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2003 Nov 13 19:45

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[vox] Knoppix 3.3 brief review
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[vox] Knoppix 3.3 brief review



Okay, so I got a shiny old Compaq Armada M700 laptop (PIII 500MHz,
about 320MB RAM) from work, and decided to give Knoppix a whirl on it.

I'll probably be using this laptop as my "Demo Linux & other OSS" system, so
that I don't have to keep stealing Melissa's laptop (Thinkpad T20 w/ Debian).


Knoppix 3.3 (9/24/2003) recognized whatever video and soundcards are in
this puppy, and came up in high resolution, and I was able to play the MP3
that it came on the disc.

I was able to get network going fairly easily with the D-Link "Fast Ethernet"
(DFE-690TXD) wired-ethernet PCMCIA network card, as well as with Melissa's
Netgear MA401 16-bit PCMCIA 802.11b wireless card.

I was unable to get the new MA521 32-bit PCMCIA card that I picked up at
the store today to work, however. :^(


One thing I didn't like was that I had to click the little power icon in
KDE's tray on the taskbar to be able to configure the wireless.
(Of course, this seems better than GNOME 1.x, which I didn't see have ANY
kind of wireless GUI doo-dads.)

When I asked this little widget to turn on PCMCIA support (so that the
network and wireless configurators in Knoppix would actually run), it
asked for the root password.

Since I was dropped into a root shell by simply typing "su", I _assumed_
the root password is blank on Knoppix.  Though, I could be mistaken.
Perhaps "knoppix" user is given certain privileges via sudo or something
else I don't know much about, since I'm not a sysadmin. :^)

Anyway, I just hit [Enter] in to the password prompt, and it bitched at me
that I entered something invalid.  So, I su'd, and ran "passwd" and set
a password for root, and that got me going.  (Maybe I should RTFM'd)



Anyway...  other than these few niggles, I thought it looked pretty good.
Definitely needs some work in the menu department.  It's just a matter of
time before someone decides to go in there and clean things up, I think. ;^)

Of course, honestly, I can't tell (off-hand) if these problems are Knoppix,
KDE, Debian, or the upstreams' faults, but the nice thing is, at least they
can get _worked_on_. :^)  Good ol' Open Source.



I've been invited to go speak at the Mission Oaks Computer Club
(seems to be almost entirely senior citizens) in December; they want a talk
on Linux and Open Source, so I'll be bringing any left-over Knoppix,
GNUWinII and OpenOffice.org CDs from the ISSA conference, and would like
to once again thank everyone who burned discs for LUGOD! :^)


-bill!
bill@newbreedsoftware.com                           Got kids?  Get Tux Paint! 
http://newbreedsoftware.com/bill/       http://newbreedsoftware.com/tuxpaint/

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