Sunday, April 29, 2007


Yesterday I installed TR4 on my daughter's machine. I gave her a Compaq 1.7 Ghz machine for her birthday so I re-imaged the machine with Linux and wiped out Windows XP as there is nothing that she needs in Windows that we cannot do in Linux. The machine is a standard P4, 1.7 Ghz, 512Mb, 40Gb HD and a CD. Her old P3 666Mhz machine I will re-image and remove the windows partition from that and make a simple server out of it.

The CD booted easily into the live CD and I ran the script to install. The install routine detected that I had Windows XP installed and asked if I wanted to wipe the whole partition. I let the installer handle the partitioning and in 30 minutes I had a working machine. Running through the various options I noticed that it detected our other two machines and the shared printers and configured her machine to use them. I installed all the games I could find and there was a new educational game that I also installed. She was running the machine without a problem and playing her online games as before, but, gloating that her machine was faster than mine.

The machine was updated with the 8 patches (at that time) and I turned off all of the services that she didn't need to have run. Later I will have to install the firewall and make sure that she can only go to sites that I approve. She has the OpenOffice suite for school homework and the latest version of Scribus if she wants to do DTP.

In closing the TR4 version is quite a solid distro and in my less than humble opinion ready as a general release rather than a test release.

Saturday, April 28, 2007


I have downloaded and burned the TR4 of PCLinuxOS and I am running it now on my normal Linux box, but, only off of the CD. The machine booted up without any problems and I logged into KDE like I normally do. My quick tests:

  • Web Browser - FireFox - Works OK, I am using it now to update this blog.
  • XSANE - Worked without a problem. It auto detected my scanner and I did a quick check there.
  • WebCam - This worked! The new version detected my Labtec camera in Kopete and when I tried configuring it the camera was actually showing images!
  • Printer - It detected and configured my USB printer properly when using the admin center. This is also a first as I had to download and install the SAMSUNG drivers for the ML2010 for it to properly work.
  • Java web game. It launched without a problem. The only problem is that the map in Runscape does not properly render, but, that has been a problem and it appears to be how makers of Runescape use JAVA and not Linux or Java itself. The game itself runs and is quite responsive even using this live CD.
  • Synaptic - Even though the CD has been out for a couple of days Texstar has already made a few updates. I ran Synaptic and it shows 8 updates are available.
  • Digital Camera - I didn't test this as it was in a different part of the house and I was too lazy to walk down and bring it up to test.
  • USB Memory Stick - It detected it been plugged in and asked what you wanted to do. It displayed the contents in Konqueror without any problems. I unplugged the stick and then plugged it back in and it still worked. There was a difference in TR2/TR3 in this and they appear to have to gone back to the original way of how it worked (much like how windows acts). There is no problem if you plug in two USB memory sticks.
  • USB Hard drive - It detected this and there was no problem with the external hard drive.
So far it appears to be a solid release and everything that I have that I tested worked without a problem. The next thing I will be doing in Part 2 is installing it on a test machine to see how it works there.

Friday, April 27, 2007

PCLinuxOS Test Release 4

TexStar has released the fourth and final release of PCLinuxOS. I will be downloading and trying this out on the weekend. I have not had any problems with TR3 on my daughter's machine or as a live CD. There are a few updates and an update to the kernel. The one update I want to really test out is the Java as my daughter plays a web based game using Java and one of the options does not work properly.

The live CD works quite well on my work laptop (Dell Latitude D610) or my home machine. The first test on the new CD will be using my work laptop. I like the live CD as it gives me an excellent tool in an emergency in that I have web access, CD Burner and the OpenOffice suite.

I will be testing a number of things, namely:
  • WEB Cam
  • Digital Camera
  • USB Keys
  • USB hard drive
  • USB Printer

Friday, April 13, 2007

PCLinuxOS Test Release 3

I updated my daughter's machine from Mandriva to test release 3 of PCLinuxOS. I figured that if an eight year old can use it and not crash it too bad then it is a fairly stable release. So far I have not had one crash and a very happy eight year old as she now has all of the cool games that is on her mother's machine. Since it is now in our office I hooked her up to the network and she can play online games, but, only the games that I give her permission to run.

She has been playing Runscape, Barbie, Club Penguin using Firefox and has not had a problem. She now prefers being on her machine and her mother is very happy getting her machine back fulltime. I noticed that they are talking about a test release four and I will install that when it becomes available.