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 Forum index » Taking the Puppy out for a walk » Puppy Power
Linux ups and downs
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Slapdash


Joined: 19 Aug 2008
Posts: 79
Location: Silesia

PostPosted: Wed 17 Jun 2009, 18:55    Post subject:  Linux ups and downs
Subject description: Hoping for a happy ending
 

Hello, I'd like to tell a story of my experiences with Linux in general and Puppy in particular.

You see, since I got my first PC back in 1998 I've been a straight Windows user. Ten years ago Linux was much more exotic than it is now, and of course Win98 was the hot stuff. It would crash every now and then, but the worst thing I risked was losing my game-saves. I kept my first PC for seven years, and hell, that was a great machine. It would perform reasonably well even in 2005 (reasonably - it would manage to handle Quake 3, high detail settings and all, it would play movies and do quite a lot of cool stuff).

I only decided to replace it when I actually started to earn money. So I bought a new machine, fixed up with XP (I guess I occasionally suffer remorse as I gave away my old computer to some less affluent neighbours; much as I try to convince myself that it was a good thing to do, I somehow think I shouldn't have done it... it is silly, after all it's just a tool, a mere machine, but after seven years that cranky old bastard felt more like an old pal).
Anyway, the new computer is still going strong, despite it's apparent age.

Now, I spent the last eleven years exclusively in Windows. Damn, I have used the same Winamp skin for like nine years. I had a well cared-for Windows going for three years. And I can't say I was unhappy with it. The crashes were few and far apart, and I only managed to lose all my data once. With all the talk about the suckiness of Windows I consider myself lucky - or the stories are way exaggerated. It's hard for me to say, since apart from some office programs, the Internet and games I've never used my machines to do the extreme stuff. Anyway, I was happy with Windows.

Last year I heard about Puppy. I heard about it thanks to DSL. I stumbled upon DSL somewhere in the Internets and was very intrigued by the name. This led me to a Wikipedia article about mini-Linuxes which in turn led me to Puppy. I have never before even considered any serious changes to my OS for one simple reason - I never got around to buying a CD-burner and I accumulated a lot of stuff on my HDD - music, pictures, e-books, all the stuff I wouldn't want to really lose. And losing it seemed inevitable as all the OSes required me to format my HDD. All except Puppy who wouldn't even give a damn whether I had a hard drive or not. And when it did it wasn't bothered none by my file systems, ntfses, partitions and the whole lot. It would neatly save itself into its own save file, exactly like a computer game would.

Of course things are different - I haven't figured out the folder structure yet, I have no idea where the programs actually go etc. etc. But I am and was impressed by the little yet versatile thing.
And that's when I first seriously considered moving. With XP dying out and me unwilling to buy and my machine unable to run Vista, the super fast, minimalistic, neat and vibrant Puppy felt like a good, if exotic, choice. So I spent the last year in an on and off relationship with Puppy, booting to it when I needed to check my mail really fast (the 3 year-old Windows was pretty stable, but it would take it like 3 minutes to boot, as if every year added another minute) or when I simply felt like playing with it.

And it's a good system. It lets me do all the essential things and somehow doing them feels good. I get the feeling that it is a child of love and that a lot of personal effort was put into it. It feels tangible and authentic and devoid of the corporate zombie scent.
Actually I would only go back to Windows to play games (yes, I am a long time gamer and I love playing).

And this Sunday I proved myself to be a moron. I decided to get rid of Windows and put Kubuntu in its place. I'm not even sure why.
"It seemed like a good idea at that time". Bugger.

The installation was successful. I kept all my precious things on a second partition too. I figured that if I'm happy with a little distro, I'll be overjoyed with a big one.
How foolish! It has all the things I found to be quirky in Puppy (down to the crashing Firefox, although the crashes are less frequent) and NONE of the good things. It keeps asking me the password, even I want to change the bloody time! (which ain't going too well either: I like my clocks to be going 10 minutes faster and when I set the Kubuntu clock it just reverts to a proper time after the reboot DESPITE the fact I've unchecked the "get your time from the web" option).

It feels big. It's got a messed up menu. You can't switch off the transparency on the taskbar. There is no blinking computer icon in the corner of the screen which tells me if I'm online or not. It's got a dozen doodads but nothing that would even resemble the "My Computer" in Windows or the mounter in Puppy, so I can't really assess how much space I got left on the drives (right-clicking and selecting the properties on the /home makes the file manager crash and gets me to desktop) and so on. These are all trivial things, and I'm sure there are ways to cope with them. I just CAN'T be bothered with it. I want my blinky-thingy damn it!
With all the hype around Ubuntu it feels half-baked, exactly the way some critics said it does. And I find it simply annoying.
Perhaps deep down, in the guts, it is a better OS than Windows, but the experience for me has been irritating this far. I have a short fuse, and if my OS don't want to tell me how much free disk space it's got it makes me go berserk.
There's simply to many pesky little things in Kubuntu that make my ears steam.

Thank gods for Puppy. It already saved my girlfriends data where here machine crashed, and now it's saving me from going bonkers over my poor distro choice. I can't explain it but it feels soothing and well thought of and right. Almost home.

Now, Kubuntu is going bye-bye tomorrow or over the weekend. I have obtained a Mandriva cd, so I may try this one out. I probably will try it out if only to compare it with Kubuntu. And even if it feels better (as it is not so much a matter of Kubuntu not working right but of it not feeling right) I probably won't keep it anyway.
At this stage I'm seriously considering either doing a full hdd install of Puppy or going back to Windows.
There is something very exciting in running my operations on a 100mb distro, but Windows is familiar to me, and I feel more at ease with it. The odds are even at the moment.

Now, I am well aware that this a horribly long post, so thank you if you got this far.

And I'm also aware that it does not quite fit in the "Puppy Power" section of the forum. Although, maybe it does after all?

The question I would like to ask my fellow users, especially the Linux-newbies and Windows converts - what are your experiences or disappointments?

PS> After some thought I decided that this post belongs in this section after all. I can vouch that Puppy beats at least one major distro in every aspect, even though I've learned it the hard and bloody annoying way.

Thanks for reading Smile
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Aitch


Joined: 04 Apr 2007
Posts: 6815
Location: Chatham, Kent, UK

PostPosted: Wed 17 Jun 2009, 19:54    Post subject:  

Hi slapdash

Puppy power indeed

Come on.... you know it feels like home.... you're hooked, I can tell

Bet you didn't post in the windoze forum & tell them about your 'quandary'?

See?

So when you've finished trying all the other things that aren't what feels like home - come home, you know it makes sense Very Happy

What more needs saying?

My journey was very similar..... & getting started was tricky as I only had access via wifi, & puppy was the only linux which would even acknowledge I HAD wifi, but I got great help on the forum from my windoze flaky install [didn't realise how flaky it was till puppy 2.14, which was a breeze in comparison.....
But I was a diehard W95grown intoW98 maintainer....evolved briefly to 2K.....

but things move on..... support for W95/W98 & 2K gone....XP disappearing.....

don't mention that ...er other yuk

hey ho, ......mush......to the kennels! Laughing

loadsa fun to be had Very Happy

Aitch Smile
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Slapdash


Joined: 19 Aug 2008
Posts: 79
Location: Silesia

PostPosted: Sat 20 Jun 2009, 18:20    Post subject:  

Just an update.
I did try out Mandriva and have to admit that I found it much more pleasant and seemingly friendly than Kubuntu. It would still ask me the password when trying to change the time, but it would actually keep the time setting. And it's got the blinking computers in the tray.
And yet, right after lunch I decided to get rid of it in favour of Puppy.
The thing's now official: Puppy's my only operating system, with a full install onto a 40GB partition. It took me a year to come to this.
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gregb7677

Joined: 14 Jun 2009
Posts: 13
Location: Florence S.C.

PostPosted: Sat 20 Jun 2009, 20:15    Post subject:  

lol it only took me a week!

This was after years of saying i was going to try Linux, but being put off by horror stories. Now the majority of these stories came from people who can barley run windows of course.

I came into the possession of a HP zt1210 laptop 1.2 ghz celeron processor 20gb HD and 256mb of ram. The xp install on it was the original install, never been reinstalled EVER and it ran like crap. So I reinstalled thinking that would help things and nope I still could not do what i desired it to do without it slowing down. All this time I was still chalking it up to withdrawal over the loss of my dual core amd64 rig. Thinking I was just trying to do too much with too little now. Well I gave in and FINALLY decided to find a flavor of linux that might do better (so I was told) So I hit google and searched for one that would be good with the limited ram and older processor. First up we had Xbuntu, which ran good at first but not really exactly what I was hoping for in the long run. Then I found crunch bang and for a few days I was happy with it as well. I was starting to get ticked because these according to what I had read were supposed to give me the speed I was looking for on what I had. I was looking into DSL (what a coincidence) when I stumbled across Puppy. Burned a Live CD on my wife's Laptop and booted it up. IMMEDIATELY I knew I had finally found what I was looking for. now after a week of combing the message boards and reading post after post learning something new all along the way. I am totally hooked on Puppy now, and even in about a month when I get a new laptop It will be running Puppy for me.

Now to convince the wife to give up windows.....
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01micko


Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Posts: 8651
Location: qld

PostPosted: Sun 21 Jun 2009, 00:42    Post subject:  

Hi Slapdash,

Interesting post. I started with computers about the same time as you but for different reasons. I was starting a small business and my accountant told me that I should have one to run "Quickbooks" (YUK!). Anyway after a couple of upgrade cycles I got jack of Windows and did most of my stuff in Mandrake (later Mandriva) with Koffice and/or Open Office. Anyway, I didn't really get involved in the guts of Mandrake and was really just an 'enduser'.

Mandrake became Mandriva and I started disliking it, slower, more bloated. So I went down a similar path, tried DSL and it led me to Puppy. I have just got fully involved here, learning some bash scripting, hacking files, playing with graphics, it's just plain fun! Very Happy

Cheers and happy Puppying!

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raffy

Joined: 25 May 2005
Posts: 4837
Location: Manila

PostPosted: Sun 21 Jun 2009, 04:24    Post subject: choice  

Some console trick could have saved you from frustration in Kubuntu:
Code:
df -h
will give you the space count in your mounted drives (hmm, now mounting is again another chore in other distros).

Linux is all about choice. If you feel you still want to use Win programs, get a puplet with Wine, like Tipsy.

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Puppy user since Oct 2004. Want FreeOffice? Get the sfs (English only).
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Slapdash


Joined: 19 Aug 2008
Posts: 79
Location: Silesia

PostPosted: Sun 21 Jun 2009, 04:41    Post subject:  

Well, I figured that there is a way to check the disc space. I sort of amused that it will be clickable, and hopefully will not crash the file manager like it did. As I said, with my short fuse I cannot be bothered with things that should be obcious and ARE obvious.
As for the Win programs... there are two of them I'm really hell-bent on running: Silent Hunter 3 and Football Manager 2008. But I'll ask about them in appropriate sections of the forums when the Wine times comes.
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ttuuxxx


Joined: 05 May 2007
Posts: 11189
Location: Ontario Canada,Sydney Australia

PostPosted: Sun 21 Jun 2009, 07:05    Post subject:  

Slapdash wrote:
Well, I figured that there is a way to check the disc space. I sort of amused that it will be clickable, and hopefully will not crash the file manager like it did. As I said, with my short fuse I cannot be bothered with things that should be obcious and ARE obvious.
As for the Win programs... there are two of them I'm really hell-bent on running: Silent Hunter 3 and Football Manager 2008. But I'll ask about them in appropriate sections of the forums when the Wine times comes.


If you want try this version I've been working on, Firefox 3.5 and flash 10 are included and are extremely stable, The version itself needs a bit of work with grub, but frugal installs work just fine. 100MB
http://www.ttuuxxx.gposil.com/2.14X/iso/214X4.iso
ttuuxxx

_________________
http://audio.online-convert.com/ <-- excellent site
http://samples.mplayerhq.hu/A-codecs/ <-- Codec Test Files
http://html5games.com/ <-- excellent HTML5 games Smile
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darrelljon


Joined: 08 Apr 2007
Posts: 554

PostPosted: Sun 21 Jun 2009, 08:16    Post subject:  

Some users consider
Code:
/
analogous to My Computer. Program files are generally in
Code:
/usr/bin/
Linux generally conforms to the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard.
I started an article about desktop shortcuts on wikiHow.
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swsetiadi

Joined: 21 Jun 2009
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sun 21 Jun 2009, 08:27    Post subject:  

Puppy is the first Linux distro I tried (about 6 wks ago). I was happy with it. Quick to open and straightforward for basic usage.

I find that it did not work well with websites containing a lot of flash. I updated firefox & flash but still found the same problem. The firefox crashed, run very slowly, or did not lay out the website correctly.

Then I found Linux Mint 6, a much heavier distro than Puppy. I did not find the above annoyance, but since it is heavier than Puppy Linux, start time is considerably longer, although it still boots way faster than Windows. I am happy with Linux Mint, since the interface is more "Windows-like", very easy transition for a newbie like me.

Now I mainly use Linux Mint (installed on my desktop), and use Puppy Linux on a USB when I'm on somebody else's computer. My version of a perfect world.
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redandwhitestripes

Joined: 02 Jan 2009
Posts: 154

PostPosted: Sun 21 Jun 2009, 08:56    Post subject:  

Started using on New Year's Day this year. I started with Ubuntu simply because laptops were cheaper when packaged with Linux Ubuntu than Vista. The key thing was getting on line which took just five minutes. The next few days were a steep learning curb but also fun. I then became more and more of a minimalist. I tried Puppy and liked it, but mistakenly thought Slitaz and DSL would be even lighter.
Soon I discovered that to be properly functional, those two required several downloads that made them bigger than PL and, of course, less user friendly and attractive. So back to Puppy I came.
Now I would never, ever go back to Windows. Everything I could do on Windows I can do in Puppy, running faster and far, far leaner and with less crashes.
I like to play games too, but I have an Xbox360 for that Smile
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computerophil

Joined: 19 Feb 2009
Posts: 48

PostPosted: Sun 21 Jun 2009, 09:10    Post subject:  

I started with Puppy in search of a free OS. Also Wikipedia gave me the intention to try it out. It was Version 2.11 ans it was love at first sight.
I tried out at least 100 LiveCD distributions - several are good - but none is like Puppy which remained my favorite.
I became a collector of it's different versions and derivates later I did the same with Knoppix and now theses links and also other LinkList can be found at my HomePage together with hints that might help others to start with Linux specially with Puppy.

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trio


Joined: 21 Dec 2008
Posts: 2083
Location: अनुमोदना

PostPosted: Sun 21 Jun 2009, 09:25    Post subject:  

swsetiadi wrote:
Puppy is the first Linux distro I tried (about 6 wks ago). I was happy with it. Quick to open and straightforward for basic usage.

I find that it did not work well with websites containing a lot of flash. I updated firefox & flash but still found the same problem. The firefox crashed, run very slowly, or did not lay out the website correctly.

Then I found Linux Mint 6, a much heavier distro than Puppy. I did not find the above annoyance, but since it is heavier than Puppy Linux, start time is considerably longer, although it still boots way faster than Windows. I am happy with Linux Mint, since the interface is more "Windows-like", very easy transition for a newbie like me.

Now I mainly use Linux Mint (installed on my desktop), and use Puppy Linux on a USB when I'm on somebody else's computer. My version of a perfect world.


Indonesian?

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ophie99

Joined: 06 Mar 2009
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sun 21 Jun 2009, 09:36    Post subject:  

Great story. I truly think puppy is a great OS. It is different. I brought home a server the other day and it's the only thing that runs right on the darned thing. I haven't tried windows but the big robust RHEL gave me fits. That says a lot to me. I was always afraid we'd loose simplicity with all these big operating systems these days but I think it's here to stay a while.

Well said and love the Puppy distro.
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swsetiadi

Joined: 21 Jun 2009
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sun 21 Jun 2009, 19:22    Post subject:  

trio wrote:

Indonesian?


Yup!!
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