NEWS: SLAX 6.0.2 Released  

So, here is the new release announcement:

What is the point of a new release every week? Well, I guess there is none. If you don’t need it, don’t download it :) The version 6.0.2 fixes several bad bugs introduced by the previous release, and it also adds patched Gtk+2, to fix the konqueror+flash hangups. So now you can watch this youtube’s video in Slax as well, just to celebrate with me that I’ve just lost $17000 on forex thanks to InterbankFX’s idiotic rules.

As stated, this release compared with the previous one (6.0.1) features several bugfixes. The downloaded iso image is 192.2MB, and when it's booted the following screen appears:

Several options can be seen, Graphics Mode which loads KDE 3.5.9 as the default desktop, the second options copies the whole SLAX to RAM, Vesa mode, Text mode, and Memtest, which tests your system RAM.

If Graphics Mode is selected, the following screens will appear soon:

As seen, except the wallpaper, almost everything seems the same as in Slax 5 at first sight. The same applications are here, Juk, Kopete, K3B etc... The KDE theme remains unchanged (why?), it seems that the developers don't want or don't have time for wasting on eye candy. But that's not a problem, is always here ;)

Modules are easily added, although there aren't many, the key ones are here. The Slax Module Manager is the package management system, and installing modules is very easy, just download a module from HERE, click Add a new Module, find it, and it's done. NOTE, currently the modules page is in development and only four modules are available, Firefox, Thunderbird, Krusader and Wine. We all hope that this page will have more healthy selection soon.

And, in the end, some stats. Linux Kernel 2.6.24 is used, KDE 3.5.9 is featured, and (almost) all of the default desktop applications are KDE based. They are: the most important first, Internet: Konqueror, KMail, Kopete, Akregator, Krdc, Krfb, KNetAttach; then in Games: KBattleship, KBounce, Patience; Graphics: Kuickshow, KolourPaint, KSnapshot, KColorChooser; Office: Word, KPresenter, KSpread, KPDF, Kontact; in Utilities are found: KCalc, Kjots, KWrite, Ark, KNotes, Klipper; and finally in System: KInfoCenter, KSysGuard, KDE Printer and the Slax Module Manager. It's a nice set of applications for a 192MB.

Although a lot of improvement is done since SLAX 5, and a lot of bugs are fixed, I think that a lot of improvement is still needed. Multimedia features are still lacking although it played all my video files, hardware support is OK, but (as some people say) some specific dirvers aren't found by default. I tried it in VirtualBox and on a standard Office P4 PC, and everything worked fine (when it comes to hardware recognition).

It's a nice distro, and it's easy customizable, but when it comes about customization, there will be another post/howto about that ;) I recommend SLAX to everyone who wants a light KDE based Live CD.

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NEWS: Parted Magic 2.1 Released  

If, you are tired of reading, and only for the screenshots, it's Okay, the important thing you should know compared between PM2.1 and PM2.0 is that this release is mainly bugfix release. It features: Linux kernel, NTFS-3G 1.2216, VisParted is now able to create ext4 partitions. Bugs are fixed, and drivers have been added.

Parted Magic comes in Live CD, USB, and PXE. Here the Live CD is tried. When you boot the disk, the image above is given.

After booting, you can notice the XFCE desktop enviroment. PM 2.0 featured GTK+ H20 theme, but in 2.1 is replaced with Clearlooks.

This CD is a tool for managing disk partitions, and for this feature, VisParted does the job. VisParted is a fork of GParted, and is improved by the lead developer, Patrik. You can create, restore, backup and delete partitions. Supported file systems are: forext2, ext2, ext3, ext4, fat16, fat32, hfs, hfs+, jfs, xfs, inux-swap, ntfs, reiserfs, and reiser4.

Besides VisParted, lots of other tools are included. One of them is Test Disk, which is used for scanning and repairing partitions. There is also a tool to create a Live USB, but, you should know that, for a Live USB to boot, the PC should be able to boot USB drives. Other tools included are Partition Image, List Partition Table, Test Disk, PhotoRec, Iso Master, Conky, Galculator, Hardware Lister, Save Files, Find Utility and so on..

If you wish for a complete list of all of the programs found in Parted Magic (X based, and Command Line Based ones), go HERE.

The package management system is simple and in 7zip compression, and adding new programs is much more easier. Besides the tools for managing partitions, new programs found here (and in 2.0) are: Start Network, Firefox, Grsync, and lftp.

Start Network is used to establish a working connection, to configure the LAN, etc. It's a simple and powerful tool. Also, Firefox is included, for web browsing, and it's a nice touch. My overall impression is really good, and I think that everyone who reinstalls their operating system once in a while needs this disk.

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NEWS: Mandriva 2008.1 RC1 Released  

It was March the first, and Mandriva 2008.1 RC 1 was released.. Several download options are given, mandriva...dvd-i586.iso (X86 DVD, 3,882MB, MD5), mandriva...dvd-x86_64.iso (64Bit DVD, 3,894MB, MD5), mandriva...GNOME-int-cdrom-i586.iso (X86 "One" GNOME CD, 700MB, MD5), mandriva...KDE-int-cdrom-i586.iso (X86 "One" KDE CD, 696MB, MD5).

Here, the Live KDE CD "One" is being tested. I couldn't find nowhere whether KDE 3.5.9 or KDE 4.0.1 is found on the CD. On the DVD, it's noted that both are given. Is that so hard to write it somewhere? So, now I'm gonna clear it for those who are interested, in the Live CD, KDE 3.5.9 in given. AND what I noticed first, was the beautiful new artwork.

The new artwork is really better than the one found in 2008.0 (it's 'techy' and clear), first thing I did when I installed 2008.0 was getting new themes and screens (didn't liked the one with the small vector people, maybe they wanted to make it look 'for the people' who knows..). So, after booting, the new bootsplash looks like this,

As 2008.0 and the releases before, you are asked to choose language, keyboard layout, time zone etc. Also it did recognized my display size, my graphics card (nVidia) and loaded the drivers during booting. It also asked whether to use compiz-fusion, metisse or none of them. I chose none of them, cause I'm not for the eye candy and bling bling, functionality and performance are more important for me.

The theme is not much changed, it is still "La Ora", but I kinda like it. The "Menu" button is very similar to the one found in 2008.0 but it's nicer. The default menu and app browser is not KickOff, but it's the old one, the default kde 3.5 menu. It woild be nice if KickOff finds it's way here in the final release. The overall look and feel is very similar to the one in 2008.0.

Pulse Audio is integrated, and I didn't had any problems playing mp3's and hearing the system sounds.

When it comes to packages, the default package selection seems the same, but with lots of updates. is included with the latest pre-release, 2.4. In the Final version of 2008.1 the final version of 2.4 will be included.

Gimp is in 2.4.4 version, and Firefox is in and it's (still) the default web browser. As in 2008.0, Flash plugin is included, and I didn't had problems playing clips from YouTube (this seems to be a thing everybody checks when talking about a new release).

Movies in varuous codecs are playable, Kaffeine is still the default movie player, and in my opinion the best one for KDE. I think that Mandirva supports more media formats by default than OS X supports. I tried movies in DivX, Xvid, x264, 3gp... everything was playable.

What I really liked in this release (and in 2008.0) is that the system is reliable and stable. I hope that the final release of 2008.1 will also be like that.

The kernel included is by the way. The Mandriva Control Center, and the KDE Control Panel haven't changed, and they still do their job as they should ;). NOW, what i really liked in this release, and It wasn't included in the previous KDE releases, is that the removable media has an icon in the 'tray' (the floppy, the USB, etc). So, when you plug your USB, a new icon will appear and you can easily click safely remove (only click on the icon, and click on the label). The other (old skool) way to do this, is to go to the 'Storage Media' folder, do a left click on the desired USB, and then to select the label. This is a nice touch for all newbies, and it makes it easier for everyone.

Only one thing I miss, and that is Wine. Some distros like Ubuntu have Wine in their default package selection, and it would be nice to see it in here also.

To give some stats in the end, KDE 3.5.9, KDE 4.0.1, and GNOME (with new default applications like Transmission, Brasero, and HomeBank) are given in RC1. And, to sum up, this release is a nice upgrade from 2008.0 and if the Mandriva developers stay on the track they found themselves with 2008.0, the final release of 2008.1 will be something what lot's of people look for.

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