Friday, March 20, 2009

PCLinuxOS 2009.1 - A Taste of an Old Friend

Much time has past since I ventured away from the *buntu namespace for my home Linux adventures. I converted to Linux from Windows XP/Vista/whatever about a year ago. The main stay for me moving to Ubuntu 8.10 was the inclusion of and easy configuration of:
  • Wireless for more than WEP, specifically WPA Enterprise
  • Dual-monitor support
  • DVD/CD burning software that REALLY worked for my two different types of burners
  • External media
  • Better USB support - this is specifically for my cell phones. I really (REALLY) require my computer to be able to natively charge my cell phone through my USB cable
  • Printing support - I love the fact that I connect my HP to Linux and the printer fully detects not only the printer, but the scanner as well

I have used, in the past, Kubuntu and Xubuntu. I have always fallen back to Ubuntu because the Gnome interface just makes more "sense" to me. The layout is, well, more intuitive and enjoyable (IMO). Although, I am not the biggest fan of the default panels at the bottom and top.

After checking out the details on the latest build of PCLinuxOS, I decided to play with the LiveCD of PCLinuxOS 2009.1. My goal was to check on what was new in this distro but not necessarily to fully replace my installation of Ubuntu 8.10.

Here is the link to the distro site:

After about 10 minutes in 2009.1, I could not double click the "Install" icon on the desktop fast enough.

Some key items that pushed me over:
  • I decided KDE may be ok to "push" through... force myself
  • Dual-monitor support was EASIER than Ubuntu
  • Wireless was EASIER to get setup than Ubuntu
  • Software packages were more up-to-date. An example is Open Office - 3.0 instead of 2.4
  • Flash was all set
  • Java as well
  • Wallpaper - I dig being able to select different wallpaper for each of my monitors... that adds to the cool factor
  • Konqueror - I am liking Konqueror more and more (I wish I could get this up and running on Windows)
I'll continue to post information about the distro and my experiences. Such as "this doesn't work" or "that". Things I find cool... whatever.


desktophero said...

Just to leave a quick comment...

Part of the stability and all the hardware "just working" may come from the KDE 3.5 environment being the default installation for PCLinuxOS 2009.1.

I may - or may not - update when KDE 4 becomes available from the PCLinuxOS folks.

Looking forward to it...

desktophero said...

Ok... I did it.

I figured it would take awhile but ... it happened. Firefox stalled. So far, V3.0.7 on Windows XP, Ubuntu, and NOW PCLinuxOS 2009.1 have been able to STALL. Stall, to the point of being unstable, unusable, and require a "killall" or equivalent.

I was REALLY hoping it was just a Windows thing.

Texstar said...

Look for Firefox2- to return to the repository as an alternative to 3.0.7. I've had nothing but trouble with the 3.x series.

v said...

I remember I wasnt impressed by Kubuntu6.10 and 7.04 and when I discovered PCLOS2007, it quickly became my distro for friends and family who wanted to try Linux.

Mandriva2009 w/ KDE4.2 has now moved into that spot these past few weeks as Ive tried to figure out if 4.2 was ready for mom and pop and it has been deployed on my mums first laptop as well as few others, while dad is still rocking his PCLOS2007.

Im still gonna wait for KDE4.3 in June for my own machines because there are a few things I'd like them to get back but just the first generation of any software or hardware, you never get the first version.
The beauty with KDE is that 3.5 is still a great desktop and it was updated twice last year so it doenst suffer next to the others and NOTHING forced me to go to it before it was time. 4.1 was not ready and guess what? Didnt have to change for it then either.

I'm happy they decided to do it well with 3.5 and work on version 4 and release i when its time. THERE IS NO RUSH.

I do hope that the upgrade from 3.5 to 4.x will be smooth because there is a looooot of things that can (and will) go wrong.

In the meanwhile, I will take 2009 for a spin this week, I hope it plays nice on netbooks.

Im not sure about 'tasting' my old friends but Im happy PCLOS is back: for two years now, I have had to listen to people tell me that such and such distro was 'user friendly' (and you know how fanbois are, no one has ever done user friendly except their fave distro) when I know very well that NONE I had tried came close to being ready for Linux noobs.

Kubuntu 8.10 is on two of my machines right now and I can safely say that it still does not make it in my top 5 KDE distros.
PCLinuxOS and Mandriva are still the best of the bunch.

And Im a Gentoo guy, so I have no fanboy attachment to PCLOS, but it is the distro that I thought was finally ready for my retired parents to use.
That's the highest compliment I can give a distro (in the user friendly department).

Long live Texstar and all the folks who have worked hard, you deserve all the recognition you get.

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