Since I have more free time lately thanks to Easter, I have embarked on several learning projects. One of them is trying on my little Toshiba NB-100 netbook as many lightweight distros --and other OSs: I tested Haiku and gave Minix a quick look--as I can. I have gotten different results with them.
Right now, although I am not a dog person, I am trying Puppy Linux.
I had tried Puppy Linux on an older system quite a while ago but had mouse problems and I even got attacked and bitten like a cat by Puppies when I talked here about MiniNo. Yes, I'm a cat person, hehe!
But well, now I am trying Puppy Linux 5.3.1. This version is called "Slacko" and is Slackware-compatible. Hey! To me, this is important! From my perspective, you cannot say you love Linux if you don't pay due respect to the oldest Linux distro. Respect your elders and learn from them, kiddos!
Slacko is different from Wary (the traditional Puppy) in the sense that it is designed for more up to date hardware. That was another good reason for choosing it.
Well, I gave Slacko a spin on my netbook.
What happened? As usual, Puppy did its magic and loaded itself on RAM so that my external DVD unit got free. This is one feature that I find extremely useful and convenient and I'd say it's hard to disagree with that.
I chose Spanish, my native language, and noticed that the menus were still in English, but I got a warning that the locale file was missing. Interestingly, most of the dialog boxes did come in Spanish, although they need a bit more work. Perhaps I could contribute in that area.
After that, the biggest problem came: Wi-fi access. For some lightweight distros I tried, Wi-fi enabling was a no-go. Slacko tried, too...but did not enable it.
Wait! This puppy knows several tricks! It comes with different methods for configuring Wi-fi access. I tried another one and whoa! Internet enabled! In fact, I am typing this on Seamonkey, the browser that Slacko comes with!
Oh, another problem for other lightweight distros on this netbook was recognizing the HD. Puppy got that from the very start without any hassle.
What about software? To me, this little distro comes with everything you might possibly need. In fact, after much searching, the only thing missing was software to use the netbook's webcam. And that is not essential in my case.
Can it play video? You bet. Even with softsubs using Gnome Player.
Oh...I realized then that unlike regular puppies, this one had been too silent. That was weird since audio was enabled. Upon further checking, I learned that I could only hear sound if I plugged external speakers. Well, that's not a big deal anyway. I always use an external USB speaker whenever I need this netbook for work.
Then, I decided to go tough on the little dog. I opened Seamonkey, Gnome Player, Abiword, a game, and a painting program...all to see if Puppy would run out of RAM (this netbook has 1GB).
Everything worked. This puppy is not a puppy but a monster dog! As its developers say, Slacko is Puppy on steroids!
By the way, did I mention that this little distro is very user friendly, too? It explains everything so that newcomers to Linux don't get lost. This is one outstanding feature of dogs...they are very friendly to people! Check out the installer on the image as an example:
I am really tempted to install it and thus start slacking the Puppy way! Kudos to the Puppy community for this impressive distro!