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Get it while the Gettings Good

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As you may have heard, Linspire began offering their Linspire 5.0 for a free download today and will continue this until September 6. Who can resist a free lunch? I downloaded and looked around Linspire in the livecd mode. It also has an option of installing to hard drive if one is interested. I was quite surprised at what I found. ...or more accurately, how I felt about what I found.

Upon booting the burnt iso, one is given the choice of installing onto harddrive, booting the livecd, or advanced. Advanced is a two item menu consisting of 'run diagnostics' and exit. I imagine run diagnostics is memtest as that's a popular option on livecds, but I didn't run it to find out. Then the livecd either boots with a lovely light blue splash and progress bar or verbosely (press F2). It does a good job of hardware detection and even loads up and uses nvidia drivers for those with nvidia graphics. That was welcome surprise number one.

        



The Linspire 5.0 livecd does log one in as root to a KDE 3.3.2 desktop by way of an attractive splash screen. Given that this distro was released in March, one can overlook the "antiquated" KDE version. Big Grin Also given the age, it uses a 2.6.10 kernel. GCC is not included, but this distro does have a large warehouse of binary applications available for a price or one can set up a debian source, so I've heard. So, no points given or taken for these issues.

Linspire comes with some nice customized eyecandy such as their choices of splashscreens and some Linspire wallpapers. They provide plenty of help and tutorials from the menu and icons on the desktop, including a 'Helpful Hints from Jack Donaldson' text file in My Documents. Of special note is their tutorial, which is a swf application that basically gives a tour of the desktop system. There is also a nice looking "startup wizard" that provides a way for easy customizing of the system such as timezone, setting up another user account, resolution, machine name, and lots more.

        

However points were lost for the mounting of all my partitions automagically. I did umount quickly and they stayed umount'd, so it's not as bad as that one distro that kept remounting them. Tongue

I wasn't really disappointed in the simplified menu because as they expanded, one finds quite a selection of applications; surprise number two. It even comes with an AOL dialer. I wonder if that thing works? I suppose that's a wonderful addition to Linspire's market of fresh window's converts. They did rename a lot of applications, but I speculate that's for usability more than deception. I didn't find, or may have overlooked, kcontrol in the menu, but it could be called up from a console or "run."

        

Kplayer was welcome surprise number three. It had no problems playing any of the movie demo files I had on hand. Just as we discovered with the distro formerly known as Freespire, Linspire uses a renamed Mozilla for it's "internet browser," email, and newgroup application by default.

        

Of course it probably wouldn't be Linspire without offering to sell additional software and services. Not only does it give you an icon on the desktop and in the system tray for cnr, it also comes with icons for its "surfsafe" and "virussafe" services. Each of these services run 29.99 USD per year. Also in the system tray is an icon for 'updates' which leads to a signup for a free "software aisle" consisting of 2000 free titles.

        

So in conclusion, I was surprised that I didn't hate Linspire. I had fully expected to, I got to be honest. However, it was attractive, stable, and functioned very well. I found it fast even in the livecd mode and never experienced a crash. I guess we can't blame them for trying to make a buck. After paying 50 USD for the distro it might be a bit much to have to pay for more software. On the other hand, as a free download their sales pitches are more easily tolerated.

Pros:

  • Fast & stable

  • pretty
  • adequate selection of applications
  • nvidia graphic drivers
  • libraries and codec for movies
  • lots of help for the newcomer

Cons:

  • Mounts all partitions automagically

  • All the "sales pitches"
  • not (usually) "free"

More Screenshots in the Tuxgallery.

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    Back during the Linux 5.15 cycle Intel contributed an improvement for tiered memory systems where less used memory pages could be demoted to slower tiers of memory storage. But once demoted that kernel infrastructure didn't have a means of promoting those demoted pages back to the faster memory tiers should they become hot again, though now Facebook/Meta engineers have been working on such functionality.  Prior to the Linux 5.15 kernel, during the memory reclaim process when the system RAM was under memory pressure was to simply toss out cold pages. However, with Linux 5.15 came the ability to shift those cold pages to any slower memory tiers. In particular, modern and forthcoming servers with Optane DC persistent memory or CXL-enabled memory, etc. Therefore the pages are still accessible if needed but not occupying precious system DRAM if they aren't being used and to avoid just flushing them out or swapping to disk. 

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  • Nvidia Pascal GPU, DX12 and VKD3D: Slideshow time! - Boiling Steam

    So Horizon Zero Dawn had a sale recently on Fanatical, and I thought… OK I’ll grab it! It’s time. I first installed it on my workstation that only has a GTX1060 3GB GPU – not a workhorse but a decent card nonetheless for low-to-medium end gaming. I knew very well that Horizon Zero Dawn is a DX12 game and that Pascal architecture (Nvidia 10xx basically) and earlier versions do not play very well with DX12 games running through vkd3d-proton, the DX12 to Vulkan translation layer. Still, I could imagine getting somewhere around 30 FPS on low-to-medium settings, and use FSR if necessary to get to better framerates. Nothing prepared me for the performance I was about to experience.

Linux 5.16-rc3

So rc3 is usually a bit larger than rc2 just because people had some
time to start finding things.

So too this time, although it's not like this is a particularly big
rc3. Possibly partly due to the past week having been Thanksgiving
week here in the US. But the size is well within the normal range, so
if that's a factor, it's not been a big one.

The diff for rc3 is mostly drivers, although part of that is just
because of the removal of a left-over MIPS Netlogic driver which makes
the stats look a bit wonky, and is over a third of the whole diff just
in itself.

If you ignore that part, the statistics look a bit more normal, but
drivers still dominate (network drivers, sound and gpu are the big
ones, but there is noise all over). Other than that there's once again
a fair amount of selftest (mostly networking), along with core
networking, some arch updates - the bulk of it from a single arm64
uaccess patch, although that's mostly because it's all pretty small -
and random other changes.

Full shortlog below.

Please test,

             Linus
Read more Also: Linux 5.16-rc3 Released With Alder Lake ITMT Fix, Other Driver Fixes - Phoronix

Audiocasts/Shows: Endless OS 4.0.0, GIMP, BSD, KDE, and Elementary

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