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One computers' Linux experience

I have a trusty old IBM sitting next to me. Yep, An actual IBM, pre selloff. I have had this machine for a pretty long time actually.

Not much to it. I added an Nvidea GeForce FX 5500 Video card a year or so ago and a Western Digital 120 gb hd. It only has 768 mb of ram and an Intel p4 processor.

Despite not being what most would call a super powered machine, this computer runs Linux on it. Actually, it dual boots Windows XP Pro and PCLinuxOS 2009.1

This install of XP Pro has been installed since the HD was installed. I have had no trouble with it, it has not had one single virus. I run a good firewall on it and anti-virus at all times. Truth be told, XP only gets booted about twice a week for an hour or so at a shot. Only when the kids or the wife wants to run an app that is Win only they really liked.

Since the HD was installed, It had PCLinuxOS 2007 installed on it.On the old had, It had started with Ubuntu 6.4 which lasted about 6 months then went through a flurry of installs from about five other distros.

It finally settled on PCLOS 2007 before the HD died.

Why PCLOS? That's the one the family agreed on. It stays a permanent fixture on this one machine. On the other machines, laptops, servers, etc.. I run here, there is only one other instance of PCLOS running and that is as a test bed as a LAN server. That's another story though for an other time.

I myself lean toward Debian most often. Well, Debian or a derivative, like Sidux.

Anyway, I digress. This IBM was just updated to 2009.1 over the whole time there was only one 'bad' incident running Linux on this machine and that was my fault, because being the genius I am, I didn't back up a partition before I resized it. Heh, heh heh . hmmm. Not so bright, but, not the distros fault, just my incredible overconfidence and being in a hurry.

Cameras, mp3 players, USB sticks, all kinds of devices get plugged into this install and so far not much trouble to talk about. Admittedly, I try to search and buy products I find are noted to, or should, work with Linux

Homework assignments are done using OpenOffice. Reports and spreadsheets made and printed for business and day to day stuff.

It gets used like a normal computer should on a daily basis. Games get played on it , a lot, the kids love the Linux games for the most part. there's a motorcycle one and one where you move Tux like the old Mario Bros, games and a 3d one with dwarves or something. A 3d golf and ball-on-a-table game. I can't keep track. my kids are younger, so there aren't any FPS games or the like installed.

They watch movies on the computer (especially when a brother or sister is watching something else on the living room TV.) Play music, they even watch old TV shows online. They say they are OK with the slow playback online, but I admit, this machine could use a RAM boost to playback more smoothly.

The range of ages of people using this computer is from 5 to 40 years old. Mostly KDE is used on it, the default from PCLOS, except when I am using it. Then it's Xfce. HA.

When asked, the computer phobic wife and the kids all say that using the system, finding the way around menus and just 'doing' things in general isn't really much different from learning to get around in Windows and in some cases even prefer the Linux setups.

Here's something kind of cool.

On this older, low powered computer, one can, run a remaster, play a DVD movie, have a web browser open, Xchat, pidgin and, burn an ISO to cd all at the same time. Not one messup. I kid you not. Nothing slowed down, nothing had an eror.

Now, I don't recommend people actually do that type of thing all the time, but, as usual, I wasn't really focusing on one thing and got carried away. Nice to know Linux can handle that.

XP Pro will choke just playing back music and burning a file to cd. Same machine, same specs. I've done it.

So, this old machine likes Linux. It performs at it's best using Linux.

I suppose , in answer to the question "When will Linux be ready for the user desktop?"

It was ready almost two years ago in this house. Children use it daily, as well as computer phobic wives and memory challenged mad computer geniuses. (The 'genius' part is up for speculation.)

Have fun, Learn lots.

Big Bear

More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: Software

Linux and FOSS Events

  • Debian SunCamp 2017 Is Taking Place May 18-21 in the Province of Girona, Spain
    It looks like last year's Debian SunCamp event for Debian developers was a total success and Martín Ferrari is back with a new proposal that should take place later this spring during four days full of hacking, socializing, and fun. That's right, we're talking about Debian SunCamp 2017, an event any Debian developer, contributor, or user can attend to meet his or hers Debian buddies, hack together on new projects or improve existing ones by sharing their knowledge, plan upcoming features and discuss ideas for the Debian GNU/Linux operating system.
  • Pieter Hintjens In Memoriam
    Pieter Hintjens was a writer, programmer and thinker who has spent decades building large software systems and on-line communities, which he describes as "Living Systems". He was an expert in distributed computing, having written over 30 protocols and distributed software systems. He designed AMQP in 2004, and founded the ZeroMQ free software project in 2007. He was the author of the O'Reilly ZeroMQ book, "Culture and Empire", "The Psychopath Code", "Social Architecture", and "Confessions of a Necromancer". He was the president of the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII), and fought the software patent directive and the standardisation of the Microsoft OOXML Office format. He also organized the Internet of Things (IOT) Devroom here at FOSDEM for the last 3 years. In April 2016 he was diagnosed with terminal metastasis of a previous cancer.
  • foss-gbg on Wednesday
    The topics are Yocto Linux on FPGA-based hardware, risk and license management in open source projects and a product release by the local start-up Zifra (an encryptable SD-card). More information and free tickets are available at the foss-gbg site.

Leftovers: OSS

  • When Open Source Meets the Enterprise
    Open source solutions have long been an option for the enterprise, but lately it seems they are becoming more of a necessity for advanced data operations than merely a luxury for IT techs who like to play with code. While it’s true that open platforms tend to provide a broader feature set compared to their proprietary brethren, due to their larger and more diverse development communities, this often comes at the cost of increased operational complexity. At a time when most enterprises are looking to shed their responsibilities for infrastructure and architecture to focus instead on core money-making services, open source requires a fairly high level of in-house technical skill. But as data environments become more distributed and reliant upon increasingly complex compilations of third-party systems, open source can provide at least a base layer of commonality for resources that support a given distribution.
  • EngineerBetter CTO: the logical truth about software 'packaging'
    Technologies such as Docker have blended these responsibilities, causing developers to need to care about what operating system and native libraries are available to their applications – after years of the industry striving for more abstraction and increased decoupling!
  • What will we do when everything is automated?
    Just translate the term "productivity of American factories" into the word "automation" and you get the picture. Other workers are not taking jobs away from the gainfully employed, machines are. This is not a new trend. It's been going on since before Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin. Industry creates machines that do the work of humans faster, cheaper, with more accuracy and with less failure. That's the nature of industry—nothing new here. However, what is new is the rate by which the displacement of human beings from the workforce in happening.
  • Want OpenStack benefits? Put your private cloud plan in place first
    The open source software promises hard-to-come-by cloud standards and no vendor lock-in, says Forrester's Lauren Nelson. But there's more to consider -- including containers.
  • Set the Agenda at OpenStack Summit Boston
    The next OpenStack Summit is just three months away now, and as is their custom, the organizers have once again invited you–the OpenStack Community–to vote on which presentations will and will not be featured at the event.
  • What’s new in the world of OpenStack Ambassadors
    Ambassadors act as liaisons between multiple User Groups, the Foundation and the community in their regions. Launched in 2013, the OpenStack Ambassador program aims to create a framework of community leaders to sustainably expand the reach of OpenStack around the world.
  • Boston summit preview, Ambassador program updates, and more OpenStack news

Proprietary Traps and Openwashing

  • Integrate ONLYOFFICE Online Editors with ownCloud [Ed: Proprietary software latches onto FOSS]
    ONLYOFFICE editors and ownCloud is the match made in heaven, wrote once one of our users. Inspired by this idea, we developed an integration app for you to use our online editors in ownCloud web interface.
  • Microsoft India projects itself as open source champion, says AI is the next step [Ed: Microsoft bribes to sabotage FOSS and blackmails it with patents; calls itself "open source"]
  • Open Source WSO2 IoT Server Advances Integration and Analytic Capabilities
    WSO2 has announced a new, fully-open-source WSO2 Internet of Things Server edition that "lowers the barriers to delivering enterprise-grad IoT and mobile solutions."
  • SAP license fees are due even for indirect users, court says
    SAP's named-user licensing fees apply even to related applications that only offer users indirect visibility of SAP data, a U.K. judge ruled Thursday in a case pitting SAP against Diageo, the alcoholic beverage giant behind Smirnoff vodka and Guinness beer. The consequences could be far-reaching for businesses that have integrated their customer-facing systems with an SAP database, potentially leaving them liable for license fees for every customer that accesses their online store. "If any SAP systems are being indirectly triggered, even if incidentally, and from anywhere in the world, then there are uncategorized and unpriced costs stacking up in the background," warned Robin Fry, a director at software licensing consultancy Cerno Professional Services, who has been following the case.
  • “Active Hours” in Windows 10 emphasizes how you are not in control of your own devices
    No edition of Windows 10, except Professional and Enterprise, is expected to function for more than 12 hours of the day. Microsoft most generously lets you set a block of 12 hours where you’re in control of the system, and will reserve the remaining 12 hours for it’s own purposes. How come we’re all fine with this? Windows 10 introduced the concept of “Active Hours”, a period of up to 12 hours when you expect to use the device, meant to reflect your work hours. The settings for changing the device’s active hours is hidden away among Windows Update settings, and it poorly fits with today’s lifestyles. Say you use your PC in the afternoon and into the late evening during the work week, but use it from morning to early afternoon in the weekends. You can’t fit all those hours nor accommodate home office hours in a period of just 12 hours. We’re always connected, and expect our devices to always be there for us when we need them.
  • Chrome 57 Will Permanently Enable DRM
    The next stable version of Chrome (Chrome 57) will not allow users to disable the Widevine DRM plugin anymore, therefore making it an always-on, permanent feature of Chrome. The new version of Chrome will also eliminate the “chrome://plugins” internal URL, which means if you want to disable Flash, you’ll have to do it from the Settings page.