Saturday, November 07, 2009

Updating my machine

For the last couple of months I have been looking at the various distros that are out there and how they work on my machine here.  The one I really wanted updated was PCLINUXOS so that all of the machines at home run with the same distro.  The 2009.2 version still won't boot on my machine so I had to look elsewhere.  My current distro was Mint 5.

Mandriva just came out with their latest and I downloaded and burned the ISO and gave it a shot.  It looks very nice visually and it detected most of my hardware without a problem.  The only two things were my palm pilot and the TV card which it didn't detect (like every other distro so far).  I then downloaded Mint 7 KDE and gave it a shot.  It was as visually appealing to me as Mandriva and had the same issues with the palm pilot and TV card.  The area it was ahead was that Java was installed automatically (I have to install that on Mandriva) and the ATI card driver was there for me.  I opted to keep with Mint so far and I upgraded to version 7.

One of the bonuses of this is now I have two more CDs that I can then pass out to friends and family when they have more problems with windows. 

It will take a bit of time to get used to KDE 4, but, so far it has not caused me any problems.  Firefox with Java still plays Runescape in HD mode without a problem.  Digikam works fine along with Thunderbird and XSANE.

When I get some time I will try to dig and see if I can get the palm pilot to work.  I thought I saw something about 'VISOR'.  If that doesn't work I really want to get my TV card to work.  I have a lot of home videos I would like to hook up to the input and make into MPG files and have them transferred to DVD for the family.

Update 2009/11/08:

I have moved off of Mint over to Mandriva.  I have been using Mint for a day and I have noticed a few things that make it a bit less usable for me.
  1. Runescape log in flickers wildy and it cannot be stopped unless I take HD mode off.
  2. The shutdown function at times (about 50%) does not work and the system locks.
  3. I cannot access system services to manually define what I want to run.  This is a critical one for me as I want complete control over what is running.  Mandriva allows me to do this.
The first two items may be something that I did when I configured the system, but, so far Mandriva is not doing those things and I will use that for now.

In Mandriva it didn't auto-detect my printer (SAMSUNG ML-2010), but, after going to WWW.SAMSUNG.COM I found the driver, downloaded it and installed.  It wasn't as smooth as Mint, but, it worked and I now have a printer.

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