I usually run in a Windows XP environment. Lately I have been experimenting with running Linux distros in VMware Player virtual machines. I've been trying out lots of fun things--Puppy Slacko, Debian 6, and Bodhi in particular. It's interesting to see what easily works on a virtual machine and what does not.
One of the easiest things to load and use is Damn Small Linux. It boots up nearly instantly, and it runs smoothly on the virtual machine. I'm able to install the .dsl packages with ease. The packages work well.
The challenge for me thus far is pragmatic---getting a browser that does the things I want to do. I record Creative Commons music, and enjoy going to Youtube to see who has most recently used my songs. Though I like the
browsers that I can access with DSL in terms of search speed, they draw Youtube flags that they are too out of date to use to watch videos. With Dillo, this is understandable, since Dillo's whole draw is light, quick and text-oriented. With mozilla, though, I'd like to have a more up-to-date flash-ready browser, or to have a package that permitted easy conversion to download so that I can watch the videos a different way. Similarly, I'd love to be able to play flash music, but would be fine if I just had a simple package to permit downloading of a song for play in the audio player.
I recognize that a lot of my "issues" with Damn Small Linux are not issues at all so much as shortfalls in my own understanding. As a newbie, I am uncertain where to go to find more applications than the ones I find in My DSL.
Though I have a vague understanding (right or wrong) that Debian packages might should work in DSL, I have not been successful in installing any I have tried to download from the Debian site. I am pretty sure that I will learn more as I read more and turn some of these "issues" into better user understanding.
Because I make music with synthesizers, I'd love to learn how to use DSL to run the various Linux audio software I cannot (or do not) run in Windows, like LMMS, or, ideally, find an even easier, lighter piano-roll-keyboard sequencer with sampling and basic fx or synth support. I'd love to be find the kind of light sequencers similar to the Tunafish VST host I use in Windows or the Sawcutter 2.0 software sampling synthesizer I use in Windows. I am also not sure if WINE can work with DSL, which might let me have my cake and eat it, too. Part of my motivation for learning about Linux has been to try to make myself less vulnerable to O/S releases eliminating the shareware/freeware/FOSS staples of my musical endeavors.
I really am glad DSL is out there, because there's something inherently exciting about doing so much with something so small, MB-wise, and because it is sufficiently plug-n-play for a very unsophisticated new Linux user like myself, but offers great Linux learning opportunities. I like it a lot, but would like it better if I could easily
watch on-line video, listen to on-line music, use music-making software and edit photos (my core uses)
with DSL. I probably can do much more than I realize I can do already, though, and am eager to learn more.
So I count myself a very happy camper with DSL--and a camper still very much at the beginning of the hike.
Thank you for providing this forum for DSL.
best, Robert (who records as Gurdonark)