31 Jan 2011

Old Manny Tux Baby

Babies are usually sweet and cute. We all like them. We endeavour them. We hope they grow up to be better then we are.
But that does not happen all the time. Sometimes babies just stay undeveloped and forgotten... That is unfortunately true for human society. Here we have social care for such babies. But Linux world also has some examples like this...
Mandriva Linux was forked from Red Hat project many-many-many years ago. It existed under name Mandrake even before centuries turn. It was developed separately from it's mother and got some babies itself.
One of these babies is Berlios. How good is it? Let's see...

Latest version of Berlios which you can find on official site is dated March 2003. It is still release candidate with index 3.
Berlios was specifically created to fit Mini CD. So, size of Berlios is tiny: just 185Mb.
What is "under the hood"? Here is Mandrake 9.1 core. That is version Mandrake Bamboo, released in 2003.
How does it run? I cannot tell you exactly. Simple because... Stop, let's do everything in its turn.
When booting, it asks you so many questions that you can simply lose your temper. What makes this even worse that every question should be asked within five seconds! Yes, you're supposed to read the question, understand it, make a decision and press buttons within five seconds. Maybe that is OK for those who know the questions and answers. But for user who sees it for the first time this approach is more than confusing. It is scary. In these terms Berlios is like operating system from company with eaten fruit on the logo: it decides everything by itself. Fine. Let's see how good is automatic mode.
Reboot computer and just leave it alone. None of the questions is answered, no keys touched apart from Enter during boot: prompt. What is the result?
Result is zero. Nothing. Ничего.
Dead screen.
I could not process any further than screen with boot information text lines. System died on my eyes.
Test was executed on my Compaq laptop manufactured in 2006, three years after Berlios "release candidate" was released. It is too heavy nut for Berlios MiniCD distribution. I think it can only be good for computers manufactured ten or so years ago. Maybe people like K.Mandla can be interested in it!
But not for me.
Berlios is like abandoned baby. It looks to be semi-developed, and then put on the curb of Linux mainstream. Will there be any further development? Who knows?

Useful links
http://developer.berlios.de/projects/minicd/ - official we site of Berlios MiniCD project
http://developer.berlios.de/project/showfiles.php?group_id=697 - download page
http://martik-scorp.blogspot.com/2011/01/berlios-minicd.html - Martik's post about Berlios MiniCD


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