Mepis 7.0: Everybody’s on BoardMarch 5, 2008
About a week ago, I installed Mepis 7.0 on some vacant space on my hard drive. (1.8 GHz Celeron, 640 Mb RAM) The installation was as painless as one could ever imagine. In about 30 minutes, I had a working Linux with the GRUB bootloader installed so I could get to XP when necessary. It’s been about 3 days since XP has seen the light of day in our house.
Having an ethernet/high speed connection has made all the difference in the world. While Mepis comes with pretty m uch everything one needs, I was able to apt-get updates and a few other things I wanted. So how is it working out?
My wife, Jane, has been pretty bold in trying this thing out, perhaps out of necessity. When I boot the computer it goes to GRUB and gives a person 20 seconds or so to choose a boot option. If you do nothing, it goes right to the Mepis login. I have 4 different user accounts: Mine, hers, the two kids share one and the Root account. We had set up XP to run passwords to keep the kids from raiding the computer, so doing this in Mepis was a small matter. And the Mepis login looks better than XP.
I showed Jane how to get to XP but I’m not sure she remembers but she hasn’t complained much. Her biggest complaint was not having the printer loaded, which I got around to finally doing when I had my oldest (a second grader) type some homework in Open Office which he needed to print. Mepis 6.0 did not support our Epson CX7800 printer, but Mepis 7.0 installed and ran it flawlessly. The print installer is mostly intuitive, but there were a few niggling decisions I had to make which turned out to be correct ones, so far. Once I got a working test page, printing the homework was easy. And the boys have no idea and don’t care about the OS when they are watching Thomas the Train on YouTube. They sort of like the fact that the computer looks new. And they’ll be mastering Tuxracer in no time.
Jane has done her surfing and email (we use Gmail) and even downloaded some files. I thought downloading the files was a gitsy move, since she is totally in the dark about the Linux file system. But she did, and she was pretty happy overall with the performance. She’ll be totally in heaven if we get her digital camera hooked up.
Mepis 7.0 does work with my hardware better than 6.0 did, especially evidenced by the printer. However, compared to the Ubuntu repositories, the Debian looked a bit sparse and I’ve had some issues with downloading and installing Picasa and Google Earth. Jane does most of her editing with Picasa and the boys like playing with Google Earth. These are both ported to Linux but there are issues with the installation I’m fiddling with. In my brief foray into the PCLinuxOS repositories, there were a lot more programs available in that library.
I lurve the KDE desktop that comes with Mepis which is going to make it very difficult for any other distro to make me want to change. but that’s not to say there are not some others that I’m looking at. I just downloaded SuSe Alpha 11.0 and Saybayon Mini edition for grins and giggles. I still have a ways to go before I’m ready to settle down or at least I’d like to look at some other distros that might work with my minimal and aging system.
I also have some tasks to perform with a neighbor’s aging hardware that has different requirements, but that’s for another post.