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Four Flat Tires: Accelerated Knoppix

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Distrowatch says, "Japan's Alpha Systems has released Accelerated KNOPPIX 1.0, a fast-booting variant of the popular KNOPPIX live CD. By re-arranging the Cloop file system block and optimising the hardware detection and configuration step, the developers have succeeded in reducing the CD boot time to under 60 seconds, while maintaining the full functionality of the distribution. More details with illustrations of the technology" on their site. Whoohoo. To quote a famous American actor, "I feel the need, the need for speed!"

Before there was Super, before there was, even before there was PCLinuxOS, a good friend and I were always on the lookout for new techniques and methods for speeding up our systems. He was better at it than I, which is why he has his own distro now while I'm testing other's. But from parallel boot, compile options, to pre-linking, we would try about anything and send each other the results. When I saw the announcement for Accelerated Knoppix, I felt that old excitement rush back. Too bad it was short-lived.

My hardware is not exotic or bleeding-edge. It consists of a single-core 32-bit AMD Barton XP 2800+ sitting on a MSI KT4AV with 1 gig of Kingston ddr400 ecc ram. My add-in cards include a sound blaster live 5.1, BMG nvidia 6800oc video card, and a Prolink pixelview tv/radio card. My drives are your basic run-of-the-mill ata.

The boot screen has a customized splash with the instructions to use F2 and F3 for booting options. The only option I chose was lang=us and started timing when I hit enter. It took 2 1/2 minutes to get to a wallpapered background and hear the familiar knoppix, "Initiating Start Sequence" announcement. It took 6 more minutes before KDE was fully up and usable. Clicking on the Kmenu button took another 30 to 45 seconds before the menu appeared.



Having the wind taken out of my sails, I looked around just a bit. As you can see Accelerated Knoppix places icons on the desktop for each and every device it finds. There was no turning them off as it apparently isn't a kde function on their desktop. The menus seem chocked full of applications, but the menu was slow to respond and what I can only describe as "jerky" in operation. Applications were slow to open as well. Otherwise it seemed pretty much like the standard Knoppix fare to me.



There appears to be some documentation included in an Accelerated Knoppix folder on the desktop containing scripts that open pdf files probably describing some of their methods and techniques in Japanese. I had big plans of investigating and reporting on this topic, but with such poor performance, I lost interest. I have requests out to a few friends to test and will update this report if they have better luck. If you test and have better luck, please feel free to post. Perhaps there is something about my hardware with which Accelerated Knoppix had trouble. But for me in my mind, they still have work to do before this distro satisfies my deep seeded need for speed.


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