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Old 09-15-2006, 06:09 PM   #1
ONEderer
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Registered: Jan 2004
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Distribution: Mandrake, Knoppix
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Thumbs up Two years to find a working Linux distro....


I'm typing this from an HP-64. This AMD-64 machine is very Linux resistant, and it took me almost two years to find a Linux distro that could operate wirelessly in this machine. I've been mucking around with ndiswrapper and "live" distros all that time to find a compatible OS that would work right. None of them fit the bill, until I came across Freespire. I finally bit the bullet, and commited to installing this distro in this laptop. I created a 20GB partition, and proceeded to install Freespire. The partitioning was simple to do and comparable to other GUI applications. The installation was also simple and didn't take very long to accomplish. The distro managed to find the sound system, and when I provided the manual information for wlan0, it ran flawlessly without needing to mess around with ndiswrapper. Rebooting the machine, the wireless comes up automatically without any errors.

So far I've found no flaws with this distro. Being a Debian derivative, it is easy to update/remove or upgrade the operating system, using all the standard Debian commands. And also, the now free "CNR" warehouse is very easy to use. There are no dependencies problems. Just click and run.

I can't claim that this distro is my favorite. But for the time being, it is in this machine to stay. It is doing it's job, and doing it well. This is more than I can say about the other ones that I tried over the past two years. Oh, and I did find another distro that does work in this machine, but with limited restrictions. It sits into a USB memory stick. The whole thing runs from the USB memory. The big setback is that it is a very big eye strain because of the tiny font that is used. And there are limitations as to what it can do. I found it to do wireless networking pretty reliable. And that's because it uses Window's facilities to manage the wireless access. It also uses Window's management of printing. The setup uses DSmallLinux, and Qemu (i-86 emualtor like VMware but much more limited capability). The stick can be plugged into any Windows OS with USB ports. There is no installation done on the hard drive. It is supposed to run in Linux. I tried it using SUSE, but it didn't work. Also, it didn't work in Freespire either. As far as Windows is concerned, DSmallLinux is just an application that is running on it's desktop. It is nice in a way, because no hard drive partition is needed, and it doesn't use up CD/DVD rom machine space. It also doesn't make much of an impact on the computer's ram availabilty. It uses the stick's memory space instead.

So, these are two items that you may want to try. If you have an HP-64 AMD laptop machine, would like to run Linux, try Freespire. I highly recommend it if your machine has a Broadcom wireless card in it. And finally, if you like a very portable linux, and you have strong eyes, download the free application for the USB stick. Take Linux with you in you pocket!

Cheers!
 
Old 09-15-2006, 08:23 PM   #2
rickh
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Registered: May 2004
Location: Albuquerque, NM USA
Distribution: Debian-Lenny/Sid 32/64 Desktop: Generic AMD64-EVGA 680i Laptop: Generic Intel SIS-AC97
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There is a growing schism in the Linux world between the Linspire/Freespire, Xandros position which is ... Put whatever it takes to work in your distro, freeness is not an issue. The more traditional view is that Linux distros should not include non-free elements. I understand that both Mandriva and Suse intend to start putting proprietary modules in their paid distributions, as well. It's ironic that Debian, the leading proponent of Freedom on their system is seized upon as the basis for those who wish to dump that philosophy.

I'm obviously in the opposite camp from you on this issue, but I'm glad you got what you needed.
 
Old 09-15-2006, 11:34 PM   #3
ONEderer
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Registered: Jan 2004
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by rickh
There is a growing schism in the Linux world between the Linspire/Freespire, Xandros position which is ... Put whatever it takes to work in your distro, freeness is not an issue. The more traditional view is that Linux distros should not include non-free elements. I understand that both Mandriva and Suse intend to start putting proprietary modules in their paid distributions, as well. It's ironic that Debian, the leading proponent of Freedom on their system is seized upon as the basis for those who wish to dump that philosophy.

I'm obviously in the opposite camp from you on this issue, but I'm glad you got what you needed.
Well if there were no non-free Linuxes out there, I'd still be looking for a way to network wirelessly this machine, after two years of searching. With Freespire having the proper codecs already built in, it was my salvation. I still wouldn't have been able to operate wirelessly without that feature. So it is true at this stage of the game, I'm all for whatever makes it work. This will be the my stance until the day that Linux has been developed to the point that it can fully stand up and operate on it's own, not needing non-free software to prop it up. At my age, I can't afford to wait any longer. I don't expect in my lifetime to see Linux being able to completely stand on it's own.

So far this has been a major stumbling block for Linux. It has been failing to get much greater acceptance, because it still lags many capabilities in supporting peripherals and drivers. This has also been the stumbling block of other fine distros because of the same reason. One distro that comes to mind is BEOS. Now that was a very stable and solid OS. It was almost impossible to kill that Posix-compliant Unix varient. Overloading it only resulted in slowing it down, but it wouldn't die. However, I saw the writing on the wall, it was not meant to last. They just couldn't get the support and the finances to boost it on to the market. But the quality of their product could be compared to what Apple now has.

I guess that I'm just tired. I no longer want to be a Linux mechanic. I just want to be a user. And for now, for that to happen, I can't afford to be a purist. I need to work and use with what is currently available.

Cheers!
 
  


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