up to this point. SimplyMepis is not simply a disappointment. I think that it rivals Mandriva in its KDE handling...maybe a simplified experience than the one I am used to with Mandriva, but Mepis had given me little to complain about.

What's next? The following days I will try a multimedia class. This will let me assess the video display and the sound quality.

domingo, 3 de octubre de 2010

A challenge for a Mandriva user: SimplyMepis!

After I read Megatotoro's stats on his Mepis experience here, and the honest and motivating reviews of SimplyMepis 8.5 by Susan Linton and Rudresh Jariwala, I decided that it was about time for me to try this admirable Debian-based Linux distribution on a consistent day-to-day basis.

I mean, I have seen it work before and I even gave a SimplyMepis Live CD it to a colleague who trashed his XP system in a way I would have never imagined possible. Thanks to Mepis, we could back up his files...and resurrect his computer! I even used Mepis myself to achieve the same purpose when I was learning about Mandriva 2009 and my experiments went seriously wrong.

It is not that I am letting Mandriva go. As a Desktop Linux, I am extremely satisfied with Mandriva 2010 Spring. However, as a rescue distro, Mandriva is not a good choice: you neither have software for burning, nor access to other partitions in Live mode, which is not convenient if something happens to your Windows system.

What happens if you, like me, experiment with your Linux and break it? To be able to rescue my files sitting on the Mandriva partition, I had Linux Mint Gloria as a second boot choice in my netbook. I kept this Ubuntu-based distribution in another partition of my Dell Inspiron Mini10 and I used it from time to time, attracted mainly by its green freshness. Nevertheless, to be honest, despite Mint's elegance, I decided that it was time for me to share the house with Mepis, the poor prince, one of the least known Linux distributions that actually does its work well.

Megatotoro was kind enough to remove Gloria and install Mepis for me, after which, as in the Sioux hanblecchia, I was left alone on the hilltop...or, more accurately, inside the Mepis pyramids. This is the beginning of my challenge: For the next week, I will only use Mepis on my netbook to feel the differences. Remember, since I am not a computer guru, all I have is my limited empiric access to this fascinating world.

What do I think I might find problems with?
Well, the lack of the Mandriva Control Center will probably bother me a little, I can anticipate. The slow Kwin effects might also be an issue. In spite of that, I am willing to learn; I want to openly experience Mepis and I will log my observations later.

jueves, 9 de septiembre de 2010

Las particiones de Mandriva: ventajas y desventajas

Las HP Mini me están empezando a cansar. ¿Por qué HP vende netbooks con el disco duro tan particionado? Cuatro particiones (y dos prácticamente inútiles) son demasiadas. Además, eso impide que uno pueda fácilmente instalar Mandriva, ya que esta distribución Linux crea tres particiones: la partición de sistema, la de swap, y la de home (datos del usuario)

La ventaja del particionado de Mandriva radica en que, si por alguna razón uno debe reinstalar el sistema, sencillamente puede hacerlo formateando la partición de sistema. Todos los datos, elementos personalizados y archivos del usuario se mantendrán intactos. De esta forma, su computadora estará TOTALMENTE lista en cosa de media hora.

La desventaja es que, cuando el OEM misteriosamente crea cuatro particiones, es más difícil para un usuario inexperto instalar Linux. ¿Será esta una nueva técnica para impedir que los "usuarios satisfechos" con Windows 7 Starter migren a Linux?

sábado, 19 de junio de 2010

No One Takes Linux Seriously Until...


Find the computer that works in the picture above.

Yes, nobody takes Linux seriously until you are face to face with the Blue Screen of Death, your system refuses to start, or maybe it does, but then it goes into a never ending loop of booting. I have never experienced anything like this in Linux. All those critical moments become particularly nerve-racking when you depend on your computer for turning in a vital assignment, when you are waiting for an important document file, or the day in which you must retrieve information that happens to be stored only inside your HD.

WHAT TO DO: LIVE CDs
You want to give Linux a chance but you are afraid of "not understanding it"? Well, remember that you can RUN the Linux OS from a CD or DVD without installing anything to your computer! All you have to do is put it on the CD/DVD tray and run it. It's as simple as that. Of course, you must remember that the performance is going to be a bit slower, but this way you can learn about Linux without committing to a full migration until you are ready for it.

If you practice with a Live CD of your favorite distro, next time your Windows computer crashes, you will be ready to operate it temporarily using Linux. A colleague of mine (who happens to break his computer from time to time with the aid of the most destructive viruses I've ever seen) started his computer, checked his email, and browsed the Web this way for almost a month before we could restore his Windows XP. I personally don't recommend surviving on a Live CD for so long, but it was his choice and Linux was up to the job.

If you practice, you will use your knowledge about Linux for your personal advantage in a crisis.

OK, I started the system with a Live CD...
Now, how do I get my file?

First, if you want to rescue a fle, you must have a USB stick to save the file to it. You must be familiar with Windows Explorer (not the browser, the file manager). Well, in Linux, there are several file managers, like Dolphin. Open Dolphin from the system tools menu and, to the left, you will see the different partitions on your HD. Explore them to find the Windows partition and then locate the folder where your file is. Once you see it, right click on it and copy it to a USB drive. If it is a document file and you want to work with it, Open Office will open it and you can change it. Just be careful and make sure you save it to your USB drive.

WARNING: This process works particularly well in Mepis. You get a desktop environment similar to Windows (KDE), which facilitates things for Windows users. You can also do it from Ubuntu Live CD, but you must take into account that this distro uses a desktop environment that is more like Mac (Gnome). Don't panic, the bar is up, not down, but you'll get used to it. Mandriva might not let you open the Windows partition from a Live CD, but you can do this if you have a dual boot (Windows/Mandriva). Some other distros may not come with an office suit (like Vinux), so check first.

miércoles, 16 de junio de 2010

That Linux Attitude...

I might be very passionate about Mandriva Linux, granted. After all, not experiencing a single virus attack for over a year of heavy internet surfing WITHOUT an antivirus can be very motivating. The BEAUTY of the system itself contributes, too. Seeing that a computer can be used safely, simply, and even artistically by people who where formerly paralyzed by fear is what makes me tell others about Linux.

I want to tell the world : "No more blue screens! No more panic! No more sluggish performance after a while!" That is how I see Linux: as a friendly community, as people who care for others and want to help computer users in need.

Windows users generally know very little about Linux. When they become interested and decide to try it, as they think that Linux is ONE OPERATING SYSTEM, they retreat baffled when they hear about Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Mepis, Xubuntu, Mandriva, Mint, PCLinuxOS, Tuquito, Sabayon, OpenSuse, Fedora, Debian, Slackware...or any other of the 300 available distributions.

Just imagine this poor Windows user locked in a room, surrounded by 300 bouncing penguins crying out: "Try me, try me, TRY M-EEE!" Appalled, the user yells: "But which one is Linux??" For two or three seconds, the penguins remain quiet and then, with a renewed vigor of bouncing,the penguins synchronize their squalling...the sound wave hits the ears of this person: "I AM!!!"

I felt that way when I decided to give Linux a try. However, that is not the point of my discussion.

Windows users sometimes feel reluctant to approach Linux because of how Penguin lovers treat them. Windows might be a flawed OS, but throwing stones at its users does not help them.
After all, most Linux users were Windows users once.

As there are Linux distributions and forums, there are communities behind them. Some of them are friendly and welcome new Linux users; others scare them away. Everyone should know this.

In my navigations through forums, I realized that there are Linux distros that I dare not touch, not because of the distro itself, but BECAUSE OF THE COMMUNITY BEHIND IT.

No offense, but although I personally dislike Ubuntu (the distro) and its company (Canonical), the community is wonderful. They work hard to HELP and maybe that's one of the reasons behind Ubuntu's popularity. The Ubuntu slogan ("Linux for human beings") becomes a reality in Ubuntu's community.

Mandriva's community is amazing. They welcome you as a member, help you, and TEACH you, not only about Mandriva, but also about off-topics. They even have a community chat where everyone can start threads about virtually ANYTHING. They do not offend you, even if you offend them with real silly questions. I once read a thread posted by a person who asked for help to UNINSTALL MANDRIVA AND PUT WINDOWS. I thought the Mandriva forum administrators were going to butcher him, but people replied and helped him... maybe not very happily, but they taught him what he wanted to know.

Mepis forums might be small, but they are cozy. There, I read a post that went like this: "Although it is probably late for saying this, let me say it: WELCOME TO MEPIS!" How good is that, I ask? You really feel you mean something in Mepis.

Now, again, without meaning to offend, I won't go anywhere near PCLOS... I understand the value of one's own exploration, etc., but, plainly, their forum rules make you feel UNWANTED there.

So, people should really think about this before starting their trip to TUX Land...Please remember that turning against Windows users or novice Linux users antagonizes the very spirit of Free Software: the COMMUNITY is the POWER OF TUX.