Linux – why?
You know if you’ve been working in PC’s for as long as I
have that a MAJOR slice of the cost of a new computer is in the
$1400 PC that you bought at your local Box store is
pretty neat, but if you do without the “go faster blue lighted name
(that is why it’s there right? To make the whole thing go faster?), you
build almost the EXACT same PC for $400, and actually get to choose the
components that you want, and the colors that you desire.
was IN one of those box stores the other day, buying a
vacuum of all things, when I found myself staring at the software
aisle. I say
staring because I could NOT believe that in order to obtain a
of Microsoft slates
Vista and Office Pro 2007 you would need to spend over $1000USD and
worse, and most folks don’t understand, or pay
attention to, this part, is that by LAW (at least the legal wording you
to when you install it, you are LIMITED to taking that GRAND worth of
and load and use them on exactly ONE pc in your house.
yet, if you ever decide to SELL that PC you either
have to DELETE those applications off the hard drive, or leave them
and then give the original licenses and keys to whomever buys the
And heaven help you should you
actually perform a major (or in some cases
minor) hardware upgrade, you have to call Microsoft BACK and have a new
generated for your package, or your PC will eventually get to the point
wont boot at ALL!
It was when this LAST little piece of
security code was
placed in the OS that I decided that once and for all, it was time to
a better alternative.
SO I went off in search of a better
alternative. Now I have
been working on PC’s since the TS1000 with its whopping 2K of ram, so
dummy, but I certainly am no longer a master coder. Like many folks I
become fairly comfortable with certain “standards”, and although I
for a LONG time, I’m much more comfortable w/ a GUI than the CLI.
That being said, in my opinion Mac’s
are almost as bad,
except in the reverse market. With a MAC 90% of the cost comes down to
proprietary hardware, which in my opinion is WAY overpriced.
other than going BACK to my Coleco Adam (which I STILL
have), I’d have to look at the Open Source alternatives.
don’t get me wrong I have been using DOS and other
products from Microsoft for many years, and before they moved into
idea that THEY stole from SUN/Solaris) I just resent the idea that they
to PAY HUNDREDS of dollars in software, I’m ALSO required to be a Beta
don’t get me wrong, through connections in College I was
actually signed up as a Beta Tester for Win95. I (and many other folks)
reported that the Midi Implementation was wrong, and here we are 17
later, and it’s STILL not working 100%
looked around a LOT
and found Linux, now I had a room mate in college who LOVED slackware,
29 floppies. I mean here was an entirely FREE OS with applications, and
ONLY cost was the media used to store and install it. Of course this is
the SAME room mate who had a Vax 11/750 under his bed, as a file
heater. At that time he spent more time recompiling his Kernel than
using the system. He bought a new printer? Recompile, new monitor?
searched and installed and USED, and even paid for
quite a few distributions of Linux. Two things kept popping up:
LIKE the KDE desktop Window Manager. To me Gnome looks too much like a
we’ve discussed that already.
matter HOW many distro’s I’ve tried I KEEP coming back to Mandriva!
first started with Mandrake 7.1 and have tried almost everything SINCE
my ONE gripe with Linux came, mostly at the expense
of my not knowing enough ABOUT the OS, its applications and the way
worked. I have spent HUNDREDS of $ on books and thousands of hours on
yet when things crash (and they usually do) I’m STUCK, having lost ALL
and worse all the time invested in getting things right the way I
I found MCNL ( www.mcnlive.org
) and its associated pages and KNEW that I had a way out! For a while I
used MCNL as my desktop and just reasserted it whenever I needed to
This seemed IDEAL. After all I had a system that could fit on a USB key
needed), as well as install in my HD, and yet, by remastering the disk
a change was made, I had a 100% reliable BACKUP of everything I needed.
NOW, if things went south (as they do), I’d just pop the
cd in and away we went, back to square one!
a long time the author of that said that she didn’t
recommend using it like this, and I finally figured out why. In an
slim the OS down so that it would fit on a cd and even a small USB
removed a LOT of the things that make Mandriva a great desktop OS.
was kind enough to include basic instructions on how to create a
from any HD installed version of Mandriva.
after about a month of trial and errors I got it all
figured out, and after helping a friend in Sweden
perform the same function on
HIS system I realized that the instructions were NOT designed for the
SO Here I have documented EVERYTHING that I did, and I will also
individual alternate files, so that you will have everything YOU need
there in front of you when you start!
understand that this has only been verified on systems running Mandriva
So if you need instructions for an
earlier version, I can’t
help you, for a LATER version, check back here later, and I’ll see what
please before you start, install a somewhat pared down
version of 2007.1, which can be found HERE:
And actually they have several
versions BACK, and will also
post several versions FORWARD as well!
By a slimmed down version, I don’t
mean straight to the CLI,
but I DO encourage you to leave things like games, Openoffice and
until you KNOW you have a standard working setup. Once everything works
would suggest you install one by one until you’re fixed, The reason I
one on one is that you’ll NEVER guess what may or may not break things
(Rosegarden for example) until it DOES, then you have to back out!
Once you have THAT slimmed down
version installed on your
hard drive you can grab my instruction sheet from HERE .
Now if that looks long and
complicated, or just long and
wordy, you’re right on BOTH counts. If you don’t do EVERYTHING exactly
right way, you WILL make a lot of coasters. As for the wordy part, I
to be on a 3rd graders level, so that even folks
whose native tongue
ISNT English might be able to get it!
Once you have the docs downloaded and
printed, there are
certain files that you REALLY are going to want to get RIGHT!
Currently several of those files are
being hosted on
privately held webservers, even though the information is available
license, so I have bundled them all up HERE for
you. I’ve tried to keep the
file names and paths as consistent as I could without getting too
I’ve got all these files loaded on a small 256MB USB key
that I carry JUST for these occasions!
the way I use this is I remaster this after I add any
application or after any major changes. For me the cost of a few
well worth the safety of knowing that if anything happens all I have to
throw the DVD in hit reset and reinstall over the top!
does bring up one final point, these scripts are
somewhat fragile, so if you can, please test things out after you add
anything or make
any changes. It took
over a week for a friend of mine to realize that SOMETHING in
STOPPED the ability for the scripts to remaster a new DVD. All we did
uninstall that one application, and all was well with the world!