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Posted 06-29-2011 at 08:30 AM by caieng

Yesterday, I submitted to the PCLOS forum my critical remarks about their newest KDE release, and today, I discovered that I had been blocked from accessing the forum.

I am curious to learn what others think about this kind of totalitarian conduct. Does it improve the Linux community?

The essence of my remarks, if I can recall them (I did not make a copy, unfortunately, or I would post it here,) was this:

Last year's LXDE release worked, and works, perfectly. The current KDE distro's installer does not function correctly, and the very famous Mandrake computer control center was degraded, by no longer permitting the user to "TEST" one's video assignment. Further, VLC has been degraded, it no longer plays mp3 streaming audio.

My criticisms could easily be refuted by someone more knowledgeable than I, and I would welcome comments from anyone, whether pro or anti this particular distro. Personally, I remain a committed PCLOS LXDE enthusiast, notwithstanding the hostile reception to my submission to the forum about the newest KDE release.

I see clouds on the horizon, for this distro, though. Any Linux distribution that is so fearful of honest criticism, that it would engage in censorship, is not really worthy of the Linux heritage, in my opinion.

What do you think?

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  1. Old Comment
    I think PCLOS can do whatever they want. I personally use Slackware because all the programs function as intended by the author. Vanilla is a good flavor. But then, if a distro truly fixes a bug in a program properly, good for them. They should send it to the developer and not include it till the developer accepts the patch.

    Pre-configured-ness to the degree of making VLC the default media player in everything certainly has its advantages but isn't needed.

    As for KDE. This is a really large package. It's one of those things that should be installed by default and never removed or touched. It's also buggy on every system that uses it. VLC not playing MP3 could have been a legal issue. MP3 is by no means free or legal to use in any form without paying the licensing fees... at least to my understanding anyway.
    Posted 06-29-2011 at 12:16 PM by lumak lumak is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Thanks, lumak, always enjoy reading your comments on this forum, and especially on threads from my blog.

    Yes, I agree with you, that PCLOS should be free to do as they please, including blacklisting me or anyone else. The question is not whether or not they have the POWER to exclude users they dislike, or the ABILITY to censor anyone who disputes the supreme leaders, the question is whether that behaviour is compatible with Linux.... I claim it is not. It is compatible with M$.

    Slackware was my first distro, and I like it for sentimental reasons. Further, whenever given the choice, I always prefer Patrick Volkerding's Lilo to Grub.

    But, Slackware seems to abhor the mouse, and love the keyboard, and I find that attitude thirty years obsolete. As you will learn, upon attaining elderly status, the fingers are not so nimble anymore, nor the cerebrum either.

    With regards to bugs, the newest KDE of PCLOS has some bugs in the installer, but what is so surprising to me, is that the previous edition did not have these imperfections. Someone at PCLOS ville, forgot to complete their testing homework....

    VLC for me, must be effortlessly invoked by the user. None of this "configuration" nonsense. It works right out of the box with SOME distributions, therefore, it COULD work out of the box with other distros. Why does it not work, effortlessly, with some Linux distros? Perhaps the answer has to do with your notion, incorrect, in my opinion, that "playing mp3 could have been a legal issue."

    I remind you of the legal battles waged by m$, a company which I detest, and which has done everything in its power to prevent the spread of Linux. Where is the legal issue with mp3? I regard this as an internet old wives' tale. It is a myth, unless you can produce some instance, just one will suffice, of litigation brought against the user of Linux who employed VLC to receive a live audio stream using mp3, as I am doing right now, while writing this reply.

    To be pertinant to the answer to this question, of course, the user must be someone who lacks written authorization from whichever authority issues such permission, and the government in question must be at least nominally "democratic". In other words, if a regime rounds up people, lines them up at the wall, and shoots them in the head, for failure to stop at a red light, then, such a government does not deserve designation as working within a legal framework, and hence, their prohibition against using mp3 without written authorization, would not be viewed, at least by me, as evidence that VLC should not be enabled on a Linux distro by default.

    But, if you have a case, from Europe, or North America, or Asia, or most South American countries, where an individual (or family) (but not a corporation) was prosecuted for having installed, without government sanction, VLC, and operated it, to receive mp3 based streaming audio, then, I am willing to acknowledge the idea that mp3 capability ought not be installed by default. Absent such a case, even one will suffice, then, I am persuaded that this issue is utterly bogus.

    More to the point: VLC does work correctly, with the LXDE version of the PCLOS release from December 2010. I installed it yesterday, after reformatting the hard drive. I used the PCLOS synaptic program to update all the files, so, for example, I am playing music right now, using the current opera browser, 11.50. The updated version of VLC, 1.10 is installed as well. It is strictly the newest release of PCLOS, that does not function as it should.

    Posted 06-29-2011 at 04:16 PM by caieng caieng is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Today, I was permitted again to access the PCLOS forum (my ISP address had been blocked), and when I logged in, I found this message from one of the forum moderators:

    I deleted your reply to the above thread, for excessive rudeness. If you have specific real problems, post them in the appropriate sections of the forum, and keep it civil.

    State the actual problem, what you have tried to alleviate the problem, and the results of your actions. Also post the specs of your particular machine so readers have a clue what they will be dealing with when offering suggestions.

    If you post in a similar manner to the reply that was removed, the new post will also be removed, for the same reason.
    Unfortunately, the moderator did not include a copy of my "excessively rude" submission, so I still don't know what it is that I wrote that was excessively rude.

    I am waiting now, for a reply to my response to his message. I have asked him to please forward a copy of my comment, so that I could modify the rudeness, and resubmit it.

    I will post it here if he sends it to me.

    Posted 07-03-2011 at 05:32 AM by caieng caieng is offline
  4. Old Comment
    Well, I did receive a reply to my request for a copy of my message, but the moderator at the PCLOS forum denied my request to return a copy of my message.

    Evidently, the PCLOS group prefers to keep my criticism secret.....

    Posted 07-03-2011 at 05:07 PM by caieng caieng is offline
  5. Old Comment
    Follow up: tested the newest version of LXDE, and found that it is slightly faster than the version from December 2010, however, it retains the same bug in the Mandrake Control Center (no capability to "test" the video card resolution selected) as described above for the KDE release.

    For both distributions, i.e. December 2010, and June 2011, I used synaptic to download and install the newest version of Opera and VLC. The times recorded:
    PCLOS LXDE 2010 December:... 132 seconds
    PCLOS LXDE 2011 June: ...... 121 seconds

    The computer used for this study was a 1 GHz PIII with Intel 815 chipset, FSB = 133 MHz, BIOS from 2001, video Matrox G450, memory 0.5 GB SDRAM, hard drive SATA 150 40 GB;
    GIPS 2.4
    GFLOPS 1.3
    Memory 0.8 GB/sec

    The details of the testing algorithm are posted in an earlier blog.

    Posted 07-08-2011 at 04:29 AM by caieng caieng is offline
  6. Old Comment
    Here is the normalized data for PCLOS LXDE from June 2011 compared with December 2010:


    December 2010: (2.4 + 0.8)/132 * 100 = 2.4
    June 2011: (2.4 + 0.8)/121 * 100 = 2.6

    The newest version of PCLOS LXDE executes the streaming audio reception task about 7-8% faster than the December 2010 version.

    Details of the testing method (three trials over a three day period) are elaborated in an earlier BLOG....

    Posted 07-08-2011 at 04:49 AM by caieng caieng is offline


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