Thursday, February 22, 2007

PCLinux OS Test Release 2

For the past week I have been playing with the second test release of PCLinuxOS. From what I can see I don't see much difference between the two versions. I did a bit more testing and I liked what I see. They did do a bit of cleanup on the graphical side and it looks quite nice. The problems with XSANE running in V0.93 and the workabounds are gone and a normal userid can start scanning without any problems (forgot to take a screen print there).

CD Burning is there and worked off the start without a problem. I didn't do a burn as I have only one CD drive in the system and I was using the live CD for this.

The next thing on my list was to launch Firefox and play a Java based game (Runescape). The only problem was that Java didn't work. I went over to the PCLinuxOS site and found that this was a known problem. All I had to do was download and install libstdc++5. This was a snap with Synaptic and the process was completely painless.

Once that was done I tried again and the Java based game started running without a problem. When I previously tried to do this the map wouldn't launch. Going back to V0.93 I had the same problem. I turned on the trace and found that there was a Java error. I forwarded a note to the website. I guess they have a number of others using Linux with the same problem and they fixed the problem. This is a major bonus as you really need the map at times to help you navigate throughout the virtual world. The rendering and display did take a bit of time so be patient. It took about 30 seconds on my system.

All of the photos here was captured without a problem and stored on disk. The sizes were changed from 1024x768 to 640x480 to keep the image sizes down using GIMP. The editor itself launched a bit slow, but, that is expected when using CD and not a hard drive.

The only problems I had was with the USB memory stick not being recognized, but, I think that may be due to me having too many items in the BUS and it was not a powered BUS.

The distro at this point looks solid for me and I am looking forward to Texstar making this a final release so I can then upgrade my home systems to use this distribution.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

PCLinuxOS 2007 Beta 1

I have had a chance to play a bit with the Beta 1 of PCLinuxOS 2007. This is not a complete exhaustive test of the distribution, but, the major things I work with on my current Linux machine. I was working off of the CD and from what I see it is the same high quality product as PCLinuxOS V0.93.

The test machine was a Dell D610 laptop with 512Mb of memory. The distribution detected all of the hardware without a problem and launched smoothly. I plugged in my USB memory stick and it launched Konqueror showing the contents of the drive. I launched OpenOffice and GKrellm as they are two other packages that I regularly use. To save the screens I used KSnapshot. This was a smooth system even when running from a CD and so far no glitches.

It asks a number of questions when starting the CD and the following are how I answered:
  • Keyboard = US;
  • Timezone = Ontario;
  • Date/Time= Hardware;
  • NTP = ON, allservers;
  • Connection = Ethernet, Automatic IP, Allow users to manage connection.

The last test was using FireFox and a Java based game. The reason I was testing this that my daughter plays an online game with friends and it works in V09.3. The only thing it has problems FireFox has is that the game will not spawn an external window showing the world map. This is not a problem with the Windows version so I know that it is a problem with the site handling Linux. The 2007 version has the same problem, but, it still plays the game. I actually prefer it on the Linux version as it appears to be sharper and cleaner rendered than in Windows.

At this time the team making PCLinuxOS are working on another beta for testing. I don't know what the problem area(s) are, but, they have delayed the release. From what I see and tested the disto appears to be rock solid and I didn't have any problems. I will be trying out the next beta and will be testing other things (CD burning and scanner), but, I am looking forward to upgrade our current boxes at home to use this distro.