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Author Topic: My experience with DSL and lightweight software  (Read 3208 times)
CrystalMV
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« on: August 03, 2012, 09:49:04 PM »

I have many things to say, so there's a lot to write. I want you to know how I feel about DSL Smiley

I got into Linux a year ago when I started feeling like stuck in Windows. The first Linux distribution I tried was Ubuntu, which I use most of the time now. Some time later I got interested in lightweight software and that's how I found Damn Small Linux. Although I don't use it much, I still like it for the fact that it's so lightweight, yet has enough functionality. As I became aware of problem of software bloat, I made a conclusion: there's no such thing as a slow computer. There's only such thing as poorly optimized software Smiley I used to have a 100 MHz Pentium with 32 MB of RAM. When I'm reading something about lightweight Linux distributions and it says something like "uses as little as 128 MB of RAM", that looks like an insult to me. 128 MB is a lot. That computer ran Windows 98 and it would probably run DSL fast enough. Now I have a 2.8 GHz Pentium 4 with 512 MB of RAM. Because that's recommended minimum memory requirement for Ubuntu, I feel as if I was between walls which move towards each other and are eventually going to crush me. DSL is like a way out of there. Some people would say "just buy a new computer", but again, that insults me. The problem is software rapidly getting slower and slower. Buying a new computer won't solve it - actually, it contributes to the problem. Using lightweight software is the true way. And this is the reason why DSL is so important to me.

So that was my story Smiley DSL is an impressive work, but I have some problems, too:
1. I cannot connect to the network. DSL seems not to recognize my network adapter and I don't know if that's because of some bug or because DSL is targeted at older hardware. I tried to type "sudo modprobe r8169", but I get an error:
Code:
/lib/modules/2.4.31/kernel/drivers/net/r8169.o: init_module: No such device
Hint: insmod errors can be caused by incorrect module parameters, including invalid IO or IRQ parameters.
      You may find more information in syslog or the output from dmesg
/lib/modules/2.4.31/kernel/drivers/net/r8169.o: insmod /lib/modules/2.4.31/kernel/drivers/net/r8169.o failed
/lib/modules/2.4.31/kernel/drivers/net/r8169.o: insmod r8169 failed
Without internet, I cannot do much.
2. I couldn't get it installed into hard drive properly. I tried installing it into sdb3 partition and chainloading from GRUB 2, but that was unsuccessful. It looks like bootloader doesn't get installed, but I'm not sure.

If these problems were solved, I would probably use DSL more often.
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John
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« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2012, 08:08:34 AM »

Without a doubt there are hardware limitations with this old kernel.  I'll be be building a version of DSL with a more recent kernel in the near future.
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IanG
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« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2012, 02:59:56 PM »

Great to see DSL back. I used it for a long while on a 500MHz VIA EPIA board & always hoped it would be revived.

I wonder if any updated hardware detection could include more wireless adapter recognition? There are many more wireless networks around now than a few years ago. The latest versions of Knoppix are excellent at hardware recognition & I know DSL was based on an early version of Knoppix. Although I guess it's also grown a lot bigger.

Looking forward to using DSL again!
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John
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« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2012, 12:01:49 AM »

Yeah, hardware detection is something I'm going to be concentrating on soon, wireless will be a big component of that.
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botdfismyaddiction
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« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2012, 11:41:45 PM »

Yeah, hardware detection is something I'm going to be concentrating on soon, wireless will be a big component of that.
I love DSL... Windows 7 makes my decent machine (2.2GHz CPU, 1.5GB RAM) run like crap... Windows XP is decent but it still doesn't seem to want to run sometimes... If there is a way you can get Broadcom BCM43XX WiFi chipsets included in DSL or DSL-N I would switch in a heartbeat c:
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botdfismyaddiction
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« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2012, 02:17:24 PM »

Yeah, hardware detection is something I'm going to be concentrating on soon, wireless will be a big component of that.
I love DSL... Windows 7 makes my decent machine (2.2GHz CPU, 1.5GB RAM) run like crap... Windows XP is decent but it still doesn't seem to want to run sometimes... If there is a way you can get Broadcom BCM43XX WiFi chipsets included in DSL or DSL-N I would switch in a heartbeat c:
Just noticed Ndiswrapper... I remember getting my wifi adapter to work under Ubuntu... It wasn't the best but it did work. I'm thinking of getting Powerline adapters to send ethernet signals over the wiring in my house.
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lm
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« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2012, 05:54:38 PM »

As I became aware of problem of software bloat, I made a conclusion: there's no such thing as a slow computer. There's only such thing as poorly optimized software

Enjoyed reading your post.  I have more modern computers, but I also have an old Sony laptop with 64 MB RAM.  The machine works perfectly well (probably better than some newer machines), so I don't want to get rid of it.  I started trying to track down lightweight applications that would work well with it.  I also built several applications myself from scratch.  The more I look at the code of some of the slower running applications, the more I prefer small, lightweight applications that do one thing well.  They're so much easier to build, modify and run.  Lately, I've been looking for applications that can be built with more lightweight GUI toolkits like SDL, curses, FLTK and possibly Fox Toolkit instead of more heavyweight GUI libraries like GTK+ and WxWidgets (which uses GTK+ on Linux).

Very nice to hear when others are also interested in lightweight, well-designed software.  Most Linux users I've talked to don't seem to care about the issue.  Hope to share application ideas and tips with other users.
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