Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
While we're all waiting for PCLOS 2008 to be released, we were treated to a kissing cousin yesterday with the release of TinyMe 2008.0. It's a small lightweight distro featuring the LXDE desktop with lots of handy apps. I thought I'd take it for a little test run this evening to see what it might be like.
I liked the new boot splash and login screen, but the default wallpaper is the same. TinyMe does come with a few extra backgrounds if you wanted to change it. At first boot a little configuration tool is opened to allow you to configure some things that might not be auto-detected. I used it to configure my wireless network connection. I have one of those winnics, so I had it import the windows driver and load it with ndiswrapper. This network configuration is the Mandriva tool you may have seen before with their Mandriva One.
Speaking of Mandriva, TinyMe also comes with the PCLinuxOS Control Center, that yaw are probably familiar with. In addition, there's a TinyMe Control Center as well. I didn't recognize it, so it might be something these guys cooked up themselves. It launches a few different little configuration tools such as lxpanel config or Nitrogen (background set tool).
The desktop has lots of icons for some popular light apps and there appears to be Conky in the upper left-hand side. Of particular interest is the Install TinyMe icon, which opens the Mandriva Draklive Installer.
PCManFM is the file manager and GPicView is the default image viewer. mtPaint is also included for light image manipulation, drawing, and taking screenshots. Audio and video is a bit thin containing Audacious and Asunder. Networking apps include Opera, Sylpheed, and Tranmission. Abiword is available for those quickie reviews and love notes. There are a few accessories such as a calculator and a CD/DVD burner. Systools include Make LiveCD, a task manager, and Synaptic. The Settings menu contains a few tools to, well, set stuff like Password or make a new icon. There are several terminal apps available but one of them, Sakura, seems a bit buggy. It kinda rendered everything else inoperable. I thought I'd have to reboot, but restarting X seemed to do the trick. So, you might want to avoid that one.
The kernel is the old pclos 18.104.22.168, and the X server is 1.3. GCC is 4.1.1. Not exactly on the cutting edge there, but I didn't have any hardware trouble. The resolution was auto-configured at 1280x800 as desired and sound worked. I had to load the modules and set the CPU scaling governor manually, but it worked fine. There's a battery monitor included with Conky (if it was indeed Conky - I forgot to check). I did have manually mount/umount removeable media.
The developers already knew that the live CD hangs on shutdown, but there one major bug I really need to report. There an icon on the desktop called Gweled that when clicked opens an app that sucks all the user's time up causing reduced productivity. I must have lost a couple hours fiddling with it. I'm sure that was an oversight on the developers part including such a thing. I'll have to report that...
Otherwise, it seems like a solid release. That LXDE is getting popular as more and more light distros are starting to use it. It is fairly nice when configured and the extra utilities are included.
So, use TinyMe to rescue an aging computer from the recycle bin, as a start to your own customized system, or as your everyday desktop. It's pretty cool.