Category Archives: Netbook Friendly

What to look for in a Standard Linux Distribution-Introduction

I have talked about practically all the possible combinations of Live and Standard Linux it is time for me to wind up with a guide for selection of a distribution without giving a particular distribution.I will not go into hardware compatibility even though it is a major issue since what innovation are round the corner is difficult to predict after this iPod and mobile utility craze is over and done with it.

But before that I must tell you my favorites without any order of merits.

I go for several light weight distributions and for one Gorilla Edition.

The Gorilla Edition is PCLinuxFullMonty which is almost comprehensive and lacks only XBMC but that also can be downloaded.

For Sinhala Linux Lovers (SLL) it is Debian 6.0.0

They are as follows

1. Puppy Linux and its various editions. you can simply carry in your front pocket (carry when I go abroad-an use it as an Acid Test of the computer, laptop or netbook I may buy-not that I want any more with all the assortments i have at home an office.
If I cannot boot it it with Puppy, I won’t consider buying the stuff, whatever the vendors gimmick may be.

2. Knoppix the 10th anniversary edition to show off its graphic capabilities including compiz and cheese the web camera. Now it has found a permanent place in my computers in spite of its finicky requirements for hardware configuration.

3. Gparted (Debian’s), the best companion to partition my computers when I reformat. Mind you it is light weight and does not say no to any complicated partition composition within the framework of the standard laid down principles.

4. KDE base nothing to choose between Mepis and PCLinux but I prefer PCLinux since I got a good hang of its versatile performance which SuSe lacks.

5. SuSe for my long association with it after Fedora in spite of craving for RAM (the new with Venation blind appearance but in vertical orientation of strips)I. It has the the best configuration utility called YAST (I call it Yet Another System configuration and teaching Tool) but the partitioning is limited to 15 which is a handicap when I want several distributions installed in the same computer.

6. Debian for its versatility and the ability to recognize all the hard disks of various make (SATA, SCSI, IDE) and the ability to write the partition table without getting confused when a fellow like me install assortment of operating systems in my own finicky ways.

It has taken a special place now with Sinhala capability of its installation.

7. Fedora for its ability to take on board changes which commercial operating systems resit and for my yesteryear long association with it and the Hanthana Sinhala Linux which is a derivative of it.

It was the first Linux distribution that I have used which could accommodate Sinhala fonts way back when other Linux distributions were learning the tricks of the trade.

8. GoBO Linux for its innovative approach but no new version for a long time.

9. YOPER for trimming, shedding dropping extra fringes to get it running fast but it has a big problem with its GRUB file.

10. Pure KDE without a brand name since it is the one made Linux desktop eye candy and a market force of its own and still introducing new innovation but one need at least 1 GiB of RAM and still more RAM for it’s better performance.

11. LXDE is my favorite even though I am hooked to KDE and its plane and bird like logo.

12. Cloud Linux

13. MeeGo

14. Pendrive Linux

15. PureOS, Saline OS, Peppermint, LinuxMint, Console Linux, Morphix, MYAH, ADIOS and the lot I forgot because of my bad memory.

16. Scientific Linux of course is my ultimate goal and that is where I belong to as a professional and where my personal biases are rooted, which I am trying to wean off and become an ordinary man again with taste and flair.

If I have left any other distribution, it is all because of my finicky behaviour and lack of space.

It is a fact that any one of them do the day to day work for me.

Please excuse for my bias since I am an ordinary human being with lot of personal deficiencies and lapses in my memory with geriatric age approaching fast.

Young ones are the live blood of Linux, you need to keep on innovating and also have a pause and listen to ordinary uses too.

Next few editions will be based on the packages one should have in a distribution that may vary from person to person.

I will start with K-Torrent and gParted.

I am afraid I may have to group them since there are over 60,000 of them, if one takes Debian as a base.
With that exercise I may finish my engagement with the wider world and go back to my normal life of gardening, fish keeping and looking after my dog.

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The Hassle one has to go through when you buy a new Laptop / Netbook-Isn’t it pain in the neck?

The hassle one goes through when one buys a computer with Microsoft installed is something that I never wondered for the past 3 to 5 years or so.

It is mind boggling for a Linux guy.

Once a year I format the root partition and sometimes leaving behind the home partition for a while and install the Old / New version of the Linux distribution in that partition.

This time I had to delay it till March (including Mageia) since most of the distributions including Debian delivered or released the distribution (except PCLinux which was right on the button during December) in late February or March.

The slowest and the laziest was SuSe, though.

My work and cricket world cup were other distractions.

Mind you I install many distributions for various reasons and for testing and not because I lack anything on PCLinuxFullMonty.

Other reason is I need to fill the hard disk so that it is not left idling and rotten.

I will list the hassle a Microsoft guy has to go through.

1. S/He has to backup the data.

2. S/He has to remove the crap the OEM guy install

3. S/He has to download the free software

4.Then has to install the paid software

5. Then anti-virus software

6. Then he has to get Firefox, Opera or safari

Suffice is to say in this time I will install 15 (3×5) distributions in my main computer and two other spare ones I use for testing.

One of the major benefit of Linux is I save lot of time and do other interesting things like watching cricket or water the plants or feed the fish and testing distributions and this time additionally Sinhala Linux distributions.

This list is endless and I will stop at this point and give you a list Linux Free (point number 3 expanded) software that one get FREE

Please go to NiNite web site and get them free if you are a Microsoft user.

If you have chosen the right Linux distribution of your choice you will get all this and more in one go except perhaps Flash.

1. Web Browser Group- Firefox, Chrome, Safari or Opera

2. Messaging Group-Skype, Pidgin, Google Talk, Yahoo, Messenger, Thunderbird

3. Media group-iTunes, audacity, KMplayer, HULU, Songbird and many more

4. Runtimes – Flash, Java

5. Imaging Group- GIMP, Picasa, Inkscape

6. Office Group-LibreOffice, OpenOffice,Adobe PDF Reader, CutePDF, SumatraPDF, Foxit reader

7. File sharing-uTorrent, eMule

8. Security- What a medical problem for sick machine?

9. Cloud computing-Dropbox, Google earth

10. Image Burners-Nero

11.Compression- win 7, winzip

12. Utilities

13. Developer tools-Putty, Python, Filezilla

14. Others I may have missed

You do not have to do any of these if you select a Linux distribution and all are packed in one and installed in one go.

What a waste of time trying to run windows 7.

That is why Windows users do not have any creativity and continue to lack creativity at work place or on the go.

They are Potato (not hot potato) Guys bloated with Image of Crisis.

Lost Opportunity for Indians-Cricket World Cup

I am made to believe that India is the home for computer experts and it has a home base of IT literate who can dish and dash Linux at the drop of a hat.

I have to reserve that judgment now.

I have been looking at who is grabbing the opportunity that Linux has opened up.

It is not India.

It is not Pakistan.

It is not Sri-Lanka.

It is not Bangladesh.

To my surprise who is leading the field.

It is America.

Obama is quietly but effectively spreading the message of wisdom.

Education, Education in IT.

I won’t tell you how I gather the information.

That is top secret.

Even though, it is not at all significant statistically and in numbers who are the people who visit my blogsite with Linux information.

It is again Americans who top the list.

I have been very vocal and forthright with American diplomats and their way of dealing with international affairs.

 

If one is an American he or she would be very annoyed with what I usually write about Americans but I am glad I have to complement the Americans who would search, gather information and reach for anything that is useful academically.

Then who are the people who disseminate this information to others.

It is again Americans.

It is not these big Universities like Harvard that spread the message.

It is the up and mobile ordinary Americans.

Thanks guys, even though some of your diplomats and politicians are bringing bad name to America you guys are spreading the message of goodwill, especially related to Linux.

Why I say Indians lost a trick.

This is the time all the guys from the West come here to watch cricket and enjoy the warm holiday.

All of them love to carry a netbook or a laptop with them.

Indians could have sold large number of netbooks and laptops to these guys for a very cheap price, if they mastered the Linux Operating System and Utilities.

 

The idea that the operating system is free could have galvanized them and the amount of saving on each buy / or purchase would have made them to buy not one but three for the price of one they pay in their countries.

Once they got the idea of the price and the use of Linux they would be coming back to Asia for bargains for the next 10 to 20 years to come.

 

All they have to do is to entice the buyer with wireless dongle and a Flashy Linux Distribution installed in the laptop or the netbook. If they provided a flashy media player to watch the matches (recording and playback) and the value added would have been infections.

This could have been easily accomplished in India, Bangladesh and Sri-Lanka.

But nobody wanted to explore and promote Linux in this part of the world.

In Sri-Lanka the reasons are many and I do not want to waste my time discussing that.

Why Indians lost this trick is my amazement.

There is no incentive to learn Linux in Asia because of pirating of software.

There has been an explosion of Linux utilities from last December to now, to Music, to Guitar, to Video to Graphic Rendering like Maya.

 

If the can at least sell some netbooks with GutaristX installed, that will get the ball rolling, even now.

 

It is not too late, even now but one should sell the hardware for OEM price and show that you are a good an honest businessman.

We are lacking that type of gentleman businessmen too due to pirating.

For the visitors who come to enjoy cricket and holidays I have a warning,

Please do not buy laptops and netbooks with pirated copies installed.

You cannot take them back to your country. You will be charged at your airport of entry. Same for videos and music and films. Watch them, listen to them while you are here but drop them to a dustbin before you leave.

 

But if you get a computer with Linux installed, buy that without any fear or get somebody to install Linux for you here. We have few guys in the University (undergraduates) who can do that for you and most of our Sri-Lankan vendors are clueless as regard to Linux.

But please make sure to install KDE desktops like PCLinux, Suse, Mepis in additions to Ubuntu which is Gnome and perhaps Pinguy for glamor.

 

For information as regard to Linux visit my blogspot at Google (parafox) or WordPress (asokaplus).

 

In the 6 weeks you are here if you can learn Linux (it can be achieved in 4 weeks) that is something that you can take home without any fear.

Good Lick with Cricket and Linux.