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Bristol Wireless in Windows Shocker!

I thought it had happened, well I had major suspicions anyway, and am sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings, but many of the machines we gave away on the Give Away Day appear to have gone out with Windows still installed, albeit dual boot.

The Suse installation disks if left to their own devices, as many of them were, automatically detected any existing OS and repartitioned the drive to make the machine dual boot, using only enough HDD space to ensure a GUI Linux install.

We’ve had a few reports of it being slow, but apart from Open Office, this OS should not run slow on the systems we gave away. However we’ve heard reports of systems taking 10 minutes to boot and LILO prompts asking for Windows or Linux 🙁

When we write to people about the training we’ll also make an offer to people to bring their machines to the lab for optimisation, if they’re having problems. Then we can sneakily wipe the Mviru$ and install the OS properly! 😉

Volunteers to help welcome.

6 Responses to Bristol Wireless in Windows Shocker!

  1. darren December 1, 2003 at 10:51 am #

    Snot there

  2. rich December 2, 2003 at 6:43 pm #

    How about none of the above, and doing a few experiments, discussion etc. There must be one of the smaller distro which is more suitable for our purposes, with 300 to choose from. I reckon Gnoppix would be a good bet, or Morhpix light GUI if we could get a few more packages on there (which we could of course) with ‘isomorph’.

    From the list above only SuSe is of interest, it is the only one really oriented to office work. The rest are big "all things to all people" type distro’s. But if answer SuSe to the poll though, I feel like I have been tricked.

    Can’t see your suprise at the machines running slow, we put KDE on them all, recommended for 80mb ram minimum. Some of them have only 64mb, so you’d expect slow, also some people selected "loads of desktop effects please" in the KDE start up which doesn’t help.

    I’m deffinatley up for a bit more planning next time.

  3. sean December 2, 2003 at 8:45 pm #

    You’re right of course, discussion and experimentation is the way forward. The poll was supposed to be just for fun really, and to try out some of the boards functionality.

    Suse 8.1 however runs KDE2 not KDE3 I think, which I’m pretty sure doesn’t need 80MB of ram to run, and the machine at the lab with the distro on and KDE default desktop, which is similar to the ones we gave away works very well with the minimum of tweaking. Open Office is still too slow though, I think it’s been developed on fast processor machines with a 1/2 gig of ram, certainly nothing I’ve tried it on seems to speed it up.

    If we are giving machines away to complete novices in large numbers we will be relying on trainers who are switching over from Windows and MSOffice (I assume we do want them to switch) and the KDE GUI in my IMHO makes that switch as painless as possible. Like you said though, we need to be a bit careful of how it is installed on the lesser specced machines.

  4. Anonymous December 4, 2003 at 10:33 am #

    KDE is the friendliest for new users, without a doubt, and looks the prettiest. But memory usage and speed?

    Check out these from various expired pages:



    It seems that others share the same experience as me, KDE is a pig. From some other posts I’ve read, many of the memory guzzling properties of KDE2 where sorted out in KDE3, so KDE2 might be the piggiest of them all. I don’t use KDE on my computer for reasons of speed, regardless of memory usage.

    We’ve got slower computers this time, so I reckon we really think about another option. Gnome or XFCE4 would be my recommendations. I think the criteria are:

    * menu already built, so users can access all software
    * fast
    * friendly

    the above are the only desktop enviroments I know that fit the bill.

    EDIT: fixed long links

  5. hamish December 4, 2003 at 11:04 am #

    … by a mile, with 2 votes to the nearest challenger’s, er, 1. 😀

    A couple of wee points. I don’t follow the "all things to all people" point really. The latest SuSe-the-distributions are huge. Debian-the-distribution likewise is huge. So you choose what to install, and the result is as big or small as you want. We could debate what to install, and with Debian at least (probably S as well, don’t know) build a text file with that list which can be fed to dpkg, which will ensure that all systems go out in the same state. That’s good because we can be sure the machines aren’t going out running 130 daemons, which tends not to

    OpenOffice is a bit heavy. I can confirm that it runs fine with 1/2 gig on an 800MHz machine. It doesn’t help that to load the WP part, you have (I think) to load the whole thing with all its bells and whistles.

    Machines with less than 128Mb are now obsolete for desktop use by any measure. 128Mb is a push. I would argue that we shouldn’t be giving away machines with 64Mb; for what the people we are giving them to want they are useless. If we get a load of machines with 64, double the memory up and give away half as many machines. Fewer happy beneficiaries is better then more unhappy ones.

  6. darren December 4, 2003 at 11:55 am #

    I’ve been using linux for many years now and found it very chunky and time consuming to install.

    Have configured a few proxy’s and firewalls with openbsd lately the speed and ease of configuration is a refreshing change from linux.

    Installing packages is easy compared to using RPM’s, starting and stopping services similar.

    Added to this the required overheads such as CPU, Memory and harddisk size is much lower than any of the above.

    Found a few links to read:

    "My parents say that OpenBSD is faster. Significantly, noticeably so. It’s also more stable—no surprise there—and the only thing they’re lacking that they had before"

    Screen shots:

    I think the fact that it is more or less pure UNIX with nothing added or taken away give it purer feel.

    Unfortunately though I have to admit I have not had the x running yet to test this out, more experimentation to be done in this area.

    I’m going to the ecc tomorrow might see some of you there…