30 Dec 2010

Happy New Year!

Yes, it is here... Just few hours left in this year, year of great successes and great disappointments. Year of joy and sorrow...
I wish you all the best in 2011!


29 Dec 2010

Linux OS for PC?

It is not so easy to find time for new Operating Systems tests now, when all the ads ask me to come and buy... That can help the budget in the future, but not now.
Now I have another desire - to tell you something new I have learned recently.
PC Linux OS came to my horizon quite unexpectedly. Somebody in Kubuntu forum trolled about future of Kubuntu, if it should stay or if it should go... many people told their opinions, and some of them mentioned PC Linux OS as their previous system.
PC Linux OS was forked from Mandriva back in 2003. It currently exists in so many available variants, that it was difficult for me to choose. Few weeks ago I had similar issue when I was going to give Debian a go. That time choice was for LXDE environment. This time I went the same way.
Disk image is downloaded. CD-RW burnt. Reboot. Choose to boot from CD. Let's go!

22 Dec 2010

What is the difference between the twins, or How many twists are there in spiral?

Linux has an image of not-user-friendly operation system. Most people think they are not technically educated enough to work in Linux. That's not right. Linux made leaps towards user friendliness in recent years. Whole my blog is just one big anthem for it.
One of my friends (hey, do you read this post, Mr.S?) wrote me once:
Niece comes over to stay, she is on the computer all the time, and never notices that she is using a Linux system!
Isn't it a good proof?
Of course, not all the distributives have done equal steps on this road. Some of them remain oriented on technical people.
Linux Mint is a distributive created by team of Linux fans. They want to make Linux experience as easy as possible.
Last time I wrote about Linux Mint 10 Julia. This is what Mint team made from Ubuntu 10.10.
Ubuntu-based system is not the only project run by Mint team. Their recent initiative is Mint based on Debian. This is Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE).
I must try it! Why wait!

17 Dec 2010

Another brick in the Toshiba wall, or It yet moves again!

My last post was about Linux Mint, which in my humble opinion is just slightly facelifted Ubuntu. Facelift makes it better, no doubt. But that it still facelift, not separate distributive.
My post before last was about usage of Live Linux on my Toshiba laptop. That time I tried to run Ubuntu 10.10 from CD.
As soon as I had CD with Linux Mint 10 Julia on it, why not try to run it on Toshiba as well?
No questions! Just do it! Or, as I like to tell my friends, just Nike it!

15 Dec 2010

On What Does Mint Grow?

Linux Mint. It claims to be 4th most popular operating system in the world. Only Ubuntu Linux comes ahead of it, other two being Windows and MacOS.
I heard about this Linux distribution ages ago. But there were other systems to try. And then I read the message in my blogroll linked site: Three months is not a bad run. That gave me additional impulse in that direction. Now I can put my hands on this one.
So, let's use standard way: download CD iso-image from the official web site. My choice was in Linux Mint 10 Julia. It has GNOME desktop environment, which is default for Linux Mint. Although, other versions are also available as "community editions". Burn it to disk. Reboot the computer. Choose to boot from CD. Let's go!

10 Dec 2010

Eppur si muove (And yet it moves)

I wrote at the very beginning that I have 2 laptops: Compaq approximately 4 years old, and Toshiba which will be 1 year old soon.
I do most of my experiments on Compaq one. This is playground and sandbox for all the Linuxes I try. But I also try to start live versions of Linuxes on Toshiba. So far, all the attempts  failed. Network cards, either WiFi or LAN, could not be recognised by any distributive.
I also have kind of web store for those who want to buy CDs with Linux on it. It is accessible via line Buy Linux CDs at the top of the page. In addition to that, I sometimes put similar items on eBay.
How all these thing linked? They were not linked, until once they all combined together into one nice solution!

8 Dec 2010

Does Net Mean Inter? Or Not?

Fedora is a nice part of Linux OS family. I have already tried Fedora 13.
But, as I noted there, while I was doing my experiments and writing a blog post, new version of Fedora was released. It is now time to try new release - Fedora 14.
Fedora comes with different type of Windows managers: KDE, XFCE, LXDE. But my choice for Fedora 14 was the same as for Fedora 13, was GNOME.
So, download image. Burn it to CD. Reboot computer. Choose boot from CD. Let's go!

3 Dec 2010

Spiral which cannot be untwisted, and Diving into GRUB

I have tried different distributives so far. Some of them are purposely built as desktop versions, some as pocket system. But all the modern Linux distributives have roots in very few distributives created on the dawn of Linix era. They are: Red Hat, Slackware, OpenSuSE and Debian. Anybody can name more? Please use comments for this!
Red Hat became a commercial product, and Fedora is its sandbox-playground. I already tried it as Fedora 13. New post about Fedora 14 is in the plan.
Slackware does not have any Live version. Or I could not find one on their site. SLAX is not an option, as it is (was?) developed independently from mainstream.
OpenSuSE already was in my hands.
And then comes Debian. It is basis for Knoppix, Ubuntu (including Kubuntu), DSL, and many-many more.
Should I try it? Of course!

26 Nov 2010

Old Good(?) Style

I recently wrote about Linux distributive which was derived from Red Hat once Red Hat became commercial. But Fedora is not the only derivative in there!
As long as Red Hat is still open source software, anyone can use their source code for own purposes. That's the way how CentOS was born.
Selection of available versions for CentOS is not massive. If you want to have Live system, you have a choice of only one variety. Practically, this is GNOME-embedded system. No choice between KDE, LXDE or any other windows manager. At least, for CentOS 5.5, which I used.
Anyway. Following procedure is standard.
Download CD image. Burn it onto CD-RW disk. Reboot. Choose to boot from CD.
Let's go!

22 Nov 2010

Penguins on Racecourse

I wrote several times that I have several versions of Linux installed on my laptop.
If we have a team, let's make a competition!
So, racecourse is my laptop. Some Penguins are already living on hard disk, some will be running from CD, some will be running from USB drive.
Time will be counting from the time when GRUB selection is made (for HDD install) or from start of CD/USB boot selection in BIOS for those who start from there. If there are any requirements to enter any details in order to start system, time to make correct selection or type details is also taken into account.
Stopwatch will be stopped when computer is booted and ready for use, including WiFi connection made (where possible). If WiFi requires separate configuration (password entry etc), this time is also taken into account.
I know some of these assumptions makes competition unfair for CD/USB launched systems, but let it be this way.

Stopwatch is reset!
Ready! Steady! Go!

16 Nov 2010

Is it a reason to celebrate?

Hello to all the readers!
And for those who is not a reader, but will become (hopefully) soon.
I realised that this blog started functioning just about one month ago!
To be honest, first posts were put together little bit earlier. But they were all in Russian. Later down the line I decided to move this blog into English "blogosphere". All the posts which existed by that time were translated into English. First of English-language posts was published on the 14th of October 2010, that is 1 month and 2 days ago.
Is it a reason to celebrate!
Yes! Happy Birthday, Linux notes from DarkDuck!!!!

And also that is time to make some resumes.
In first month:

  • 11 posts were published
  • ...and several more drafted for future release
  • Facility to Buy Linux CDs was launched
  • Several CDs were actually sold
  • One customer feedback was received and published.
This is a great success from my point of view! Do you agree? Please leave your comments, subscribe to this blog, read it, share it!
And, finally, I want to say THANK YOU! to all of you!
  • To you, who regularly read the blog. 
  • To you, who came here for the first time and will subscribe. 
  • To you, who just came here once and will never return.
I write for all of you! I work for all of you!
Thank you for your existence!

12 Nov 2010

Are there 10 reasons to upgrade to 10.10?

Maybe that is too late now to write about this, but anyway...
What can happen at 10:10 on 10.10.10? Of course, it can only be a new release of Linux operation system Ubuntu, version 10.10.
I was happy owner of free CDs sent me by Canonical representative. These were CDs with Ubuntu and Kubuntu 10.04 LTS versions. After some investigations and thoughts, those two systems were installed on my laptop somewhere at the end of September.
And then 10.10.10 came along.

10 Nov 2010

In the footsteps of Little Red Riding Hood

Everyone is familiar with this wonderful fairytale of Red Riding Hood. This is a story of little girl who wore small riding hood. But all the girls grow up.. Riding hood grows up as well and may well become Red Hat.

This time I've tried a distributive which is very close to the fairy tale Character. No, that is not Red Hat Linux. My first and only (yet) acquittance with Red Hat Linux was 10 years or so ago... Since then Red Hat became fully commercial product for enterprises and no longer supports individuals. But there's an alternative for it. It is also a headgear. This is Fedora. Fedora is actively supported by Red Hat, and acts as playground for new technologies before they are included into main Red Hat package.
My guinea pig was Fedora 13 with GNOME.
Usual process with small adjustment this time. Download iso-image from the Internet. Use Pendrivelinux tool to put it onto the USB drive. Reboot! Choose to boot from USB! Let's go...

3 Nov 2010

Puppy gets Kute

You know my addiction to try new distributions of Linux...
But, as per Russian saying, "old friend is better than two new ones". So, I have 3 friends, which are old enough to be considered as old.
They are:

All these three distributives found their way to my HDD, and I frequently have a dilemma which one to use today.
But even old friends may need new clothes.

30 Oct 2010

4311 reasons to beat Green Gecko, or How I killed Live Tux

If you're still not aware, Green Gecko is logo of openSuSE distro.
My acquaintance with it was even shorter than with Mandriva.
From the list of available packages my choice was OpenSuSE 11.3 LiveCD with GNOME environment.
Amazing, but, official OpenSuSE site seems to have a tool to create LiveUSB from disk image. Similar to Mandriva Seed. That's fine, except for some technical detail. Disk images of OpenSuSE are distributed in .iso format while the tool requires them to be in a .raw format. Little inconsistency which makes the useful tool useless. Finally I burned iso-image to CD.
First try is with modern Toshiba laptop. Insert CD in a tray. Reboot. Choose boot from CD.
Let's go!

26 Oct 2010

Last Tango with Manny Tux, or Three Steps Forward, Two Steps Back

One of my previous posts was about Mandriva Linux Spring 2010.1.
That time I booted this system from pretty old 1Gb USB flash drive.
The results were not as nice as they could be.
Manny Tux showed herself in slow mood.
After some thoughts I decided to give Manny another try. This time I took brad new 2Gb flash drive for experiment.
So, “burn” iso drive to USB stick with Mandriva Seed. Reboot. Select USB boot option. Let's go for second round!

22 Oct 2010

Customers are always no.1

There is nothing as rewarding as "thank you" from the customer.
I had a customer recently who bought a Linux CD.
That's what I get as response from him:
downloading is one thing but burning it on to disc is another. quickly you can find yourself with dud burns and grumpy old computers.
you offered the service and delivered with no issue and it worked "out of the box" - no hassle.
thanks for the service.
i spent a couple of pounds that day and got a spread of linux operating systems that brought live back to 2 old xp machines
--Gareth, Pembrokeshire

If you want to join the team of happy customers, welcome to Buy Linux CDs page to place an order!


Meeting the Puppy, or Tux in canine skin

It is time now to talk a little about the cute little puppy.
Of course, I am not going to talk about animals here. We are talking about Puppy Linux.
I heard about it for the first time long before the first acquaintance. Many sites and articles about "pocket" Linux-systems, referred me to this animal.
My first meeting was with version 5.1.1, which had been released just days before this acquaintance.
Download the image of the CD-ROM. It is only about 130M. Burn it. Reboot. Choose to boot from CD. Let's go!

19 Oct 2010

Cooking the Manny Tux... Slowly...

Today's post will be brief.
My first acquaintance with Mandriva was brief too.
Mandriva site has a unique opportunity to download the full installer of Linux on a flash drive. Called Mandriva Seed.

I say "unique opportunity" because it is the only developer of complete (not pocket) distribution which has own tool for this. At least one I am aware of.
Of course, there is a utility at
pendrivelinux.com site that allows you to copy almost any distro to flash drive. But pendrivelinux is a third-party developer with respect to the distributions themselves.
Okay, I digressed a little.
My guinea pig was Mandriva Linux One Spring 2010.1 with the KDE4 shell. The process of copying the distribution on a flash drive took just a few minutes. Reboot. Choose to boot from USB. Let's go!

18 Oct 2010

3 reasons to drop penguin and no reasons to pick up another

I’ve written a few words about SLAX disappointments earlier.
1) First issue was not so significant for me. This is inability to work properly with Russian letters in file names on NTFS-partition and a mapped network drive at the same time.
2) The second, more serious, is instability of SLAX file system.

15 Oct 2010

How to Get South African Humanity on the Hard Disk

There is a lot more for me and you to learn!
Just heard that Ubuntu 10.10 was released few days ago!
Such a miss from my side not to mention it earlier!

14 Oct 2010

How to put a system in a pocket?

I wanted to introduce myself to Linux for a long time.
Back in a year 1999 I downloaded the Linux distribution (imagine the amount of CD to download via dial-up connection!), and I bought yet another disk with Linux. I even managed to install it on my computer then. All the "acquaintance" ended at the doorstep of terminal mode. I failed to launch even a slight semblance of a graphical interface. Linux only found keyboard and display from the whole range of devices I had. Mouse and, moreover, an external modem were out of the question. Of course, once upon a time I worked with DOS and Norton Commander, but still the mentality of late 90s have already been solidly busy with Win'95. So, first acquaintance failed.