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It happened again: The sequel March 3, 2014

Posted by NAyK in Linux.
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My previous post was filled with the excitement I felt while experimenting with custom ROMS for the phone.

Sadly, the excitement was short-lived as I had to revert back to Samsung’s Official Galaxy S3 ROM. This was mainly because the CyanogenMOD camera kept crashing. I tried other Custom ROMS too… AOKP, Paranoid and PacMan (for a while), but they all kept crashing the camera. Today, my main camera is my phone and I just couldn’t handle the unpredictability… so I reverted.

I was surprising how straightfoward it was to revert, which was a relief. But still, the journey did teach me a thing or two about the new directions in phone-computing.

I’m back to TouchWiz and wistfully remembering the days when my phone was fast and exciting. Right now, I’m just relieved that I haven’t bricked my phone. Perhaps if I get a small camera and carry it everywhere, then I’ll move back to a CustomROM for my phone.

CyanogenMod on Samsung Galaxy S3 (I9300): Beginning with custom ROMs December 7, 2013

Posted by NAyK in android, Apps, CyanogenMod, Linux, Samsung Galaxy S3.
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cyanogenmod10It happened again! Several years ago, when I installed my first linux distro above a Windows (XP) platform, I saw the computer come alive, and fill me with wonder. The same feeling came to me, when few days ago I installed my first Custom ROM.  I had been reading about Custom ROMs for a while, but hadn’t really dared to even root my phone. I had just bought a Galaxy S3 (which was selling on a huge discount after the S4 was released). I was pleased with the phone, but found that it started to lag terribly. In fact, it was especially frustrating when I needed to make urgent calls, and the phone application would take up to 3-4 seconds to open up. I know it’s not much in a real sense, but for phone technology, I found myself wishing for a dumb Nokia phone!

To solve the problem, I felt it Samsung TouchWiz had become too bloated, so I decided to root it and uninstall the programmes that I didn’t need.

I first bought Titanium Backup, simply because that’s what it seemed else said should be done (on hindsight, Titanium has never worked for me, and so I don’t even use it at the moment. Maybe that’s because I’m misunderstanding its function). Anyway…

The rooting process wasn’t that hard, though at each moment it was like a journey into the unknown. I followed the instructions, installed Odin, but didn’t even know what a recovery programme was until I actually installed/used it. I purchased the ClockworkMod Recovery (CWM), just because that option came up… and I felt it was better to go with the “safer” route. Maybe I didn’t actually need it, but I don’t regret buying it. I followed the step by step instructions from the internet, and eventually had a rooted phone.

Sadly, I was too nervous to delete anything on the phone, not knowing what was critical and what was not. I only uninstalled a few programmes like Evernote, which I didn’t use. But apart from a few programmes, I was stuck with a similarly laggy phone.

I decided to take the drastic route, drawing courage from my rooting experience, to install a custom ROM. I did a little research and found that people were actually recommending  the AOKP custom ROM above the CyanogenMOD. So I decided to install the AOKP mod.

I followed the instructions, and installed a beautiful AOKP ROM on my phone. It was really great… just like seeing my first openSUSE (green) disto on my computer.However, when I saw the file system, AOKP did not install on the System ROM partition and instead installed on my internal storage partition and left me with only 4 GB of space. I needed much more. So I formatted everything and started again… but somehow I think I missed something and my phone went into a boot cycle… meaning it just wouldn’t boot up… but keep trying to boot.

I freaked out. Regardless of the discount, my phone was still very very expensive. I could not afford another one. And the words “brick” your phone became real to me.

But thanks again to the internet, and a bit of trial and error, I found out how to reboot and start again. Sadly, this time, my Clockwork Mod would just not read my external SD card… I was not able to install anything. Until I swapped my 32 GB card with a 2 GB old SD card that I had lying around.

Then, as it turned out, the AOKP file was (got?) corrupted so I could only read the CyanogenMod ROM… which is what I finally installed. Relief! it worked.

It wasn’t as beautiful as the AOKP ROM, but it was much faster than Samsung’s Touchwiz phone. And I was glad to have shifted. I also noted that it took less memory that the AOKP ROM so that even though it didn’t install into the System ROM space (how do you do that?), at least I had more memory to “play” with!

Currently, I’m on the Cyanogen Mod 10.2 stable build, and I’m going to experiment with the Nightly builds soon. However, it was really exciting…. just like having linux again. Only this time, I have only one operating system… so I’m really pushed to fully experiment and work with it (unlike Linux in which I always had the windows failsafe when I got overwhelmed).

Some good points.

1. Much faster than original Samsung Android.

2. Similar (familiar) to Samsung’s android.

3. Even though it is not as beautiful as other ROMs, perhaps, I still like the control I have over my phone, and it is still beautiful. (screenshot of my homescreen at the bottom)

Some concerns.

1. Battery life is still poor… I only get 5-6 hours of moderate usage (same as Galaxy S3). Was it supposed to be better here?

2. Boot time is slower than Samsung.

3. Movies are playing in a choppy way. Feels like there are no HD drivers or something. Is that true? Someone was saying that Samsung uses device-level (CPU level) media decoders, guess Cyanogen does not, huh.

4. Camera did not have photosphere.

5. I really miss Samsung’ easy connection to media devices (like TV etc) – that’s really the only thing I miss about Touchwiz (and the media drivers of course).  In Cyanogen I had to experiment with different apps for “beaming” and still haven’t found the perfect one.

6. The cost of installing a new ROM is having to install and configure everything again. That’s a real pain, especially for programmes that have post-installation downloads.

On the whole, it was a really exciting though at time scary experience with a Custom ROM. I would really not recommend it for everyone.. I wouldn’t every try it for someone else. Still, I’m happy I did it.

For an interesting article on why one SHOULD install Cyanogen, read this here: http://www.androidbeat.com/2013/06/top-reasons-to-install-cyanogenmod-on-android-device/

Cyanogen_On_S3_Screenshot

Why I chose Android (over the iPad/Apple OS) May 12, 2012

Posted by NAyK in Linux.
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This post is a long ramble about why I chose a Tablet with the Android operating system over the Apple’s operating system. My pro-Android biases are evident. But I am NOT being paid or supported or encouraged by any Android or Sony affiliated organisation.

When the ipad came out, I wanted one. But it was not available in my country (India)… and so I, wanting this unseen thing, applied the “sour grapes” principle and said the ipad (1) is not really a finished product… decided to wait for ipad 2 to start drooling again.

However, by the time ipad 2 made it into my country Samsung was a hit… the android phone, especially made huge strides in India… especially bringing Android to people who could not earlier afford a smartphone and of course a tablet.  With the success of android/samsung, the attention, especially where I was, started shifting to this upstart alternative… from a company that we all (at least me) loved… Google.

But an iPad is an iPad, so I thought, and still wanted it.

then a few things happened… I started hearing/reading about the closed-door policies of Apple… the worst of it being to stop supporting Flash (from a company that I also liked… Adobe). I took it personally. But moreso when I saw that Apple was really using its market leverage to charge huge fees from developers and also make questionable (monopoly asserting) deals. But, despite the bad publicity that Apple was getting, it could not even hurt the huge market share and profits that Apple was gaining.   Apple was the new Microsoft, who would have thought that was even possible a few years ago.

Certainly my respect for Apple (as a consumer)… started to wane… because I was not interested to spend my zero cash (because all this was only dreams, I never could afford an Apple anytime in my life) on droolling over an Microsoftesque company!

But that was not the only reason why I chose Android over the iOS (Apple’s operating system).

When I saw the ipod touch, it was really cool. Mainly for games, it was an attractive toy… another “i want one” experience. However, now that I had some money… I almost bought it (for my wife and daughter) but one huge factor changed my mind.

I found out that you need to put your credit card number to install anything, even a free game. Problem? Isn’t it obvious? But mainly, I don’t have a credit card. And even if I did, I didn’t want to be forced to share it. That was enough.

I didn’t care about the flash fight, neither was the “love for google” so strong. But once I found that I needed to use it with a credit card… enough was enough, my choice was made. (what’s worse, I’m sure Apple is happy I’m not an Apple fan because I would be a free loader and not add anything to its income… I would only install free stuff).

The first chance I got, I bought a Sony Tablet S for my wife. I liked its form-factor (9.4 inches) and also its holdability.

Now, upon using the Android ecosystem, I realise, it is also more configurable than an ipad, even though the quality of the games (particularly of some game graphics… which my wife noticed… was better in an Apple product).

Nevertheless, I love the free apps and I love that it is linked with a google account without installing the horrid itunes or whatever nonsense mac makes you install to install.

Icing on the cake, I recently heard of how Mac is blocking the Dropbox application. Even if it is a minor technicality, I wasn’t going to allow my much-needed app-Dropbox, to become a victim of iGreed. I was glad I was with Android rather than iOS.

LINKS

For a much more intelligent comparison between the useability of the two operating systems, see this link: http://spyrestudios.com/android-vs-ios-a-usability-battle/

Numbers: http://news.cnet.com/8301-33200_3-57323943-290/ios-vs-android-lots-of-stats-little-clarity/

Videos for comparison: http://theultralinx.com/2012/04/android-ios-fully-featured-comparison-videos.html

Or here: http://techcrunch.com/2012/02/23/these-ios-vs-android-flame-wars-have-to-stop/

Ubuntu 10.10 is a hit! Here’s why. October 15, 2010

Posted by NAyK in Linux, Ubuntu, Working with Linux.
14 comments

Every list is subjective. Even this one. But if you knew my history with Ubuntu, you’d share my excitement with this latest Ubuntu 10.1o (Meerkat) release. It is really easy/fun to use. Makes me remember my PCLinux days, when things just worked. I really am surprised with how functional this Ubuntu really is. Currently, it is my favourite go-to distro. The following are a few features of the latest Ubuntu that I really like. I haven’t listed some others (like Ubuntu One) because I haven’t actually used them, or I haven’t really like it (like Ubuntu Broadcast). So anyway, in no particular order…

1. Really fast shut down (about three seconds!): Ubuntu is not that fast while loading (as I expected), even though it is still faster than Windows. But it is super-fast in shut down. Literally about three seconds after you click shut-down. Wow.

2. Easy writing-ability for my NTFS partition, even on my NTFS external hard disk. It took me a while to realise how cool this was, after I was sharing files between my external harddisk (NTFS) and  Ubuntu without any problem. Even a Mac can’t do that!

3. Automatic internet connection detection: I’ve been saying this again and again, but it is really cool that my internet connection was working without me having to set up anything at all. Plus it doesn’t feel that slow either.

4. It has OpenOffice by default. (unlike PCLinux) OpenOffice is a big file, and if I would have to download it, I would be putting my limited downloads under pressure. So it’s nice to have essential software already uploaded.

5. Similarly, it was nice to have limited updates after installation. There have been times when I have installed new distro’s and still had to updated about 100-200 MB worth of updates. This time only about 10 MB of updates were needed.

6. It installs my VIA chipset graphics drivers (as well as audio) by default. Maybe this should have been the first point. Because without the drivers I wouldn’t have been able to use this distro at all. But now my monitor is set to the right resolution and frequency. Similarly, all the audio drivers are installed without any problem.

7. Very easy to get proprietary video formats to work (like avi and divx). Relatedly, I simply had to click on an avi file, and Ubuntu asked me if I wanted the proprietary drivers, and I said yes… and it installed them. Really nice.

8. Similarly, Flash (and yes I need flash) is easy to install. Again, I must admit that I am shocked that Mac doesn’t support Flash. I really like it, use it, on a daily basis. So I’m glad Flash is supported in Linux (Ubuntu) with an updated.

9. Right click on desktop to change desktop image (long time ago, this never used to be so easy). This was important because earlier only KDE could do it, now even GNOME can, which is nice. Makes customization a little easier, and makes you feel that Gnome is not so bad after all.

That’s it for now. Maybe if I use it more I’ll have more to say. For now, thank you Ubuntu team for an excellent distro.

Ubuntu is finally working on my computer! Ubuntu 10.10 Review October 13, 2010

Posted by NAyK in Linux, Linux Mint, Recommendation, Reviews, Screenshots, Ubuntu, WINE.
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It is with absolute delight that I report that for the first time ever, on my desktop, an Ubuntu distro is finally working.

I’ve always struggled with Linux distros on my via-(integrated graphics)-chipset. Hardly any distro, apart from PCLinux and Mandriva detected my VIA hardware. Previously, all the Ubuntu distros I tested would have a few positives, but also a boat-load of negatives. Usually, Ubuntu would recognise my internet, but at the same time the graphics drivers wouldn’t allow me to go for more than 800/600 resolution. Therefore I would only rely on Linux Mint or on PCLinux etc for my Linux needs.

However, this time, Ubuntu 10.10 (Meerkat) was (and is) working!

The basic installation process:

1. The installation process was relatively smooth, except it took a long time. Longer than usual. (I’m not sure why).

2. The live CD took a long time to load, plus I was suprised by how “primitive” the Ubuntu logo looked during install. (There was a Ubuntu text, plus four dots. What’s what that?)

3. The options of installation were much better than before, especially giving more control over the partition process.

3b. It was great to see that a VIA driver for my chipset and audio was installed automatically. (ie. it detected my hardware and installed something appropriate).

3c. Also, after installation, it was nice to see that there were only a few updates in the update manager. Suggested that it was a fresh/stable release.

Getting started

4. The bootloader, as usual, recognised my Windows partition, though the default boot screen was boring as usual. (primarily text). somehow, with openSUSE and PClinux, even Mint, I have come to expect a more attractive boot loader by default. (ie. I know I can do some tweeking and install one for Ubuntu. Maybe I will do that one day).

5. The default look/feel was functional (as I have come to expect from GNOME), but somehow it didn’t feel so bad as before. Maybe I have become used to GNOME afterall. It certainly looked better than before.

Functionality:

6.  the internet was working, without needing any configuration. An amazing feature!

7. Also, as soon as I tried out an avi file, Ubuntu asked me if I wanted to install the drivers. I said yes, and most of the codecs were automatically installed. Easy-peasy. (I was concerned that there was no audio, but it turned out that audio was in mute, I wonder how.)

8. I had to manually install chrome, flash and a few other software, like K3B. For some I used Ubuntu’s Software Centre, and for others I used Synaptic.

9. I was concerned that there was no file viewer. ie. I wasn’t able to open a file manager. So I installed Dolphin, and even that problem was solved.

9b. I was also able to install Photoshop 7, using WINE (after installing WINE). The only problem I had was that I had to copy the contents of the CD onto the computer and then make the setup.exe file executable for WINE.

10. there were a couple of times when Ubuntu suddenly hung. I think it was during the time I wanted to change the screensaver.

11. I wish there was an option to change GRUB options through GNOME. However, with some google-found guidance, I realised that Ubuntu 10.10 has changed it’s grub editing options, and it was simple enough. Sadly (still) my Windows XP is my default OS. But I am really enjoying fiddling with Ubuntu (spending more time with it than with Windows).

12. Also, I am concerned that the booting time is not that fast, as some were predicting. When I choose Ubuntu, it waits for a few seconds and only then starts loading Ubuntu. I wonder if there is a configuration issue there.

13. I was also unimpressed with the broadcast option (the one that connects Ubuntu with Facebook and Twitter). It took a long time to set up, and the options to view were too limited to be helpful. I much preferred going to the original Facebook/Twitter pages for updates. Perhaps in the future it will be better.

14. On the whole, I have been quite happy with the general functionality and even look/feel of Ubuntu. It has worked pretty well and easily, and for an Ubuntu distro, that is saying much. I don’t think I’ll be needing Linux Mint after all.

Ubuntu Screenshot

Goodbye Linux Mint 9: back to PCLinux2007 August 16, 2010

Posted by NAyK in Firefox, Linux, Linux Mint, PCLinuxOS, Windows.
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The shock of the previous post (where My Documents were deleted), became a full blown crisis when I lost my entire ebook folder again in that partition. Thankfully, I did have backups, but my ebooks were indexed through Copernic and I will have to do the indexing all over again.

Anyway… I decided to go back to PCLinux2007 (which I know did work for a while at least) and since I was too shaken to try something new, even PCLinux2010.

After installing, I realised that I was still in Firefox 2.0 and so I wanted to make minimal upgrades, and security updates.

I had to add the following repository: http://kde3.pclosusers.com/pclosfiles

which allowed me to make upgrades (the old repositories of PCLinux2007) were not working. Only this new one did.

Now I’m hoping that I’ll be able to function basically at my home computer, until I fix my Windows operating system.

Linux Mint 9: Installation Review – A Not-So-Happy Story August 16, 2010

Posted by NAyK in First Impressions, Linux, Linux Mint, Reviews, Windows, Working on Linux.
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Fed up with my buggy PCLinuxOS, I decided to install the new Linux Mint 9. After burning the installation DVD image (which is just over 700MB), I decided to install it on my Lenovo Thinkpad Z60m.

The loading process of the Live DVD was relatively smooth, though it felt a little slow to load the live image.  (PCinux is still faster in the Live CD department)

I then decided to install, and it asked for the customary questions like location, keyboard etc.

I liked the new look and feel, almost felt like openSUSE’s installation process in a good way.

At the partition table point, I found the graphics a little too small and the default processes difficult to understand.  I was anyway going to the advanced option, but PCLinux’s large view size of proposed partitioning table, seemed for once, more helpful.

I choose to delete my PCLinux partition and mounted all my other Windows partitions making sure I did not format those.

I was also asked whether I wanted to import any preferences from Windows like Firefox settings and  MyDocuments from Windows. First I checked it, and clicked ok. but then I changed my mind and went back to uncheck it. Please note that at this time there was no confirmation from Linux Mint on whether my options were going to be effective.

Only after all the options were listed, did Linux Mint begin the process of actually installing, which is customary.

While the installation was going on I noticed that the wifi was not detected, and I guess it was too late to look to change that, so I thought I’d fix it after the installation is done. I was hoping that Ubuntu’s spectacular record of being able to configure my internet connection in my desktop automatically would filter into the wireless connection as well.

The installation process took about 25 minutes, after which I rebooted. I noted that Linux Mint was the default operating system, and I wished that Mint had given me the option of choosing which operating system I wanted to default. I usually (curses upon me) still choose Windows as my default operating system.

Anyway, going into Linux Mint, I just couldn’t get the wifi to work. I noted that there were no windows wifi drivers installed, but because my wireless was not detected, no way for me to install them! I knew that I had to log into Windows to figure out the problem.

…when I returned to windows, to my shock (not horror, because I had backups), my entire My Documents folder had been erased. I had other folders in that partition, and they were ok, untouched (I hope) and working, but the MyDocuments was empty. This was shocking, especially since I had never experienced something like this with Linux before.

However, when I returned to windows, to my shock (not horror, because I had backups), my entire My Documents folder had been erased. I had other folders in that partition, and they were ok, untouched (I hope) and working, but the MyDocuments was empty. This was shocking, especially since I had never experienced something like this with Linux before. I forgot about trying to fix Linux Mint and went about restoring my documents using my backups (alas they were a few days old, so I lost some of the work I did over the weekend, but not much).

I am now quite disturbed and will probably in reaction do away with Linux Mint and … install some other operating system in my Laptop. However for my desktop I will still try to persevere with Mint to see whether this is a one-off problem or an actual bug.

So that’s my not-so-happy tale with Mint, hope others met with a better fate.

PCLinuxOS 2009.2 Installation Review November 9, 2009

Posted by NAyK in Discussions-Conclusions-Hopes, Linux, Mandriva, OpenSUSE, PCLinuxOS, Recommendation, Reviews, Working with Linux.
15 comments

PCLinuxOSIn the days when Ubuntu 9.10, Mandriva 2010 and openSUSE 11.2 are having their releases, installing PCLinuxOS 2009.2 seems like taking a step backwards. But how could I refuse to try what I had considered to be my favourite Linux distro? In fact, the only reason why I hadn’t tried PCLinuxOS for so long was because I just didn’t have the time. And so I waited for many months with a brand new PCLinux (KDE) ISO image. Not that I found the time. Rather, because all these new distros started emerging, I felt compelled to give the new PCLinux another shot. So, with a toddler running around the house potentially distroying my computer, I took the plunge at 12:22pm, on Sunday.The following is primarily an installation review, though some distribution comments may be included.

A note about my system. I’m still using my VIA Desktop of more than 4 years, though I’ve upgraded to 2 GB RAM. No graphics card (only integrated VIA chipset).

12:22pm, Insert LIVE CD (PCLinux 2009.2 KDE).

12:25 Login as guest, with password guest.

I wonder why this double login persists in a live CD. wouldn’t it suffice to function as guest with the ‘root’ password made known via instruction?

My first goal was to check if my internet was working or not. My internet connection is a DSL ethernet cable run via a Belkin wireless router. Usually, I’ve noticed that some Linux’ esp. Ubuntu, has a problem picking up the Belkin router. So I skeptically tried the internet on PCLinux and shocker! It was working. Without any configuration. Well done, PCLinux!!!The  internet did feel a little slow, but I was amazed that it was working.

At about 12:29pm I decided to install, and was introduced to a new(?) procedure of removing drivers.

I didn’t understand why on a LiveCD did you have to “remove drivers”. Wasn’t it more correct to say “choose not to install drivers” or something like that? Anyway, I went along. But when I chose the advanced options and decided to cancel, the entire procedure was canceled and I had to start again. Hmmm.

12:37 pm, the computer said the installation had begun.

12:47pm I was modified the grub.

(sadly, still making Windows XP my default distro).

At 12:49pm I was restarting the computer and ending the CD session.

(I wonder why can’t the CD ejection be automated).

At 12:53pm, after login details etc, the computer opened to a brand new PCLinuxOS desktop!

Note that’s about 24 minutes! A spectacular speed when you think there was a toddler running around trying to press all the buttons including “delete all partitions!!!” :)

The key test, at this stage, was whether the internet was still working. And… yes it was! Hurray.

Knowing however that the PCLinuxOS was a little outdated, I decided to use Synaptic to run a system update.

I did a reload of the repositories. And then, seeing the huge update backlog (I needed about 400MB and I only get free downloads in the night), I decided to only update Firefox, and do the rest later.

I chose Firefox update, but after updating, Firefox crashed. Couldn’t open.

I realised that perhaps PCLinux needed a full update so decided to wait till 2:00am to do the remaining updates. (that’s when I get free download bandwidth).

I didn’t want to stay up all night, so after starting the download, I went to sleep, waking around 7:00am to see whether the updates were done. It seems there was a problem with two of the repositories, but nothing serious seemed to be the problem.

However, it was waiting for me to say “OK”, to acknowledge that there were problems in the repositories… and only then begin the installation. I wish I had investigated (beforehand) how to set up an automatic update in Synaptic that did not require any intervention on my part. Instead I had to wait a long time till the updates were installed… and then, thankfully Firefox was working.

One thing positive was that PCLinux also recognised my screen-resolution, which is something other distros do not seem to be able to do. Of course, I still think I need to install some VIA graphics driver, because the videos, like from Metacafe/Youtube, are not viewing properly (looks like no graphics card). So I’ll probably have to find that (though I wonder whether I should not have installed all the graphics drivers in the first place!).

On the whole, the installation process is pretty painless. There remain certain imperfections, and one wishes for more flexibility in choice (more possible customization for advanced users). But PCLinux’s installation speed is pretty fast; in fact one of the fastest installations out there. And that must be commendable.

Now a few comments about usage.

I know I have only briefly been using PCLinux 2009, so I can’t say how everything works, but a few off-the-cuff comments need to be made.

Look and Feel: The graphics, especially the default wallpaper etc. are not as striking as the previous version. PCLinux 2007, or something like that. That was really nice, and made Blue look cool! This time, PCLinux looks like Fedora, or something like that. Not fun at all. Trying to update the wallpaper wasn’t as intuitive as I would have liked it to be. KDE is usually better than GNOME in such matters, so I guess I was expecting something a little more smoother. I had to manually select photos on my desktop. And when I had to chose the photos, from the KDE configuration, there was no preview (it wasn’t working). Which  meant that I had to open external viewers to see the photos. The external viewers too don’t seem to have progressed, with the Windows XP, Image-Preview, being probably the best photoviewer, because it allows arrow key navigation. In the current Linux viewers, the arrow keys are not always the way to navigate, and when yes, then the screen image still needs to be manipulated to allow for a viewable size.

Different attempts: I liked the attempt to install an auto-update button in the task bar. Because that was something that was missing in PCLinux earlier. But this one wasn’t intuitive enough for me to figure out. It seemed to give me many options, and when I clicked any, it usually only opened up Synaptic.

Current state of affairs: The audio is working. And the video, once I update the drivers, should work better. All these were done pretty ok, without any fuss. However, currently (and suddenly), none of my Synaptic repositories are working. I was simply trying to install the Wally Wallpaper program. But Synaptic wasn’t working. Not able to reload. The internet was working though, and that continues to be PCLinux’s saving grace! But I must note that the internet is drastically slower here than in Windows. Perhaps I do need to do a little bit of tweeking.

Finally, Recommendations? About a year ago I would not have hesitated to recommend PCLinux to any beginner user of Linux. It was truly a class apart. But right now, it seems to have developed a few quirks that don’t seem to generate as much confidence in the distro as the previous one. Moreso, it doesn’t seem to have moved ahead. It feels like the old one, though not exactly in the best sort of way. It seems “less better”. Maybe I need to try it a little more, but suddenly I’m not too sure about whether PCLinux is the next big thing in Linux.

Sadly, over the weekend I will be looking to install and test Mandriva 2010 and also later try out openSUSE 11.2, as replacement distros.

Oh No! PCLinuxOS In Trouble!!! March 30, 2009

Posted by NAyK in Discussions-Conclusions-Hopes, Linux, Linux Mint, News, PCLinuxOS, Working with Linux.
11 comments

PCLinuxOSI just read (in Distrowatch) that PCLinux is going through an internal split. For a long long time, PCLinuxOS has been my favourite one-CD distro. In fact, the only reason why I stopped using it was because I got bored by its stability. I wanted something new and tried other distros in its place. But I always intended to return. And while I was really excited about the new PCLinuxOS 2009 release, I delayed installation because I was waiting for the perfect time to install it (to replace my current Linux Mint distro). (I have a lot of non-Linux work that I need to finish before I can start enjoying Linux again). But what I read in Distrowatch was a shocker.

Basically, to summarise, a whole bunch of developers have left the PCLinux distribution over differences with the leadership. PCLinux is one of the many closed-community Linux projects, that are run by a particular team devoted to the project (as opposed to community driven projects).

While it’s not surprising that there would be internal rift, this news couldn’t have have come at a worse time. PCLinux is hardly established in the public psyche (unlike Ubuntu), and could do without such negative publicity. This was to be an amazing year, with the new release and all. But in effect, now, this news will only dissuade people from trying out this excellent, I would say the best, one-CD distro. Sadly, to an extent, even I now hesitate to try my waiting-to-be-installed PCLinuxOS distribution.

Anyway, below are some excerpts from Distrowatch article:

Internal issues have rocked the world of PCLinuxOS, with numerous developers quitting the project. The issues appear to have started when project lead, Bill Reynolds (Texstar), took a year-long break from running the distribution and left the distro’s primary system administrator, Solis, in charge. Without input from the project founder, development of PCLinuxOS 2009 by the community continued but just before release, Solis halted it so that Reynolds could overview it. The release was then delayed two weeks while it was finalised. It appears that many developers were not happy with the way this was handled and have consequently left the project.

JMiahMan, former admin of the PCLinuxOS hardware database and developer of EeePCLinuxOS, voiced his dismay at the announcement: “Not hearing from Texstar for more than a year, development [by the community] continued, then the moment before release passwords were changed on servers and suddenly Texstar is back and now not only halting the release, but saying all the hard work the community did for a year wasn’t good enough. That’s leadership suicide.” More information is sure to come to light as former developers switch to other projects.

In related news, Derrick Devine, former administrator of the community project site MyPCLinuxOS, recently handed over control of the project and announced work on a new Linux distribution, called Unity, with many of the other former PCLinuxOS developers: “What it will be is a new Linux distribution that takes an incremental approach to desktop Linux. It will provide a central core and use the mklivecd scripts that PCLinuxOS uses and it will provide a base from which to build just about any desktop you want out there.” Currently the distro is being developed behind closed doors, but more information should come to light soon. Either way, it is clear that no animosity exists on the side of former PCLinuxOS developers, who remain grateful to the distribution for everything they have been able to achieve over the years. Derrick continues: “You won’t hear us say anything bad about PCLinuxOS, its leadership, or the direction it is going. We are very proud to have been members of the PCLinuxOS community… some of us for almost six years. Nothing can take away our gratitude.

HOW-TO open an exe file in Linux Mint? January 17, 2009

Posted by NAyK in How-To, Linux, Linux Mint, WINE.
10 comments

wine-logoLinux MintThis is a short post telling users how to open an exe file in Linux Mint. (actually I’m the one who wanted to know and couldn’t really find a direct link that could help me until I stumbled upon this solution so this is for me and people like me).

The answer is simple:
1. Uninstall Wine-doors (it’s a programme that comes with Linux Mint).
2. Ensure that your Wine 1+ is installed (it usually is).
3. Run the exe file by double-clicking!

Basically I use exe files in Linux to test whether they have viruses or not… or simply to extract exe files. So it seems that the Wine-Doors programme in Linux Mint blocks exe execution (or there’s a workaround I don’t know about). But this above solution seems to suit me just fine… since wine is pretty capable as a windows emulator in itself.

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