Recent Review Rounds
This past month has been quite exciting with the recent distro releases. We've seen some great work, revolutionary ideas, and even some down right radical thinking. We've seen newcomers do groundbreaking things and old dawgs learn some new tricks.
I've had a long running habit, of about 5 years now, of testing out distros as they were released then I'd write my friends and tell em what I think. I have posted my lilo config a couple times as an example to someone having trouble or questions with setting up dual or triple boot, and got many cute replies. One guy told me to get a life. See, there have been times when I've had as many as 30 distros installed across two hard drives. These days I'm down to one. Seems my power supply can't handle the load of all my hardware, which includes an nvidia 6800 that requires it's own power cable, and a second harddrive. So right now I have 11 linux distros bootable on that one harddrive (some with several bootable kernels).
Since I've started the site, I've been posting those said thoughts of distros here instead. Some of my reviews seem to get a few hits while others seem to get a bit fewer. But that's about how it was from friends too. If it was something they became excited about, I'd get emails about this and that, even requesting more screenshots. If it wasn't interesting to them, I'd get a "oh that's nice". That's about how it's going here.
To the point: I've had some successes and not so successful adventures. I got stampeded by Buffalo, a distro whose name intrigued me. I didn't achieve any yingyang with Zen, whose logo was so darn cute. And my fruit went sour with Berry, whose motif was quite appetizing. All these would get to the point of starting X and then give me the big nothing. That's the way it goes, some hardware combinations just don't fly with some distro. I think this is a big advantage to livecds - one can test their hardware /before/ an actual harddrive install.
My latest tests have been going well. Should I state in public that I've never been the big Redhat fan? Did that come thru in my Fox review? I tried de-emphasize my personal slant towards Redhat and offshoots to write an objective review. And in fact, Fox has improved and purtied it up to where it's almost great. I /could/ get by with it if there weren't so many other choices, but I felt Redhat and Fedora fans should really check it out.
In the interim, I've been working on Lunar. Lunar isn't one of those quickie installs and reviews. It's requiring some work to get ready. I had a basic install from their iso in no time, but it's taken a little while to get to a kde desktop. One can compare Lunar to a stage 3 gentoo install I think. In fact, I see some definite similarities between Lunar and gentoo. Lunar is based on sorceror, but is sorceror an off-shoot of gentoo? I need to research this if I'm gonna write a review of it, but some of it's unique filesystem structure and naming conventions sure remind me of gentoo.
After I finally discovered the commands Lunar uses to install software, I was on my way. I didn't tweak any compile flags or set up distcc, but it's still kinda neato to watch it compile up your applications from scratch. I don't think Lunar is for everyone, as it's taken a little coaxing at times, but i got xorg and the kde desktop installed and running, as well as xawtv! I had to compile a vanilla kernel as I had a little trouble with the nvidia drivers. But it's default is a 2.4 kernel, so one of the next things is to see if I can convert it to a 2.6.
So, as the month draws to end, I need to get a desktop ready for the Gentoo Monthly Screenshots and finish up my Lunar for a review. I'm currently running kde 3.4.1 in gentoo and lunar has kde 3.4.0 installed. Between my real job, this site, my home upkeep, recent car trouble, and a boyfellar who accuses me of things when I conk out from exhaustion - I'm being stretched a little thin these days. I just can't seem to get everything done I'd like.
Happy Linuxin' folks.