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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Puppy Derivatives
Introducing PULP - 125 MB Puplet for older hardware
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sullysat


Joined: 16 Oct 2007
Posts: 364
Location: San Antonio, TX

PostPosted: Wed 21 Oct 2009, 10:06    Post subject:  

I'm not sure what happened zen, but I did fixmenus then restarted jwm and it all went whacky.

I'm going to delete and reinstall PULP, then run it again and see what happens. I'll put an update here and let you know how that goes.

Sully

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sullysat


Joined: 16 Oct 2007
Posts: 364
Location: San Antonio, TX

PostPosted: Wed 21 Oct 2009, 10:54    Post subject:  

I'm not sure what I did, but all kinds of jwm craziness was going on!

So, I deleted my PULP install and started over. I did a new frugal install and then installed Abiword and everything seems to be working fine now.

I don't know what you're shooting for, resource-wise but on my machine PULP is using only 21MB of RAM with HTOP and Abiword open. On all the machines I'm currently working on, that would be pretty acceptable, especially given the additional capability of reading and writing to .doc files.

I really don't know of a better tiny spreadsheet than Siag, but I've used that in other distros without PW and its worked just fine. Am I the only one who's reported font and sizing issues on that program?

Now that its starting to cool off, I'm going to get my workbench cleaned up and put together a low spec system to test PULP on. I appreciate your efforts with this and look forward to testing its lower limits.

Thanks,
Sully

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zenfunk

Joined: 18 Mar 2009
Posts: 222

PostPosted: Wed 21 Oct 2009, 12:31    Post subject:  

So far I'm very pleased with the resources pulp uses. Abiword GTK1 starts fine in a couple of seconds on my Pentium IIs.
The thing with the whole siag office suit is that modern file formats are not supported very well. I very seldomly (is this a word?) create new office documents (mostly work with text files to be honest). So the office suites I use are mostly for opening existing documents. This renders siag, and other not wide spread office suites, fairly useless for most of my tasks. Abiword is definitely a keeper, because it supports .doc files quite well.

Really annoying is that there seems to be no support for open document format files on slow computers. Dspite of being open and well documented and all, all the existing solutions involve openoffice at some point. Openoffice needs over 5 seconds to start on my dual core- how long would it take on my Pentium II?

Ironically the proprietary .doc format is much better supported in PULP ATM.


Cheers, Christian
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sullysat


Joined: 16 Oct 2007
Posts: 364
Location: San Antonio, TX

PostPosted: Wed 21 Oct 2009, 14:49    Post subject:  

zenfunk wrote:
<SNIP>
The thing with the whole siag office suit is that modern file formats are not supported very well.
Agreed
I very seldomly (is this a word?) [It is now!] create new office documents (mostly work with text files to be honest). So the office suites I use are mostly for opening existing documents. This renders siag, and other not wide spread office suites, fairly useless for most of my tasks. Abiword is definitely a keeper, because it supports .doc files quite well.
We certainly agree on that!

Really annoying is that there seems to be no support for open document format files on slow computers. Despite of being open and well documented and all, all the existing solutions involve openoffice at some point. Openoffice needs over 5 seconds to start on my dual core- how long would it take on my Pentium II?

Ironically the proprietary .doc format is much better supported in PULP ATM.
Cheers, Christian


I'm still in a place where, for compatibility purposes, most of my documents are saved and processed in .doc format, so I haven't used open document formats for much yet, though I'm moving in that direction.

In the mean time, I've found that as long as I can write to pdf or doc I can usually do whatever I need to do. This is a good deal for your little distro, IMO.

So, whatcha gonna do about the spreadsheet? Wink Question

Sully

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Puppyt

Joined: 09 May 2008
Posts: 568
Location: Gatton, Queensland

PostPosted: Wed 21 Oct 2009, 23:45    Post subject:
Subject description: Toshiba laptop 430cds and Pulp
 

Hi zenfunk,

just a few comments - I'm dashing this off in Pulpv3 now, attempting to pre-configure it on my main (P4) machine before porting it across via "brain transplant" into a Satellite Pro 430CDS, 120MHz Pent., 16MB RAM. Have tried loads of other puplets to get around the Toshiba-laptop-Xvideo issues, HOW DID YOU DO IT? To paraphrase, "zenfunki-wan, you're my only hope..." I'll update on that issue later, please don't bother with a serious and detailed reply I think I'm close to solving it- I supect the video issue is slowing overall processing speed but then I only have fleabit -size RAM.

Your Firepup runs the Firefox add-on and bibliographic tool "Zotero". Don't know why I've not been able to get the two to gel in previous attempts in other puplets, but this rates. Seriously useful! (I didn't know Firepup was ttuuxx's - he's worked his magic again)

I second puppyiso's and Lobster's assessment of TextMaker - I used it pre-installed in a puplet (?) yonks ago, liked it so much I downloaded the "free" versions for Windows. I don't recall if the TextMaker pet in the official repostitories also has PlanMaker (Excel), albeit seriously limited to 40 rows of data - but I wonder what progress has been made with the SoftMaker company and licencing to Puppy as it might be the solution to the Word/Excel-type issues mentioned earlier in the thread.

I appreciate your work on Pulp very much, by the way! Good Work!
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zenfunk

Joined: 18 Mar 2009
Posts: 222

PostPosted: Thu 22 Oct 2009, 04:31    Post subject:  

OK- the xorg- toshiba issue:
not sure it works on your particular toshiba:
I selected xorg, because the xvesa only gave me a completely messed up screen (looked a bit like a tv with no antenna cable plugged in- weird).
The auto detection loaded the trident driver which I manually changed to vesa in teh xorg.config. (select 'Test' in xorgwizard, quit the test and select 'edit xorg.config manually')

So I actually run xorg with the vesa driver- don't ask me why I tried that out in the first place - but it worked for one of my toshibas.

The other toshiba I got worked with xvesa right away, so YMMV.

As I said before: Textmaker is not free software, so it will not be in PULP but you can of course allways install it afterwards if you choose to. It's all about choice.

Quote:
Your Firepup runs the Firefox add-on and bibliographic tool "Zotero". Don't know why I've not been able to get the two to gel in previous attempts in other puplets, but this rates. Seriously useful! (I didn't know Firepup was ttuuxx's - he's worked his magic again)

The firefox that is in PULPv003 is a firefox 2.something compiled with gtk 1.2.
Firepup is firefox 1.5 compiled with recent security updates by Tuuxxxx.
Since the GTK 1.2 version gave a more consistent look with all the other GTK 1.2 apps and felt a bit faster (not much though)- I stuck with it.
Nevertheless, Firepup is a nice piece of work.

Spreadsheet:
I probably will leave it out completely in the next version. Probably Siag will stay as a stopgap, but as I said before, it's rather useless nowadays.
Not yet sure about it all.
If someone finds a pet for a GTK 1.2 gnumeric I'll use that with pleasure.

It's funny how the other light and small distros tweak here and there, use this or that window manager just to shave off a few kB of ram usage and whatnot.
Although PULP also has a lot of background processes turned off etc., I think the single, most prominent performance gain in PULP came from throwing gtk 2.0 over board and sticking with GTK 1.2 apps. GTKedit is up and runnung in one second vs. leafpad opening in about 5 seconds on my Pentium II. Rox takes forever to get going (when its not backgrounded and eating up 6 MB RAM all the time!!!), emelfm takes just under a second to start.
When you use a "proper" computer (say a Pentium IV with about 2 GHz- plenty of RAM), the texteditor in PULP is alive when you release the mouse button.

I really think of rolling out a new version of PULP sooner. Now that I actually have users... this motivates a lot. Please keep the suggestions for improvement coming. Wink
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zenfunk

Joined: 18 Mar 2009
Posts: 222

PostPosted: Thu 22 Oct 2009, 04:59    Post subject:  

Just did a bit of googling, it seems that your toshiba has a Chips & Technologies CT-65550 graphics chip. It is supported in xorg by the 'chips' driver.

With 16 MB of RAM you need a swap partition before you can boot and install (and even then I'm not sure Puppy/PULP will run).
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Puppyt

Joined: 09 May 2008
Posts: 568
Location: Gatton, Queensland

PostPosted: Thu 22 Oct 2009, 08:35    Post subject:
Subject description: Loram low-ram Toshiba laptops for the Pulp mill
 

Cheers zenfunk - thanks for the very detailed response! I'll just rattle these off so you know that I haven't dropped out of your loop..

zenfunk wrote:
OK- the xorg- toshiba issue:
not sure it works on your particular toshiba:
I selected xorg, because the xvesa only gave me a completely messed up screen (looked a bit like a tv with no antenna cable plugged in- weird).

Thanks for this and the descriptions on the CT chip you outline in your next email. I'm just about to give the "brain swapping" procedure another try, by implanting a USB-caddied installation from my main computer (a "proper" one in ref to your comment below:- PIV 2.4/3.6GHz overclocked, 1.7GB DDR2 RAM) - this time including the new xorg.conf file I've cobbled together specifically for the 430CDS. If it works I'll post it on a separate thread - there must be at least 50 threads on the difficulties of getting Puppy operational with earlier Toshiba laptops. It's unfortunately a well-travelled path of despair... particularly in regard to the video configuration. Intuitively you reach for for the Xvesa option for RAM-deprived computers, but that just doesn't work for many Toshiba laptops...

zenfunk wrote:
The auto detection loaded the trident driver which I manually changed to vesa in the xorg.config. (select 'Test' in xorgwizard, quit the test and select 'edit xorg.config manually')
...So I actually run xorg with the vesa driver- don't ask me why I tried that out in the first place - but it worked for one of my toshibas.

Good Tip - didn't see that one. My main grief might be that xwin over-writes the user's Xorg selection - BarryK has provided the workaround for this, and if my non-standard xorg.conf fails I'll be heading for this and that next

zenfunk wrote:

As I said before: Textmaker is not free software, so it will not be in PULP but you can of course allways install it afterwards if you choose to. It's all about choice.

You're absolutely correct - just a forlorn hope that such software companies might 'release' their older products to license-free (if not open-source) but it is unlikely - I just wasn't sure whether the relationship between Puppy Linux and SoftMaker might have developed since the .pet was first permitted. I also understand the sensitivities involved with including "abandonware" into the mix. And as to choice, I very well may purchase SoftMakers '08 office suite as it has better compatibility with the M$ versions all my colleagues use, than does OO etc.

zenfunk wrote:

When you use a "proper" computer (say a Pentium IV with about 2 GHz- plenty of RAM)...

OOooooo harsh!

zenfunk wrote:

I really think of rolling out a new version of PULP sooner. Now that I actually have users... this motivates a lot. Please keep the suggestions for improvement coming. Wink

How about a Retro version, for us with albatross-looking laptops tied round our necks? Does seem to be a bit of a void in the Puppy arsenal for hardware with less than 128 (let alone 64 and my improper project of 16) Mb RAM. Why should SliTaz-lite, TinyCore, Kantonix, LuitLinux and DeLi have all the glory in that realm? If the Pulp base and tweaks can run satisfactorily with those overhead requirements, surely it would provide a solid foundation for running practically any application that the user chooses to add on later, in a better-equipped computer. I'm certainly not serious that Pulp should have that as its future focus - I'm just getting frustrated that I can't find any puplet to swim with the other Linux's at the shallow end of the pool...
Loved your online support tutorials too, by the way. Very helpful in getting up to speed with emelfm, but I am rapidly preferring it over Rox which I never quite took to.

Will let you know whether it gets off the ground with 16 (and a swap of 256), or crashes in a... well, crashes in a non-Pulp-like amorphous mess,
Cheers!
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zenfunk

Joined: 18 Mar 2009
Posts: 222

PostPosted: Thu 22 Oct 2009, 15:37    Post subject:  

Quote:
How about a Retro version, for us with albatross-looking laptops tied round our necks? Does seem to be a bit of a void in the Puppy arsenal for hardware with less than 128 (let alone 64 and my improper project of 16) Mb RAM. Why should SliTaz-lite, TinyCore, Kantonix, LuitLinux and DeLi have all the glory in that realm?
Well from what I can say, PULP runs well inside 64 MB RAM. Give it 256 MB swap (which is only used after surfing with firefox for a while BTW) and it'll be very happy. DeLi- probably the most thought out distro for low end PCs - recently bumped up their minimal system requirements from 16 MB to 32 MB RAM.
Quote:
If the Pulp base and tweaks can run satisfactorily with those overhead requirements, surely it would provide a solid foundation for running practically any application that the user chooses to add on later, in a better-equipped computer. I'm certainly not serious that Pulp should have that as its future focus - I'm just getting frustrated that I can't find any puplet to swim with the other Linux's at the shallow end of the pool...
PULP IS Puppy 4.1.2 under the hood. The changes are stuff like leaving out Blinky or the freemmemaplet This are the two programs in the taskbar showing network activity and how much space is left on your personal storage file. So you see, it actually was quite simple to pull off. The rest was polishing the surface Wink . The mayor speed gains where found in using fast apps. Unfortunately the fastest apps are from the Pentium I era- nothing you would call 'up to date'. However, I found them very adequate for most of my daily needs. GTKedit is fine for editing the occational config file. If you need unicode support and standard compliance you better use leafpad. Which if I remember correctly is still there- just type leafpad in a console. Rox is too BTW.
Where I would have lost too much 'ease of use', I kept the modern but slow puppy tools from stock Puppy. On example is Pmount. You use it only once in a while, and although it is rather slow to start, it's still faster than mounting your thumbdrives on the console (at least for me..).
Using modern apps in PULP makes no sense because you would give up almost all the speed that is gained by not using them in the first place. If you want them, go with whatever is the newest official Puppy version.
Quote:
Loved your online support tutorials too, by the way. Very helpful in getting up to speed with emelfm, but I am rapidly preferring it over Rox which I never quite took to.
Glad you liked it.
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Puppyt

Joined: 09 May 2008
Posts: 568
Location: Gatton, Queensland

PostPosted: Mon 26 Oct 2009, 10:15    Post subject: Pulp on 16 Mb RAM  

zenfunk -

a hearty thankyou - I've got Pulp 0.03 running on that 16 Mb lappie!
Yaaaay...

now it's going to feel especially good using it as a frisbee.

Only kidding. I've just got to do some minor Xorg tweaks, install a coupla flash games, and let it loose on the kids. I've posted a 'how to' just now where your puplet has star billing.

Thanks!
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zenfunk

Joined: 18 Mar 2009
Posts: 222

PostPosted: Wed 28 Oct 2009, 14:34    Post subject:  

Hey Puppyt,
glad it worked Smile .

Happy hacking,
Christian
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mrreality13

Joined: 03 Oct 2008
Posts: 95
Location: arlington texas

PostPosted: Sat 31 Oct 2009, 17:40    Post subject:  

Just a lil update-
Still going strong-I installed the vlc from here
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?search_id=249359849&t=31890
and streamtuner from here
http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?search_id=1931091853&t=33571
with these running htop shows
19-24% cpu// with only 19/96 megs ram used Shocked
~~
and using vlc to watch shoutcast tv it shows
68-76(ish)% cpu with 28/96 megs ram Very Happy

Laughing keep up the good work
my only issue seems to be Toshiba related -i have to load the audio driver at every boot(minor annoyance)
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zenfunk

Joined: 18 Mar 2009
Posts: 222

PostPosted: Sun 01 Nov 2009, 06:06    Post subject:  

Concerning the audio driver, it might be good to make a seperate thread to get the attention of a broader audience. I'm not sure much people watch this thread.

Cheers,
Christian
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clarf


Joined: 13 Jun 2007
Posts: 612
Location: The old Lone Wolf

PostPosted: Tue 22 Dec 2009, 22:50    Post subject:  

zenfunk,

If you keep GTK2 in PULP you could use emelFM2, It's the same implementation from emelFM but using GTK. It looks better and has more features.
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zenfunk

Joined: 18 Mar 2009
Posts: 222

PostPosted: Wed 23 Dec 2009, 03:26    Post subject:  

Thanks for the suggestion, I'll try it out, but have my doubts it will be as fast on the startup than the GTK 1.2 emelfm.
Try PULP on a 300 MHz machine- emelfm is really fast.

In fact I'm trying to get rid of as many GTK2 apps as possible, they are just too slow - LOL.
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