Monday, October 29, 2007

Reason Behind the Lack of Release Cycle for PCLinuxOS

Let me ask you a question - why does a Linux distribution need release cycles?

A software release is the distribution, of a new and upgraded version of a computer software product. Each time a system or a software program is changed, the developers and the company (or community) doing the work decide on how to distribute the software (or the latest changes to the software) to the users (customers or community members or general public). Software patches are one method and the full package (full OS and/or software including the patches and changes) is the other.

pclinuxos release cycle

Generally a distribution undergoes a release cycle such as: pre-alfa, alfa, beta, release candidate, general release and the boxed copy. A release cycle is necessary to be on the edge of the latest stable software.

So, why does PCLinuxOS lack a regular release cycle, whereas Ubuntu, Fedora and OpenSuse, Mandriva come up with roughly two releases and many alphas, betas, rc (release candidate)s and boxed editions? The reasons are:

  • PCLinuxOS repository keeps itself always updated with the latest in the Linux World. The users can easily update their systems online, so there is no need to download the full bundle. It's tiresome. By the way, every release of PCLinuxOS is so stable, up to date and usable that any desktop user can have happy computing for quite a long time (till a major release), even without installing the updates.
  • PCLinuxOS has a unique approach to releases (and updates). Each of its release comes with some major updates, so that the user can feel the difference in the Linux world in general (between two consequitive releases) and PCLinuxOS in particular. That's why there are discernible changes among PCLinuxOS 92, 93 (Big Daddy) and 94 (2007). In other Linux distributions (Ubuntu, Mepis, Fedora, Suse...) you will hardly find any major difference between two releases, except for some change in software update numbers.
  • PCLinuxOS has no set dates for releasing. This helps the developer and the community to be patient and work on the distro steadily to offer a really stable and usable distro, when they are at all satisfied after much alpha, beta and release candidates. Hence, every PCLinuxOS release has very less number of bugs compared to other distros.
  • Frequent Release Cycles create chaos in Linux User Community. They feel the urge to update (though for not worthwhile benefits). And they spare much work-hours in tweaking the system, updating, installing and configuring. The actual productive computing is ignored. But late and stable releases help users to work on a usable system and forget about the update thing, till a really major release knocks in.

As of now, I think the next PCLinuxOS release will be groundbreaking with stable KDE4. So, I would tell every Desktop Linux User to get back to life and work on PCLinuxOS 2007, than trying the minor updates of Gutsy, Herdy, Celena, bla... bla.... bla…..

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Smoothening the Rough Edges of PCLinuxOS for Desktop Users - A Minimalistic Approach

Linux desktop has many edges over Windows, but let's agree a few of them are rough. I love Linux but I respect the feeling of some Linux converts (specially millions can't be wrong when they say it ROUGH). One of these rough edges is: cryptic software installation (if the users don't have knowledge of the Linux and/or don't have access to the Web and/or 'confusing nomenclature' of the software packages).

Linux becomes the best desktop (and server) in sync with the Web. Linux developers are more internet-savvy than their Windows counterparts. Linux people spare more time on the Web sharing codes and peer-review. Perhaps this web-savvy nature has lead them to think that all the desktop users under the sun use the Web (or have access to it). But in reality a few of the poor users don't have access to the Web. So how can they resolve rpm dependencies, browse forums for help, and update their systems?

Well, here is a minimalistic approach to software installation after which you can have a smooth PCLinuxOS computing (alongside Windows XP, if it's installed on another partition of your hdd) even if your PC is not powerful. Here under is an optimized list of packages (much of the potato cheaps removed, and some real meats added) in presence of which you can do the regular office chore, have a great multimedia experience, work in sync with your Windows ntfs partitions, and find yourself in a sober but sophisticated desktop environment.

Just query your packages list (type rpm -qa in a terminal), match the screen output (it's the list of packages present in your PCLinuxOS) with the list packages mentioned below. Remove the extra packages you have in your system. Make a list packages that your system lacks. Access the web for just once and download all those packages. Install them. That's it! Now you have a optimized set of applications that's just enough to do any home desktop job.

Here is the optimized package list:
a2ps-4.13b-11pclos2007
acpi-0.09-2pclos2007
acpid-1.0.4-15pclos2007
alsa-plugins-1.0.14-0.rc4.1pclos2007
alsa-utils-1.0.14-0.rc4.1pclos2007
alsaconf-1.0.14-0.rc4.1pclos2007
amarok-1.4.5-5pclos2007
amarok-engine-xine-1.4.5-5pclos2007
amarok-scripts-1.4.5-5pclos2007
anacron-2.3-19pclos2007
apt-0.5.15cnc6-19pclos2007
apt-common-0.5.15cnc6-19pclos2007
arts-1.5.6-4pclos2007
ash-0.3.8-12pclos2007
aspell-0.60.4-4pclos2007
aspell-en-6.0.0-3pclos2007
at-3.1.8-20pclos2007
at-spi-1.7.11-2pclos2007
atk1.0-common-1.18.0-1pclos2007
aumix-2.8-17pclos2007
aumix-text-2.8-17pclos2007
avahi-0.6.16-3pclos2007
awesfx-0.5.0d-4pclos2007
basesystem-2007.0-3pclos2007
bash-3.1-8pclos2007
bc-1.06-20pclos2007
binutils-2.16.91.0.7-4pclos2007
bootloader-utils-1.13-2pclos2007
bootsplash-3.1.14-2pclos2007
busybox-1.1.2-3pclos2007
bzip2-1.0.3-7pclos2007
cdialog-0.9b-9pclos2007
cdrdao-1.2.1-4pclos2007
cdrkit-1.1.5.1-1pclos2007
cdrkit-genisoimage-1.1.5.1-1pclos2007
cdrkit-isotools-1.1.5.1-1pclos2007
chkconfig-1.3.25-3pclos2007
chkfontpath-1.10.0-3pclos2007
common-licenses-1.0-12pclos2007
console-tools-0.2.3-62pclos2007
coreutils-5.97-5pclos2007
coreutils-doc-5.97-5pclos2007
cpio-2.6-8pclos2007
cpufreq-1.0-26pclos2007
cracklib-dicts-2.8.9-2pclos2007
crontabs-1.10-7pclos2007
curl-7.15.5-2pclos2007
cyrus-sasl-2.1.22-22pclos2007
dbus-1.0.2-2pclos2007
dbus-x11-1.0.2-2pclos2007
desktop-common-data-2007-25.3pclos2007
desktop-file-utils-0.11-6pclos2007
devede-2.11-1pclos2007
dhcp-client-3.0.4-3pclos2007
dhcp-common-3.0.4-3pclos2007
diffutils-2.8.7-5pclos2007
dirmngr-0.9.5-4pclos2007
dkms-2.0.16-1pclos2007
dkms-fuse-2.7.0-1pclos2007
dkms-minimal-2.0.16-1pclos2007
dmidecode-2.8-3pclos2007
dmraid-1.0.0-0.rc11.2pclos2007
dmsetup-1.02.09-2pclos2007
DoAsRoot-1.0.0-1pclos2007
docbook-dtd412-xml-1.0-19pclos2007
docbook-dtd42-xml-1.0-6pclos2007
docbook-dtd43-xml-1.0-4pclos2007
drakconf-10.4.13-12pclos2007
drakconf-icons-10.4.13-12pclos2007
drakwizard-base-3.1-2pclos2007
drakxtools-10.4.81-19pclos2007
drakxtools-backend-10.4.81-19pclos2007
drakxtools-newt-10.4.81-19pclos2007
dvd+rw-tools-7.0-3pclos2007
dvdauthor-0.6.13-1pclos2007
dynamic-0.26.10-3pclos2007
e2fsprogs-1.39-3pclos2007
eject-2.1.5-3pclos2007
emerald-themes-0.2.0-1pclos2007
enchant-1.2.6-3pclos2007
enscript-1.6.4-5pclos2007
esound-0.2.36-6pclos2007
etcskel-1.63-19pclos2007
ethtool-3-4pclos2007
exscalibar-1.0.4-9pclos2007
faac-1.25-1pclos2007
faad2-2.5-1pclos2007
fbgrab-1.0-2pclos2007
ffmpeg-0.4.9-4.pre1.6122.4pclos2007
file-4.17-3pclos2007
filesystem-2.1.8-6pclos2007
findutils-4.2.27-3pclos2007
flac-1.1.4-1pclos2007
flash-player-plugin-9.0.31.0-1pclos2007
font-tools-0.1-14pclos2007
fontconfig-2.4.1-2pclos2007
fonts-ttf-bitstream-vera-1.10-5pclos2007
fonts-ttf-decoratives-1.3-16pclos2007
fonts-ttf-dejavu-2.9-2pclos2007
fonts-ttf-west_european-1.3-16pclos2007
foomatic-db-engine-3.0.2-1.20060711.2pclos2007
foomatic-filters-3.0.2-1.20060827.2pclos2007
fortune-mod-1.99.1-9pclos2007
freetype-1.3.1-25pclos2007
freetype-tools-1.3.1-25pclos2007
fribidi-0.10.4-7pclos2007
fslsfonts-1.0.1-4pclos2007
fstobdf-1.0.2-3pclos2007
fuse-2.7.0-1pclos2007
gail-1.9.2-2pclos2007
gamin-0.1.8-1pclos2007
gawk-3.1.5-3pclos2007
gcc-4.1.1-4pclos2007
gcc-cpp-4.1.1-4pclos2007
GConf2-2.14.0-5pclos2007
gettext-base-0.14.6-2pclos2007
ghostscript-8.15-47pclos2007
ghostscript-common-8.15-47pclos2007
ghostscript-fonts-8.11-6pclos2007
ghostscript-module-X-8.15-47pclos2007
gimp-2.3.16-1pclos2007
glib-gettextize-2.12.3-4pclos2007
glib2.0-common-2.12.3-4pclos2007
glibc-2.4-7pclos2007
glibc-devel-2.4-7pclos2007
gnome-icon-theme-2.16.0.1-2pclos2007
gnome-keyring-0.6.0-2pclos2007
gnome-mime-data-2.4.2-4pclos2007
gnome-themes-2.16.0-2pclos2007
gnome-vfs2-2.16.0-5pclos2007
gnupg-1.4.5-4pclos2007
gnupg2-1.9.22-5pclos2007
grep-2.5.1a-3pclos2007
groff-1.19.1-7pclos2007
groff-for-man-1.19.1-7pclos2007
grub-0.97-22pclos2007
gstreamer-arts-0.8.12-12pclos2007
gstreamer-audio-formats-0.8.12-12pclos2007
gstreamer-faac-0.8.12-12pclos2007
gstreamer-ffmpeg-0.8.7-5pclos2007
gstreamer-mad-0.8.12-12pclos2007
gstreamer-plugins-0.8.12-12pclos2007
gstreamer-quicktime-0.8.12-12pclos2007
gstreamer-tools-0.8.12-3pclos2007
gstreamer-v4l2-0.8.12-12pclos2007
gstreamer-vorbis-0.8.12-12pclos2007
gstreamer-x11-0.8.12-12pclos2007
gstreamer0.10-flac-0.10.5-1pclos2007
gstreamer0.10-plugins-base-0.10.11-1pclos2007
gstreamer0.10-tools-0.10.11-1pclos2007
gtk-engines2-2.8.0-5pclos2007
gtk+2.0-2.10.6-6pclos2007
gtkdialogs-2.2-2pclos2007
gtkspell-2.0.11-2pclos2007
gutenprint-common-5.0.0-3pclos2007
gutenprint-gimp2-5.0.0-3pclos2007
gzip-1.3.5-4pclos2007
hal-0.5.9-3pclos2007
hal-info-0.0.1-0.20070402.2pclos2007
harddrake-10.4.81-19pclos2007
harddrake-ui-10.4.81-19pclos2007
hdparm-7.3-1pclos2007
hicolor-icon-theme-0.9-7pclos2007
hwdb-clients-0.18-2pclos2007
iceauth-1.0.1-4pclos2007
ico-1.0.1-4pclos2007
ifmetric-0.3-5pclos2007
ifplugd-0.28-6pclos2007
ImageMagick-6.2.9.2-5pclos2007
imlib-1.9.15-3pclos2007
imwheel-1.0.0-0.pre12.3pclos2007
info-install-4.8-6pclos2007
initscripts-8.51-3pclos2007
inkscape-0.43-0
installation-help-1.0-2pclos2007
iproute2-2.6.16-4pclos2007
iptables-1.3.5-4pclos2007
iputils-20020927-7pclos2007
isapnptools-1.26-9pclos2007
jackit-0.103.0-2pclos2007
jasper-1.701.0-6pclos2007
jfsprogs-1.1.11-2pclos2007
jpeg-progs-6b-40pclos2007
k3b-1.0.1-4pclos2007
kaffeine-0.8.4-3pclos2007
katalog-0.3-5pclos2007
kchmviewer-2.6-1tex
kde-kdm-Dark2-1.0-2pclos2007
kdeaddons-ark-3.5.6-5pclos2007
kdeaddons-konqimagegallery-3.5.6-5pclos2007
kdeaddons-metabar-3.5.6-5pclos2007
kdeaddons-searchbar-3.5.6-5pclos2007
kdebase-3.5.6-14pclos2007
kdebase-konsole-3.5.6-14pclos2007
kdebase-servicemenu-2007-6pclos2007
kdegraphics-3.5.6-6pclos2007
kdegraphics-kghostview-3.5.6-6pclos2007
kdegraphics-kpdf-3.5.6-6pclos2007
kdegraphics-ksnapshot-3.5.6-6pclos2007
kdegraphics-kuickshow-3.5.6-6pclos2007
kdelibs-3.5.6-7pclos2007
kdemultimedia-3.5.6-8pclos2007
kdemultimedia-kscd-3.5.6-8pclos2007
kdenetwork-kget-3.5.6-8pclos2007
kdenetwork-lisa-3.5.6-8pclos2007
kdeutils-3.5.6-9pclos2007
kdeutils-ark-3.5.6-9pclos2007
kdeutils-kcalc-3.5.6-9pclos2007
kdeutils-kdf-3.5.6-9pclos2007
kdeutils-kgpg-3.5.6-9pclos2007
kdmtheme-1.1.3-1pclos2007
kernel-2.6.18.8.tex5-1-1pclos2007
kernel-headers-2.6.18.8.tex5-1-1pclos2007
kernel-latest-2.6.18.8.tex5-1pclos2007
keybled-0.65-2pclos2007
kima-0.7.1-2pclos2007
kipi-plugins-0.1.2-1pclos2007
kjsembed-3.5.6-5pclos2007
kmixautostart-0.1-2pclos2007
knetstats-1.6.1-2pclos2007
ksplash-engine-moodin-0.4.2-4pclos2007
lbxproxy-1.0.1-4pclos2007
ldconfig-2.4-7pclos2007
ldetect-0.6.5-2pclos2007
ldetect-lst-0.1.150-5pclos2007
less-394-5pclos2007
lesstif-0.93.94-13pclos2007
libaa1-1.4.0-0.rc5.17pclos2007
libacl1-2.2.39-2pclos2007
libakode2-2.0.1-4pclos2007
libalsa-data-1.0.14-0.rc4.1pclos2007
libalsa2-1.0.14-0.rc4.1pclos2007
libao2-0.8.6-4pclos2007
libapm1-3.2.2-12pclos2007
libapr-util1-1.2.7-10pclos2007
libapr1-1.2.7-3pclos2007
libapt-pkg0-0.5.15cnc6-19pclos2007
libart_lgpl2-2.3.17-5pclos2007
libarts1-1.5.6-4pclos2007
libaspell15-0.60.4-4pclos2007
libassuan0-0.6.10-3pclos2007
libat-spi0-1.7.11-2pclos2007
libatk1.0_0-1.18.0-1pclos2007
libattr1-2.4.32-2pclos2007
libaudiofile0-0.2.6-7pclos2007
libavahi-client3-0.6.16-3pclos2007
libavahi-common3-0.6.16-3pclos2007
libavahi-core4-0.6.16-3pclos2007
libavahi-glib1-0.6.16-3pclos2007
libavahi-qt3_1-0.6.16-3pclos2007
libavc1394_0-0.5.3-0.72.2pclos2007
libavformats50-0.4.9-4.pre1.6122.4pclos2007
libavutil49-0.4.9-4.pre1.6122.4pclos2007
libbeecrypt6-3.1.0-8pclos2007
libbinutils2-2.16.91.0.7-4pclos2007
libbonobo-2.16.0-2pclos2007
libbonobo2_0-2.16.0-2pclos2007
libbonoboui-2.16.0-2pclos2007
libbonoboui2_0-2.16.0-2pclos2007
libbrlapi0.4.1_0-3.7.2-6pclos2007
libbzip2_1-1.0.3-7pclos2007
libcaca0-0.99-0.beta11.1pclos2007
libcairo2-1.4.2-2pclos2007
libcairomm1.0_1-1.2.2-2pclos2007
libcap-utils-1.10-6pclos2007
libcap1-1.10-6pclos2007
libcdda0-IIIa9.8-12pclos2007
libcdio7-0.77-4pclos2007
libcheck0.9.3-0.9.3-1pclos2007
libconsole0-0.2.3-62pclos2007
libcrack2-2.8.9-2pclos2007
libcroco0.6_3-0.6.1-2pclos2007
libcups2-1.2.4-1pclos2007
libcurl3-7.15.5-2pclos2007
libdaemon0-0.10-4pclos2007
libdatrie0-0.1.1-2pclos2007
libdb2-2.4.14-16pclos2007
libdb4.2-4.2.52-12pclos2007
libdbus-1_3-1.0.2-2pclos2007
libdbus-glib-1_2-0.73-1pclos2007
libdbus-qt-1_1-0.70-3pclos2007
libdc1394_12-1.2.1-3pclos2007
libdevmapper1.02-1.02.09-2pclos2007
libdha1.0-1.0-0.rc1.3pclos2007
libdirectfb0.9_25-0.9.25.1-3pclos2007
libdm0-2.2.5-2pclos2007
libdmx1-1.0.2-3pclos2007
libdnet1-1.11-2pclos2007
libdrm2-2.0.2-2pclos2007
libdrm2-devel-2.0.2-2pclos2007
libdv4-0.104-6pclos2007
libdvdcss2-1.2.9-1pclos2007
libdvdnav4-0.1.10-5pclos2007
libdvdread3-0.9.6-2pclos2007
libelfutils1-0.120-3pclos2007
libenca0-1.9-4pclos2007
libenchant1-1.2.6-3pclos2007
libesound0-0.2.36-6pclos2007
libevent1-1.1b-2pclos2007
libexif12-0.6.13-3pclos2007
libexiv2-0.12-1pclos2007
libexpat0-1.95.8-4pclos2007
libexscalibar1-1.0.4-9pclos2007
libext2fs2-1.39-3pclos2007
libfaac0-1.25-1pclos2007
libfaad2_0-2.5-1pclos2007
libffmpeg51-0.4.9-4.pre1.6122.4pclos2007
libfftw3-3.1.2-2pclos2007
libflac++6-1.1.4-1pclos2007
libflac8-1.1.4-1pclos2007
libfltk1.1-1.1.7-9pclos2007
libfontconfig1-2.4.1-2pclos2007
libfontenc1-1.0.2-3pclos2007
libfreebob0-1.0.0-1pclos2007
libfreetype6-2.2.1-5pclos2007
libfribidi0-0.10.4-7pclos2007
libfs6-1.0.0-4pclos2007
libgail-gnome-1.1.3-2pclos2007
libgail18-1.9.2-2pclos2007
libgamin-1_0-0.1.8-1pclos2007
libgc1-6.7-2pclos2007
libgcc1-4.1.1-4pclos2007
libGConf2_4-2.14.0-5pclos2007
libgcrypt11-1.2.3-2pclos2007
libgdbm3-1.8.3-4pclos2007
libgdk_pixbuf2.0_0-2.10.6-6pclos2007
libggi-2.1.1-4pclos2007
libggi2-2.1.1-4pclos2007
libgii-0.9.1-3pclos2007
libgii0-0.9.1-3pclos2007
libgimp2.0_0-2.3.16-1pclos2007
libglade2.0_0-2.6.0-2pclos2007
libglib1.2-1.2.10-17pclos2007
libglib2.0_0-2.12.3-4pclos2007
libglib2.0_0-devel-2.12.3-4pclos2007
libglibmm2.4_1-2.12.0-2pclos2007
libglitz1-0.5.6-2pclos2007
libgmime2.0-2.2.3-3pclos2007
libgmp3-4.1.4-5pclos2007
libgnome-keyring0-0.6.0-2pclos2007
libgnome-menu2-2.16.0-3pclos2007
libgnome-vfs2_0-2.16.0-5pclos2007
libgnome2_0-2.16.0-3pclos2007
libgnome2-2.16.0-3pclos2007
libgnomecanvas2_0-2.14.0-2pclos2007
libgnomecups-0.2.2-4pclos2007
libgnomecups-1.0_1-0.2.2-4pclos2007
libgnomeprint-2.12.1-9pclos2007
libgnomeprint2-2_0-2.12.1-9pclos2007
libgnomeprintui-2.12.1-6pclos2007
libgnomeprintui2-2_0-2.12.1-6pclos2007
libgnomeui2_0-2.16.0-4pclos2007
libgnomeui2-2.16.0-4pclos2007
libgnutls13-1.4.0-5pclos2007
libgpg-error0-1.3-2pclos2007
libgpgme11-1.1.2-3pclos2007
libgphoto-common-2.3.0-1pclos2007
libgphoto-hotplug-2.3.0-1pclos2007
libgphoto2-2.3.0-1pclos2007
libgpm1-1.20.1-15pclos2007
libgpod-0.4.2-4pclos2007
libgpod1-0.4.2-4pclos2007
libgs8-8.15-47pclos2007
libgsf-1_114-1.14.1-4pclos2007
libgsl0-1.8-3pclos2007
libgsm1-1.0.10-12pclos2007
libgsmlib1-1.11-0.3pclos2007
libgssapi2-0.10-2pclos2007
libgstreamer-plugins-base0.10-0.10.11-1pclos2007
libgstreamer-plugins0.8-0.8.12-12pclos2007
libgstreamer0.10_0.10-0.10.11-1pclos2007
libgstreamer0.8-0.8.12-3pclos2007
libgtk+-x11-2.0_0-2.10.6-6pclos2007
libgtk+1.2-1.2.10-47pclos2007
libgtk+2.0_0-2.10.6-6pclos2007
libgtkhtml2_0-2.11.0-3pclos2007
libgtkspell0-2.0.11-2pclos2007
libgutenprint2-5.0.0-3pclos2007
libgutenprintui2_1-5.0.0-3pclos2007
libhal1-0.5.9-3pclos2007
libical0-0.26.7-1pclos2007
libice6-1.0.1-3pclos2007
libid3tag0-0.15.1b-6pclos2007
libIDL2_0-0.8.8-1pclos2007
libidn11-0.6.5-2pclos2007
libiec61883_0-1.1.0-0.20060103.3pclos2007
libieee1284_3-0.2.10-3pclos2007
libifp4-1.0.0.1-2pclos2007
libimlib1-1.9.15-3pclos2007
libimlib2_1-1.2.2-5pclos2007
libimlib2_1-filters-1.2.2-5pclos2007
libimlib2_1-loaders-1.2.2-5pclos2007
libintl3-0.14.6-2pclos2007
libiso9660_5-0.77-4pclos2007
libjack0-0.103.0-2pclos2007
libjasper1.701_1-1.701.0-6pclos2007
libjpeg62-6b-40pclos2007
libkexif0-0.2.4-4pclos2007
libkipi0-0.1.4-4pclos2007
libkjsembed1-3.5.6-5pclos2007
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x11-driver-video-imstt-1.1.0-3pclos2007
x11-driver-video-mga-1.2.1.3-2pclos2007
x11-driver-video-neomagic-1.1.1-3pclos2007
x11-driver-video-newport-0.2.0-3pclos2007
x11-driver-video-nsc-2.8.1-3pclos2007
x11-driver-video-nv-1.2.2-1pclos2007
x11-driver-video-openchrome-0.2.0.20060725-4pclos2007
x11-driver-video-rendition-4.1.0-3pclos2007
x11-driver-video-s3-0.4.1-3pclos2007
x11-driver-video-s3virge-1.9.1-3pclos2007
x11-driver-video-savage-2.1.1-3pclos2007
x11-driver-video-siliconmotion-1.4.1-3pclos2007
x11-driver-video-sis-0.9.1-3pclos2007
x11-driver-video-sisusb-0.8.1-2pclos2007
x11-driver-video-sunbw2-1.1.0-2pclos2007
x11-driver-video-suncg14-1.1.0-2pclos2007
x11-driver-video-suncg3-1.1.0-2pclos2007
x11-driver-video-suncg6-1.1.0-2pclos2007
x11-driver-video-sunffb-1.1.0-2pclos2007
x11-driver-video-sunleo-1.1.0-2pclos2007
x11-driver-video-suntcx-1.1.0-2pclos2007
x11-driver-video-tdfx-1.2.1-3pclos2007
x11-driver-video-tga-1.1.0-2pclos2007
x11-driver-video-trident-1.2.1-2pclos2007
x11-driver-video-tseng-1.1.0-2pclos2007
x11-driver-video-v4l-0.1.1-2pclos2007
x11-driver-video-vesa-1.2.1-2pclos2007
x11-driver-video-vga-4.1.0-2pclos2007
x11-driver-video-via-0.2.1-5pclos2007
x11-driver-video-vmware-10.13.0-2pclos2007
x11-driver-video-voodoo-1.1.0-2pclos2007
x11-font-adobe-75dpi-1.0.0-5pclos2007
x11-font-adobe-utopia-75dpi-1.0.1-5pclos2007
x11-font-adobe-utopia-type1-1.0.1-5pclos2007
x11-font-alias-1.0.1-9pclos2007
x11-font-arabic-misc-1.0.0-5pclos2007
x11-font-bh-75dpi-1.0.0-5pclos2007
x11-font-bh-lucidatypewriter-75dpi-1.0.0-5pclos2007
x11-font-bh-ttf-1.0.0-5pclos2007
x11-font-bh-type1-1.0.0-5pclos2007
x11-font-bitstream-75dpi-1.0.0-5pclos2007
x11-font-bitstream-type1-1.0.0-5pclos2007
x11-font-cursor-misc-1.0.0-5pclos2007
x11-font-daewoo-misc-1.0.0-5pclos2007
x11-font-dec-misc-1.0.0-5pclos2007
x11-font-ibm-type1-1.0.0-5pclos2007
x11-font-isas-misc-1.0.0-5pclos2007
x11-font-jis-misc-1.0.0-5pclos2007
x11-font-micro-misc-1.0.0-5pclos2007
x11-font-misc-1.0.0-4pclos2007
x11-font-misc-misc-1.0.0-5pclos2007
x11-font-mutt-misc-1.0.0-5pclos2007
x11-font-schumacher-misc-1.0.0-5pclos2007
x11-font-sony-misc-1.0.0-5pclos2007
x11-font-sun-misc-1.0.0-5pclos2007
x11-font-type1-1.0.0-4pclos2007
x11-font-xfree86-type1-1.0.0-6pclos2007
x11-scripts-1.0.1-4pclos2007
x11-server-common-1.1.1-16pclos2007
x11-server-xgl-0.0.1-0.20060714.12pclos2007
x11-server-xorg-1.1.1-16pclos2007
x11perf-1.4.1-3pclos2007
xauth-1.0.1-8pclos2007
xclass-icons-0.9.1-1pclos2007
xcmsdb-1.0.1-4pclos2007
xcursorgen-1.0.1-3pclos2007
Xdialog-2.2.1-2pclos2007
xditview-1.0.1-6pclos2007
xdpyinfo-1.0.1-4pclos2007
xev-1.0.2-2pclos2007
xf86dga-1.0.1-8pclos2007
xfd-1.0.1-6pclos2007
xfindproxy-1.0.1-4pclos2007
xfontsel-1.0.1-6pclos2007
xfs-1.0.2-14pclos2007
xfsinfo-1.0.1-4pclos2007
xfsprogs-2.8.11-2pclos2007
xfwp-1.0.1-4pclos2007
xgamma-1.0.1-4pclos2007
xgc-1.0.1-6pclos2007
xhost-1.0.1-3pclos2007
xine-arts-1.1.6-1pclos20072007
xine-faad-1.1.6-1pclos20072007
xine-flac-1.1.6-1pclos20072007
xine-plugins-1.1.6-1pclos20072007
xinit-1.0.2-6pclos2007
xinitrc-2.4.17-4pclos2007
xkbcomp-1.0.2-3pclos2007
xkbevd-1.0.2-3pclos2007
xkbprint-1.0.1-4pclos2007
xkbutils-1.0.1-6pclos2007
xkill-1.0.1-4pclos2007
xload-1.0.1-6pclos2007
xlogo-1.0.1-6pclos2007
xlsatoms-1.0.1-4pclos2007
xlsclients-1.0.1-4pclos2007
xmag-1.0.1-6pclos2007
xman-1.0.2-5pclos2007
xmessage-1.0.1-6pclos2007
xmms-1.2.10-34pclos2007
xmms-wma-1.0.5-1.0.rh9.rf
xmodmap-1.0.1-3pclos2007
xmore-1.0.1-6pclos2007
xorg-x11-75dpi-fonts-7.1.0-7pclos2007
xorg-x11-xfs-7.1.0-7pclos2007
xprop-1.0.2-2pclos2007
xrandr-1.0.2-3pclos2007
xrdb-1.0.2-4pclos2007
xset-1.0.2-3pclos2007
xsetmode-1.0.0-4pclos2007
xsetpointer-1.0.0-4pclos2007
xsetroot-1.0.1-4pclos2007
xsettings-kde-0.4-2pclos2007
xstdcmap-1.0.1-4pclos2007
xterm-215-6pclos2007
xtrap-1.0.2-3pclos2007
xvidcap-1.1.4-3pclos2007.i586.rpm
xvidtune-1.0.1-6pclos2007
xvinfo-1.0.1-4pclos2007
xwd-1.0.1-4pclos2007
xwininfo-1.0.2-3pclos2007
xwud-1.0.1-4pclos2007
zip-2.31-3pclos2007
zlib1-1.2.3-3pclos2007

Added packages to PCLinuxOS:
Libdvdcss2
Ntfs-3g
Unrar
Win32codecs
Xmms (with wma codec)
Xvidcap

Removed stuff from PCLinuxOS:
Beryl/Compiz
Many of the KDE artwork, addons and themes
Sun Java
and many many more ...

Friday, October 26, 2007

PCLinuxOS - Image Manipulation on Terminal - work & fun

People think linux console/terminal is for administration, configuration, text processing and programming. The reality is terminal can do much more things than what we regularly do on it. You can listen to audio (read man pages for mpg123, mpg321, ogg123, play, mp3blaster….), record/process audio/video files (read man pages for sox, rec, mencoder, ffmpeg… ), manipulate/animate image (read manpages for import, fbgrab, fbshot, convert, composite, imagemagick, ), and many more…

pclinuxos - cli image manipulation


Let’s discuss how to manipulate images in this post.

Taking Screenshots:

The easiest tool pclinuxos has for taking screenshot is fbgrab.
Just issue: fbgrab filename.png in the commandline, that’s it. Fbgrab produces only png image shots.

Else you can use import command (from imagemagick suite). Import produces screenshots in jpg, png and bmp. Choose the one that suits best to your screenshot color depth.
To take screenshot of the entire screen issue: import -window root filename.png

To take screenshot of a particular screen issue: import screenshot.png you cursor will turn into an crosshair, drop the cursor on the section you want to capture.

Using import you can also set a time delay so that you hide the terminal containing the import command or arrange your windows properly. For example if you want 5 seconds delay issue: sleep 5; import -window root screenshot.png

You can also add timestamp. For it issue: import -window root ‘date +%Y-%m-%d’.png

Image Conversion:

ImageMagick is a small but versatile suite to manipulate images. It comes as default in many linux distributions.

To convert a BMP to a PNG, issue: convert image.bmp image.png

Tile images:

You can issue convert with tile argument to tile the input image into an output image of a size you specify with the -size argument. For example: convert -size 640x480 tile :image.jpg tiledimage.jpg

Add border to image:

Using -border and -bordercolor arguments with convert, you can add a border to an image. The width you specify applies to the left and right of the image, while the height applies to the top and bottom of the image. You can pass a color either in text (red, blue, white, etc.) or as an RGB value. For example: convert -border 15x18 -bordercolor white image.jpg image2.jpg

Make thumbnails:

Using convert with -thumbnail argument you can create thumbnails. To create a thumbnail that has a width of 160 pixels, issue: convert -thumbnail 160 image.jpg thumbnail.jpg

To create a thumbnail with a height of 160 pixels, precede the geometry with x: convert -thumbnail x160 image.jpg thumbnail.jpg

This command is very useful if you have handle a lot of digital images to a web gallery. You can create a script to automate thumbnail creation. For example, to create a thumbnail with a width of 160 pixels from every JPEG image in a directory, issue: for i in *.jpg; do convert -thumbnail 160 $i thumb-$i; done;

Add watermark:

With the help of composite using -gravity and –watermark options you can define watermarks to your protected graphics.The -gravity option defines a number of locations for a watermark. The supported locations are north, east, south, west, northeast, southeast, southwest, northwest, and center. The -watermark option takes as its argument a percentage that defines how translucent to make the watermark. To add a 35% translucent watermark in the bottom right-hand corner of an image, issue: composite -watermark 35% -gravity southeast watermark.gif image.jpg image-watermarked.jpg

In this example, watermark.gif is the watermark, image.jpg is the image to watermark, and image-watermarked.jpg is the newly created image.

You can also create a script to automate watermark creation for your web gallery.

Animate images:

You can use the animate tool of imagemagick suite and apply -delay option to create nice web animations. For example how it looks like one second delay on a directory full of gif images, issue: animate -delay 100 *.gif

This command will display images in that directory in alphabetical order.

If you are satisfied with the above delay effect. You can use convert command to convert a directory of gif files into a single gif animation by issuing: convert -delay 100 *.gif animated.gif

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Awe-Inspiring Experience of Spy der Mann - Must Read for Every Linux Newbie

Spy der Mann (a.k.a. M) came my way! And surprised me with his agonies (of windows experience) and ecstasies (of pclinuxos joyride). Somewhere in the innermost corners of evolved PC users there lives an M, who just can't settle for mundane things of computing (like windows), and must find his way through nobler things (linux in general and pclinuxos in particular).

Thanks M! You represent millions of evolved pc users through your nice posts on slashdot. I don't want to dilute your feelings. So, I am posting them as they are.

(Please visit http://slashdot.org/~Spy+der+Mann/journal/185719 and http://slashdot.org/~Spy+der+Mann/journal/185683 to see the original posts and other good tech literature)

Article #1 by M

My viewpoint on Windows after switching to Linux.

Remember this borg guy called Bill Gates? Well, I'm finally free from him, and from everything that he represents.

I'd like to share a thought with you guys. Perhaps it might help someone who's doubting on switching to Linux . The original post was written on one of the Microsoft stories. Everytime Microsoft plays dirty on you is a reason to switch.

Yesterday I switched to Linux from Windows. My Linux of choice was PCLinuxOS, which I find powerful and yet guiding (you can read my review on my journal). Anyway, what I wanted to share is that when I used to be a prisoner - and slave - of Windows, everytime I read these news on Slashdot ("Microsoft forces this update on you!", "Windows phones home", "Windows spies on your browsing habits", "Windows antipiracy measures screw up your install"), I used to get irritated and mad at Microsoft.

But just today, I felt very different when reading these news. For the simple reason that my main install is Linux. How? Well, let me tell you how I felt.

I felt like a spectator watching the tragedy from a tower far away, and giving thanks for not having been there. Or, as mexicans say, i felt like if I was watching the bullfight from behind the barrier. I was no longer angry, nor desperate. I was...

Safe.

Being a V for Vendetta fan, I can compare with the feeling Evey had when she was under the rain, after having decided to go against the system, to the last consequences. Her thoughts and actions were completely free from the government. I can tell how she felt.

It was a feeling of freedom. It was a feeling of power.It was a feeling of being able to fight against the Statu Quo. I wasn't part of the system anymore. I felt like Neo after going in the matrix and realizing I *CAN* change things.

I was no longer a victim. I was no longer a survivor. I became... a fighter.

I no longer need to hack my way through Microsoft's limitations. I no longer need to download a crack to bypass the stupid region encoding or DRM imposed by Windows just to backup my movies or music CDs. I no longer need to fear the dreaded Windows update screwing up my system. I no longer fear the waste of time of installing, re-registering and cracking Windows "Genuine Advantage" every time I upgrade my hardware.

I AM FREE!

For ages, I had complained about our slavery to Windows and the lack of Linux user-friendliness that kept us in that slavery. And now I feel that PCLinuxOS had build the bridge that I needed to do the switch. To put it in biblical terms, PCLinuxOS was, at least for me, the Moses we needed to get away from the evil Pharaoh.

I am beyond Windows now. I have transcended. I am immune. I am free.

Now, does that mean I'm going to become another of those elitist Linux "fanbois" that blame everything on the user? Hell no! The path towards freedom is still very rough, and I'm convinced that the more cross-platform applications there are, the easier that path will become. And I said path towards freedom, not towards Linux. Because when ReactOS comes out, it will be the same freedom - but with a different choice. You can't promote freedom with a dictatorship. You need to let people choose.

But I disgress.

This power, this freedom, this liberty, is a feeling that can't really be explained. You NEED to experience it. After you do, you will never go back.

So, if you decide to switch, and if Ubuntu doesn't meet your expectations, try PCLinuxOS. Just don't be an idiot like I was, and backup your data. You need to do it, anyway!

I sigh with relief now. We're living interesting times. Every year that passes, Linux gets better. And friendlier.

I can see it... Microsoft's doom is approaching - it's very close, just waiting for something to happen. Soon Microsoft will fall. All empires do. And I feel grateful for being an eye-witness.

Goodbye, Microsoft. You will never be missed.

Sincerely,

M.

Article #2 by M

Goodbye, Windows! Good morning, PCLinux OS!

This is the sequel to my previous disappointment with Ubuntu Linux.

I tried to install PCLinux OS 2007 from a burned ISO I downloaded. Everything worked fine, until I rebooted. Another error 17. But behold! The LiveCD included a chat application (XChat), which automatically connected to the PCLinuxOS support channel!

There I met a guy who explained to me that I had my partitions wrongly set up. He told me everything I needed to know - the partitioner was really cool, there was an option to autoallocate that created your root, home and swap partitions.

I repartitioned, rebooted, and voila! :D I'm in Linux! No more error 17.

Some apps weren't up to date, like GTK 2.0 and the drivers. Fortunately, the chat guy told me what to do about the drivers. There was no commandline at all! Everything was done graphically.

There was something wrong when I updated the screen to 1280 x 1024 (i was suddenly in text mode - eek!), but a reboot fixed it. Also, i had remembered the startx command that booted up. Well, it's still in beta, so I hope by the next version these glitches will be fixed.

The next problem was accessing the Windows partitions. Unfortunately, the partitions weren't enabled by default, but clicking on the "advanced" tab on the Administration Center / Partition thingy showed me how to enable them. I clicked on "mount", and voila!

Synaptic installs everything for you - no need to reboot except on special rare occasions. I installed Pidgin, and copied my buddy icon from my old windows partition. Still, I miss the MSN custom emoticons. This is one thing I'll have to do without. But I can't base my freedom on my personal tastes.

Since I have often to use the console (i find the "My computer" stuff ackward and slow), i right clicked on the Konsole icon and a menu popped up. Oh, didn't I metion? The window manager is very similar to Windows. Specially if you choose the "Redmond" theme (wink wink, nudge nudge). So, I clicked on "copy to desktop", and ta-da, there was my lovely terminal on the desktop.

Firefox is installed by default, but I forgot to import the settings from my old account (oopsie), so I have to add my bookmarks by hand. What a pity. Or was that option in Ubuntu and not PCLinuxOS? I forgot - sorry. Anyway, the flash plugin is already installed by default, so whee! I can watch my favorite youtube clips, like Silent Hill Chibi Edition, or some of the Bleach AMV's.

Amarok doesn't have the winamp interface, but the player looks similar to a simplified version of Winamp. It doesn't have an "open" button, but if you click on the playlist, the full window appears and you can choose stuff. Looks very advanced - too much for my taste, but oh well.

Now, for the downsides: The font for textboxes on Firefox looks awful. I couldn't reboot to the Windows partition - I'm stuck on Linux for the moment, but I can access my files, so it's no big deal. Anyway a boot from the Windows CD will fix the problem if I want to go back. I really hope i can find some tech support that will fix my boot manager. .... and that's about it. The task bar looks weird with those HUGE icons, but these are minor details.

Another thing that has kept annoying me is that the numpad, when used with shift, returns numbers instead of the cursor actions. I'm accustomed to using it. This is one thing I hadn't liked about Linux.

One warning: You should update Firefox, this version is 2.0.0.3 and the latest is 2.0.0.8. I don't want to get infected by some java virus or something :P

Well, it's all about upgrading packages and installing replacements for Windows ones now - The OpenOffice is 2.2, and I want 2.3 - and I need an html editor for my webpages. I had tried running the other one with WINE (wine hapedit.exe), but the font's all messed up. It's better to use native linux apps - they work out of the box.

It's hard to imagine that Linux is THIS easy. All those misconfigurations, application crashes are a thing of the past. The setup, altho difficult for non-standard settings like mine, was swift thanks to the live tech support on the irc channel.

Now if I only knew how to fix this ugly font on Firefox...

M, not only you are a techie, but a great scribe. Linux community needs such convincing bloggers like you.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Substandards of "Linux For You," a Leading Indian Magazine on Linux

As far as I remember, books and magazines on Linux have contributed much towards Linux adoption. My Linux mania was fueled by such magazines and books. Years back I used to become very happy buying a Linux magazine, reading the usable tips and then playing with my vintage machine with the distro CD that I got free with those reading stuff.

When "Linux For You" (LFY), an Indian magazine on OSS and Linux was launched, I really appreciated it. After all, it was supposed to further the Linux knowledge in Indian subcontinent. But pitiful, this magazine has been distributing substandard Linux disks with the magazine. The story does not end here, this magazine does not entertains any of the user queries regarding replacement of those faulty/substandard disks. So, next time you purchase any "Linux For You" magazine. Please don't purchase it for the sake of its free CD/DVD.

Here is a screenshot of my query and a reminder, to which LFY did not bother to respond.



Good heavens! Today (Oct. 24, 2007) LFY people turned up and replied me this mail. Hope the person in charge of disk delivery responds promptly. I am still in a doubt.....

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Revisiting "10 reasons to try PCLinuxOS"

Tuxmachines is a good website for some Linux enthusiasts (though my favorite is Distrowatch). Sometimes back I was looking for PCLinuxOS MiniMe reviews and hit http://www.tuxmachines.org/node/12897

In that page I liked the backgrounding to PCLinuxOS by the author, Gfranken. Especially his experience with Mandrake, and information on Texstar were very faithful accounts. Gfranken concluded the page with "10 reasons to try PCLinuxOS", that's what I liked the most. Those 10 reasons were so true and inspiring that I could not help stop myself from gluing my experience to them. Those reasons justify why PCLOS superseded its parent, Mandriva.

pclinuxos minime screenshot

Hope this post will inspire many wannabe users to try PCLinuxOS, a productive desktop Linux.

Top Ten reasons to install and use PCLinuxOS:

  1. It's drop dead gorgeous, and very professional looking.
    I tried PCLOS from its .92 stage. Graphically it was better than the Mandriva (and other KDE-centric distros). The default themes, panels, control center and almost everything were really good, but you could still customize that as per your fancy and get better results. PCLinuxOS developers have pushed this look-n-feel factor very high in the 2007 final version. The look of PCLinuxOS 2007 is fanciful yet very professional.

  2. The Beryl/Compiz 3D acceleration effects are terrific--much better than any other distro I've tried.
    The Beryl/Compiz effects did not work on my VIA/Intel hybrid PIV PC with 32 MB shared graphic memory. But I was so sure of its glamour that I purchased a used NVidia (128 MB) graphic card and configured it on my PC. The result was really stunning. What's more, the 3D effects were so well integrated that it worked on very less system resource. But I had some problem in configuring NVidia in Mandriva, Ubuntu and Fedora. Hats off to Tex!

  3. The repository has over 5000 packages, and updates are incredibly prompt, smooth, and easy to do. Synaptic, the GUI package manager works easily and reliably with the repository's RPM packages. Dependency issues are usually well handled. All the development programs and libraries are up to date.
    I have no complains, I always get what I need, from the repositories. I have witnessed PCLinuxOS repository enriching over the years. I am not sure whether the repository is deliberately planned for desktop users, they will never be sorry for what they are looking for. Of course, there were some downtimes in the repository servers. But they soon became up and running.

  4. An up to date KDE version (3.5.6).
    KDE is the most happening desktop environment in Linux world. Though I have always liked GNOME for its simplicity and responsiveness, I fell in love with PCLinuxOS-KDE connection. It's clean, fast and up to date. The distro never went out of its way for the eye-candy, it has always maintained the best of usability under the hood of KDE.

  5. Bugs, problems, and issues are promptly fixed.
    That's reason why PCLinuxOS 2007 is so stable. While tinkering .92 and .93a versions of PCLOS I sometimes messed up the settings, but 2007 is so tightly integrated that you will always get a healthy desktop, no matter what you do in terms of tweaks and tinkerings. Of course, you can break the system as a root user, and that's a no-excuse case, you can break your BSD desktop or Debian also.

  6. The PCLinuxOS community is positive and helpful. Documentation is excellent.
    Support is excellent.I found the PCLinuxOS forum to be very friendly. And PCLinuxOS magazines are so enlightening that I religiously read every issue of it. It has always helped me to use PCLinuxOS better and understand the OSS and Linux further. I feel very elated getting answers to my questions from PCLOS developers, sometimes from Tex, himself!

  7. It's quick and snappy.
    Very very right. The pace has been improving steadily. My PCLinuxOS 2007 desktop boots in 30 seconds. I am sure it will improve further in the next version which might come with KDE 4.

  8. Everything works.
    Well, I use every bit of it. The CLI apps, KDE apps, PCC, Synaptic and the Init setups, everything has worked fine for me. I have just one request to Tex - "Please add wordnet as a default PCLOS application. Every desktop user needs it."

  9. It's very easy to install... and...
    Partitioning, Installation, Network Setup and User Administration, everything is simple, plain and fast. PCLinuxOS 2007 installs on my system in just 10 minutes from the time I popped up the disk. Need I say more!

  10. It doesn't require the largess and financial backing of a millionaire to keep it going.
    Watched the movie Godfather? Remember the dialogues? PCLinuxOS is the Michael of Godfather, it's way ahead the desktop war (Ubuntu, Mandriva, Fedora, Suse…) for its powerful personality that's a best combination of stability, usability and performance. Except that there are no Canonical-like patronage and Redmond-like corporate support.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

PCLinuxOS - DOS vs. Linux Commands

Linux geeks love the Command line, because it is simple, fast, cool and highly intuitive. Besides, it offers more options to do certain task. For example, compare video encoding in mencoder (the cli program that often comes bundled with mplayer) with any other gui application. Using mencoder you can play with encoding changing the parameters the way you like, but while using a gui applications you can use only the preset values.

Well, those who are unfamiliar with command line interface (CLI), don’t blame it on Linux. Forgot the old DOS ways of doing things? Don’t you remember that MS DOS which was as much cryptic as linux terminal, but unfortunately less powerful.

You newbies please have a look at these command line comparison between DOS and Linux, so that you will never frown upon the good old CLI. Here is the table of comparison.

linux dos command comparison

Friday, October 12, 2007

Linux Talk - Open letter to Michael

Dear Michael,

I read your article at http://www.linux.org/news/opinion/inconvenient.html
Good justification. But certainly not unbiased! That sounds like pro-Linux prophesy. Let me explain how.

Just read out your comments on the subhead "My hardware just works under Windows". Let me tell me I have been using Linux since the time when there were one three names on the block - Debian, Slackware and Red Hat, to this date. I have faced a lot of difficulty in searching device drivers. Though the condition is improving, but still sometimes I can get 100% performance from those devices. I don't say that Linux computing is bad at drivers, but the device manufacturers don't bother (may be can't afford) to build drivers for linux. There are n number of reasons, the important ones are - first, there are very less number of linux users and, second, there are just too many packaging types - rpms, deb, tarballs... and a lot, two many architectures, and what not. As an old school linux user I don't doubt the power and prospect of linux, but we have to accept that Linux users face difficulty in installing drivers.

Let me give you two real life examples with linux driver scarcity. First one is getting linux version of Nokia PC Suite. Last week I purchased a Nokia 972 mobile phone. The box set included one Nokia PC Suite software that's installable only in Windows machines. I loved to use that suite to synchronize the mobile phone contents with my PC. But, I never succeeded.

The second one is plug2surf indicom satellite internet connection. A major Indian telecom company, Indicom launched it satellite internet service Plug2Surf, by which you can access internet anywhere on the go. This is really a great service in India where the internet penetration is very less. But again that plug2surf software works only on windows xp/2000. I asked the Indicom people about "how could they ignore the linux users". They simply did not bother to answer my question.

Besides, the above two issues. There are several other issues that blocks Linux from being a popular desktop OS. Take for example installing software. In windows its just click-n-go, but in Linux, it's never like that. You have sited the example of few application frontends like synaptic. But my dear synaptic downloads software, resolves dependencies and fixes the broken packages, only when your system is connected to the web. Do you have any idea of the third world where bare few people can access internet? How can one do hasslefree installation there.

Again let me tell you another example. Last year I had been to my maternal uncle's, he lives in a village of south Orissa, Balijodi. In my PCLinuxOS notebook, I had downloaded just the rpm of wordnet but forgot to download its library package, libwordnet and the gui frontend. I could install wordnet only when I came back to my workplace Delhi. Compare wordnet in linux with its counterpart in windows world, wordweb.

In most of the cases, windows software are packaged in just one installer, but in Linux there are several components - the apps, their libs, front-ends, compatibility with those apps with a particular desktop like gnome, kde, xfce, etc..... You have a good time installing software online. But offline installation is really a hell. And my dear, I would request you one more thing, "please don't presume that everybody has access to the web." In some parts of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, an internet connection is considered as a luxury.

Let me conclude. I love linux the way i love my kids, the way i love my wife. And I respect linux, the way I respect my father, and the way I respect my teacher. I enjoy working in Linux, I learned to fix the things my way. I love to visit distrowatch to smell what's new on the linux platter. I know how much linux has improved since from kernel 2.4 to 2.6.22. And I am really happy on this achievement. But I am really worried about so much chaos in surface. Just imagine the tightly integrated microsoft windows desktop and, great but still the loose multitude of x desktops lilke kde, gnome, xfce, icewm...bla...bla.... Don't you think, had the linux developers put their unified effort to kde, we would have got a better and a tightly integrated deskto environment like windows? In addition to it, there are just so much chaotic things like - multiple packaging systems, a clutter of so many OS flavours with not much noteworthy differences among them. (Just consider pclinuxos with mandriva one, and mepis with kubuntu.... there is not much difference, the diversity is just the result of indivdual idiosyncrasy).

Please reply soon.

Manmath

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Crossover Linux 6 on PCLinuxOS 2007

People have been using Microsoft Office as an office productivity suite ever since the home desktop revolution started. Likewise they are using Adobe Photoshop, Winamp, some old Nintendo games etc. Most of them who have started computing in PCLinuxOS or other desktop linux such as Ubuntu, Mepis, Suse or Zenwalk, still can’t find the productivity from Microsoft Word and Adobe Photoshop from their Linux counterparts such as OpenOffice.org Writer and GIMP. Besides gaming in Linux World is not much of a phenomenon in comparison to gaming in Windows World.



Chills to them who are using Linux but still retaining the copies of Word, Photoshop and games. They can now use those Windows software on their Linux desktop. Crossover Linux 6 makes it possible for every Linux user to use some versions of Flash, Dreamweaver, Framemaker, Photoshop, Microsoft Office, some games and many win32 applications to run on Linux Desktop. They can enjoy the benefit of Windows productivity and Linux Safety.

On my home PCLinuxOS desktop (VIA Mainboard & Chipset + Intel P4 2.66) I tried Photoshop, Word, Winamp and Super Mario. All of them worked fine except for some minor flaws.

Adobe Photoshop 6

I have been using GIMP for quite a long time, but I still longed for Photoshop. Gimp has no option to use spacebar (which is quite common in Photoshop) to browse though the image while editing. Besides animated GIF creation in GIMP has always been painful. (Hope GIMP developers will soon incorporate these features). I purchased a copy of Crossover Linux 6 online.


Installing Crossover Linux 6 was damn easy (Another version - Crossover Linux 6 Pro is also available but functionality of both general and pro are almost similar, for a home desktop I will never recommend the pro version). I got an rpm and installed Photoshop 6 in its win2000 bottle (you have option to install in win98 bottle also, keep in view the Microsoft application compatibility). One frustration is that Crossover offers installation only upto Photoshop 7 whereas the computing industry uses Photoshop CS3. However, home desktop users will be fully satisfied with Photoshop 6 (that’s what I use), no need to ride on CS3. As you can see in the screenshot, on Linux, Photoshop docked panels also occupied positions in deskop bottom panel.

Microsoft Office 2003

We may blame Microsoft Office many ways, but fact is that it rules all the office productivity suites. Microsoft’s usability is perhaps at its best in its office suite – the great contextual menus, handy reference and blazing fast behavior (characters are true only upto 2003 version, 2007 version has killed many of these great characters to be a little eye-candy). OpenOffice.org is good but compatibility with Microsoft documents is never perfect, besides it’s a way too slow.



Microsoft Office installation was seamless. It was installed in less time on my PCLinuxOS than it might install on any Windows OS. I did a custom installation of only Word, Excel and PowerPoint. I use Thunderbird as my home mail client, so there was no point installing Outlook.

Super Mario Brothers and others

Gaming on Windows has always been great. On top of Crossover Linux 6 I installed Half Life, Mario, AceRacer and many others. But I loved the old world game Mario the most.



Including the above applications, Crossover Linux supports many win32 software. Try them and put your thoughts here.

Friday, October 5, 2007

PCLinuxOS - My Experience with amaroK

Last night I had a problem - I messed up my good-old xmms.

The default PCLinuxOS in my system had amaroK, the versatile music player in Linux World built for KDE. But I rarely used it for several reasons of which the most painful is “slow startup and response.” My favorite is XMMS, the darling of every music lover who has been using Linux for past couple of years.

At 1:30 last night, I was working on a friend’s project and a wild idea struck me, “how about removing amaroK as my chore is done through XMMS।” The next moment I opened synaptic and completely removed amaroK।

Sad... half an hour later I ran XMMS and lo… it’s gui opened but it could not play any media player. Then came the loop of installation and removal. I removed XMMS and libXMMS and did a fresh installation again through synaptic so as to resolve all the dependencies. But that never worked again.

If you are reading this blog. Please try it at home and if you are able to fix this problem, please let me know.

As for now I am happy with Kaffeine, it plays both audio files and video files.

Share your thoughts