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Setting up the machine at home

June 6, 2007

I’ve been playing with an 866 MHz machine with 512 M RAM and loaded with Mepis 6.06 while at work. It has spent time on the network where I’ve been able to use Automatix and RPM to grab what I want to load. The whole games thing has been less than stellar but I decided I could play more once I took it home. Only there, there is no broad band so downloading large files is out of the question.

So I set it up and then proceeded to hook up the external serial modem. The same one I used for the laptop (which had to be turned back in, BTW) and had success with Puppy Linux.

Then I began the process of getting KPPP to work. Jeep in mind, this is an external serial modem. Mepis had no clue it was there. I don’t think it even looked. This version of KPPP did have what I’m sure is a lovely connection wizard…if you live in Europe! USA or U.S. was not even among the countries listed in the setup wizard. Tanks for nuttin’! I’m not sure if England would work or not. I went through the dialog manually and ended up with nothing. It never once detected the modem.

Hmph.

I was getting terribly disgusted with the bulkiness of this distro. So I slipped in the Puppy 2.15 CD and rebooted. Within 15 minutes, I was on the internet. At that time I was tempted to reformat the entire hard drive and let Puppy have it all. But I decided to sleep on it.

I’ve decided that Mepis still has potential, and the way Puppy runs, it doesn’t really need that much space. It boots off the CD at least as fast as Mepis does from the HD, and it runs entirely in RAM, freeing the CD for burning or reading other things.

Puppy isn’t perfect. While surfing, I did manage to lock the system up as I was tab browsing with Seamonkey. I could still access a second desktop and play Yatzee while waiting for it to straighten out but it never did. It just stayed hung up so I ended up rebooting.

This business about Linux being more reliable and stable than Windows may be true but only in relative terms. I’ve have never found a distro I couldn’t hang or freeze no matter the hardware. Nothing is fool proof as us fools are such geniuses! So do not believe the hype and do not peddle it. Linux is nifty and cool and there many things to like. Being free is the main one, and as a free thing it runs very nicely. Perhaps I might be able to string together 3 or 4 distros to make a decent go of replacing Windows. But I’m still looking for something that works for me.

D.

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