sábado, 30 de abril de 2016

An experiment that became a six-year journey

Tomorrow is the sixth anniversary of this blog.

How would have thought that the bold decision that I made one day to keep Linux as the OS of the first netbook I bought was going to bring me this far?

I became a Linux user without any knowledge of this OS.  I installed it and made many mistakes, but I was determined to learn.

Six years already!
I kept this blog to record my steps along this journey.

What has changed since I started?

To begin with, I would say that Linux has become a lot easier to install. I mean, one needs less tinkering to have it ready for show-time.  For example, I installed yesterday OpenMandriva to a laptop that had an unusable Windows.  The distro picked up everything and, to my surprise, charged the battery, with Windows claimed was dead.

I hope I get enough material to post entries, hehe!

viernes, 29 de abril de 2016

April is almost gone

This month brought several bittersweet surprises to me.

The first one was that I could see the slow death of Firefox OS on phones.  The marketplace lost two of the most significant apps: Loqui IM and OpenWapp, both which provided a way to  use Whatsapp on the platform.

The second one was the release of pre-release isos of Mageia 6 and OpenMandriva Lx 3.  I must say that both distros are doing a great job; the systems performed so well that they did not seem beta versions to me.

I did not like Plasma 5, though...  I am sure the KDE team is doing a great work, but I truly do not see what the point of this tablet-ready interface is.  After all, KDE missed the tablet train (the Vivaldi tablet never saw the light of the day) and tablets are already in decline...

Last, Yahoo's struggle seemed to have reached my mailbox with its readiness: messages urging me to connect a Hotmail account to my Yahoo account, hotmail-sent messages from my students went to the twilight zone...

Boy... some months do not come gently on us.

jueves, 7 de abril de 2016

OpenMandriva Lx 3 is coming!

A new beta is available.

This release also includes plasma 5...

OK, I need to download the .iso to see how it behaves.


sábado, 26 de marzo de 2016

Mageia 6 is coming

After a while with no news about Mageia, it seems that Mageia 6 is on its way.

According to this article, a developer ISO has hit the mirrors. It is a 4 Gb install DVD, so I will download it tonight to give it a quick run.

jueves, 17 de marzo de 2016

Upgrading to Mageia 5

I had forgotten to upgrade one of the laptops to Mageia 5. 

To be honest, today I was postponing the upgrade because the machine, a rather old Toshiba Satellite which, oh horror, came with Windows VISTA preloaded, put up a fight when I installed Mageia 2 to it.

I normally perform a clean install, but this time I wanted to see if the upgrade feature in Mageia had evolved to tackle this task as it should.

It was pleasant to see how the upgrade was smooth and fast and, more importantly, the laptop was fully operational afterwards.

Good job, Mageia devs!

sábado, 20 de febrero de 2016

Experimenting with Hardware

My desktop work station is an aging AMD system that I bought maybe four or five years ago.  With 2GB of RAM and a 250GB HD, it has been working and helping me despite KDE 4 seems to be way to heavy.

The other desktop computer in my house, a 500GB HD, 4GB RAM failed...Again!  Since I bought it, this system has been acting up, prompting me to send it to the repair shop at least once a year.

I am not sure what the problem was but, encouraged by my successful migration to Linux, I decided to venture-- for the first time-- into the unexplored world of hardware.

So, I opened the two boxes to put into my faithful AMD desktop some additional goodies, courtesy of the problematic box: a 2GB RAM, a new DVD writer, and (of course), a second HD.


The black box ready for transplant

For someone who has never opened a desktop to mess up with real hardware, the project was way too ambitious.

Yes, I can admit I was worried.  Perhaps my Swiss Army knife knows more about computer hardware than I do.

So, armed with the Swiss Army knife, a vague idea of what I wanted, and a million doubts, I started the operation.

Fortunately, the components were similar.  Nothing showed resistance.

Nevertheless, when I put back the power, screen, mouse, and keyboard cables, I was literally afraid.  I pushed the power button as if it were the detonator of a bomb.

The computer turned on with absolute disregard of my fears.  After pretty much the same lines that Linux shows upon start, my familiar GRUB2 greeted me, asking if I wanted to boot Mageia, PCLinuxOS, OpenMandriva, or Windows XP (the OS that I haven't booted in maybe three years).

I chose Mageia and the OS worked normally... only it felt snappier.  I checked and the additional 2GB of RAM were recognized.

I tested the optical media unit and it was working.  And the files on the other hard drive were accessible, too.

Despite all of my fears, my first hardware operation was a complete success!

Of course, in full honesty, Isay that Linux made it easy.  I cannot imagine doing the same and then hunting for drivers, licenses, and what not ....

I wonder if Windows XP will be able to boot at all now...

UPDATE:  PCLinuxOS and OpenMandriva also boot normally.  Windows XP also started normally, but failed to see the second hard drive.

lunes, 15 de febrero de 2016

Playing on OpenMandriva LX 2014.2

I reinstalled OpenMandriva LX 2014.2 today.  Last time I did, I had some problems updating: many packages were not found but, even so, I proceeded with the upgrading.

The OS was working perfectly except for the performance of games on Steam.

Today, I followed what I learned yesterday and, when I hit the first problem, I stopped the update and deleted all the repos. Then, I retrieved them again (they were marked as phosphorous 2014.0, which I believe was the previous version), but the update went on smoothly and I got the most recent packages, like Firefox 44.

With that, my problems with Steam disappeared: the games that I play are working perfectly now, yay!

But the best part is that I can now play Never Alone Kisima Ingitshuna, one of the most beautiful and enlightening games I have seen.  As the official site states about the game:


"Inspired by the rich art and imagery of Alaska Native cultures, Never Alone brings the atmospheric and compelling world of Iñupiaq stories alive."

As you play, you can learn about Alaska Native cultures, which is simply AMAZING.