Cruising the net the other day I saw that Puppy Linux had a two point zero release. I had tried Puppy a long time ago, and whilst inpressed with it power-to-weight-ratio, it just didn’t have enough good stuff to keep me interested.

I fired up Virtual PC and booted a virtual PC from an ISO of the puppy2.0_Opera version. It looked pretty sweet and was quite responsive. I then ran the HDD installer. It was brain dead easy. After a ‘reboot’ – remember this is on VirtualPC – I was running it as a dedicated Puppy installation.

First thing to do was download Firefox 1.5, install IceWM window manager plus some nice themes. All this was done via the DotPup ‘package mgmt system’. Made it very easy. This quick test convinced me that I was ready to take the next step… Install Puppy on my aging laptop. The specs of the laptop:
– Acer TravelMate 512T
– 333 MHz CPU (Pentium II Celeron)
– 64 MB RAM
– 4 GB HDD
– Synaptic touchpad
– Ethernet via PCMIA
– Video 800×600 16 bit colour

I wasn’t holding out much hope for recognition of the touchpad and ethernet adaptor, but everything had been so promising that I thought it was worth the effort. Worst case scenario was that my junk laptop remained a junk laptop. If all worked well my junk laptop would once again be a contributing member of my nerdly pursuits.

Double thumbs up!! I am typing this in my loungeroom while TOWMBO is playing games on the PC in the study. I can’t believe how repsonsive this piece-of-crap laptop is. Granted it’s only being used for web surfing and perhaps emergency work for Word/Excel/Email stuff, but for a laptop that is several generations behind it’s use-by-date I am very impressed.

Only one thing wrong with this install that I have not been able to figure out. When I go to shut down or reboot I get the shell is all blue. The background is blue, the text is blue. Makes it very difficult to see what I am typing. It’s kinda bizarre – after selecting “Start > Logout > Shutdown” I still have to type “poweroff” in the shell to poweroff, and then that stops the HDD and CPU (I think) but I still have to hit the button to REALLY turn the PC off. But I havent really started looking for a solution to that yet, it may be that I have selecteed a dodgy video mode…

Overall I am totally impressed with Puppy Linux 2.00 release. Fantastic stuff. My laptop has a new lease of life and I am thinking of installing on my folks PC when they next ask me to “fix” it.

Categories: Linux

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