Long-time subscriber Harold wrote to tell me about a new version of Linux, a new Linux "distribution" that he was trying.
I have received your great newsletter for two or three years now. I have been a Windows user for 20 something years. I would like to recommend to your subscribers that are looking for something other than the Vista upgrade boondoggle to look at PCLinuxOS. I have no vested interest in this linux distro and this is my third time to try linux, but this looks good and it has a great community, forum, and even a magazine. It is for the ex Windows user but better than Xandos in my opinion. I bought the Xandros cd and installed it but finally gave it up. Keep up the good work!
I was happy to hear this recommendation from Harold. It matched almost exactly with another report that I had received from a local Linux enthusiast who had been running Xandros.
My Windows XP notebook dual-boots with Xandros Linux 4. That is, when I boot the computer, I can choose whether to let it boot into Windows XP or into Xandros Linux.
One of the neat features of PCLinuxOS is that it comes on one CDROM. Actually, you can download the .ISO image for a CDROM and burn the image to a blank CD yourself.
What’s so great about it coming on one CDROM? The CDROM is bootable and runs PCLinuxOS directly off the CDROM. If you like it, then you can choose to install it on your computer. If you don’t like it, you haven’t complicated your life.
From the PCLinuxOS web site:
Almost 2 gigs of software compressed on a single self bootable livecd that can be installed to your hard drive provided it is compatible with your system and you like the distribution. Over 5000+ additional packages available after hard drive install through our Synaptic Software Manager.
I downloaded PCLinuxOS from it’s home site www.pclinuxos.com and burned a copy of the image to a CDROM. Now, I was ready to try the bootable, live distribution (working version) of PCLinuxOS.
I rebooted the computer and found my first of two minor problems — and both of them fell into the category of "brain freeze," that is, user error. Previously, I had changed my computer’s BIOS settings so that it didn’t try to boot from the hard drive. This makes booting faster, but interferes with booting a CDROM (DUH!).
My second user error was simply forgetting that I was running from a CDROM. Everything runs slower than running from a hard drive. That is, any time any program needs to read anything — even the next few program statements — it reads from the CDROM, and that’s a lot slower than a hard drive.
So, what did I think of PCLinuxOS?
I could quickly see why I’ve received a couple of recommendations to try it. I like it.