PCLinux 2007 WINS!March 19, 2008
I took a big risk repartitioning and installing MEPIS 7.0, risking the beloved XP operating system. But XP did and still does survive. But it is no longer the operating system of choice on the family desktop. Neither is Mepis.
The downfall of Mepis began after I reviewed and tried PCLinuxOS. But I was hesitant to go through another installation and risk losing everything again or a corrupted MBR like I have suffered before. What finally toppled Mepis from favor was the fact that it only wanted to recognize and “see” its own partition and none of the other hard drives or partitions. I was trying to move some files from my wife’s Mepis desktop and it would not only not read those other hard drives, but gave me fits about moving the files to a USB drive. What put the nail in the Mepis coffin as it would not even recognize a floppy drive. That was the end of that. I had no such problems with earlier versions of Mepis and not sure what caused this glitch. But Mepis was on its way out as it was, and it just gave me a ready excuse. This is the double edge of having distros obtained so freely and installed so easily; instead of muddling through or trouble shooting, I canned the thing and put on the distro that “just works.”
And it just does.
The machine: @2001 Celeron 1.8 Gz with 612 RAM with XP home. HDa = 40 Gb, HDb = 127 GB + 40 Gb (linux) + 20 Gb unclaimed space.
The family: 1 6 yr-old (kindergarten) 1 9 yr. old (2nd grade) and one wife (college graduate)
My wife is relatively new to computers, but thanks to her husband has some experience with Mac OS 7, Win95, Win98 and Win XP and recently Mepis 7.0 and now PCLinuxOS 2007.
All members have successfully learned to use and enjoy the new family OS. My wife probably has the biggest adjustment, as she still uses XP to play spider solitaire and do editing with her pictures. However with Picasa downloaded and installed (she was using this on XP) this should be a small matter. I’ll have to download spider solitaire or some open source variation. Otherwise she is perfectly pleased with PCLinux.
The two kids could care less what the operating system is. They like visiting the Disney website and fiddling around with Google Earth and that’s all they care about. They still like to play a few games occasionally, but mostly they are content with online activities.
And this brings up a very important point, when discussing the digital divide. When it comes to school-aged kids, computer and online access can mean a world of difference in terms of school performance. The state of Georgia is offering practice versions of their state mandated tests online. Those kids without computers will be left behind and continue to be at a disadvantage when it comes to the new modalities of learning that the digital age is offering. A computer is as necessary nowadays as paper, pencil and a calculator. Those who do not have computers in their homes are being given the mathematical technology equivalent to a slide rule!
Linux offers an opportunity for schools and businesses to offer their old PII’s and PIII’s to these disadvantaged youngsters instead of clogging landfills.