Joined: Feb. 2007
||Posted: Feb. 27 2007,18:26
|Quote (WDef @ Feb. 27 2007,05:58)|
|Certainly you could run dsl's remastering tool and place the desired extensions on dsl's cd - these will load automatically so that part will be seamless for them. Open Office runs well on dsl but it does need more fonts - there were a few posts about that recently. With a bit of effort you can set it up to be a good web/file sharing/basic office light distro ready to go.|
That said, dsl is usually a confusing and frustrating experience for first-time non-geek Windows-only users. They look for the "start" menu; they assume there is no internet because they can't find IE; they try to drag and drop things that don't do anything if you drag and drop them. Setting up printers and wireless is a newbies nightmare. This type of thing. There is a learning curve and a culture shock, and there pretty much is for any linux distro as well. Dsl's is more severe because of the spartan desktop environment and its practical limitations (which geeks see as plus).
I think there are a couple simple things that might make this quite feasible for jd's relatives without remastering.
First, JWM is a lot more "familiar" to most people than fluxbox since it has the menu button in the corner, clock on the right, and they can switch easily between maximized apps by clicking their way through the task bar. Second, switch the icons to rox-filer's pinboard because they're a hell of a lot easier to manage (no need to figure out coordinates when adding new non-DSL apps) and they allow drag and drop within rox as well as with compatible applications. It's also fairly easy to add menu entries to switch between pinboards so both the aunt and uncle could have unique icon sets while remaining user dsl.
You're right, too, that configuration is going to be the biggest hurdle for folks who aren't technically inclined. Fortunately, that's usually a one-shot concern. Unfortunately, it can be also be a futile or daunting enough task for some to throw in the towel.
...I have another friend, very MS literate, who has installed Madriva and loves it - it has most things you want ready to go without doing anything, and it's KDE environment is a lot lighter and snappier than my Fedora's.
There are plenty of distros that are GUI-oriented with excellent hardware detection and automagic set-up: Ubuntu and its derivatives, Mepis, Kanotix, Mandriva, PCLinuxOS, etc. Using one of them wouldn't require remastering or reinventing the wheel, especially since each has "lite" or "liter" versions. DSL can also be made very easy for those transitioning from other operating systems (especially configuring it to operate in a familiar fashion as I suggested above).
|They live in Texas.|
We have some very strong LUGs here in central Texas.
|I thought of MEPIS. I really the fact that I could send the book with MEPIS, but it doesn't want to finish an installation...At the point when I started to think that MEPIS might be too large and that I might use Xubuntu instead, I started thinking that there is no need to stop there |
Which version? What's it doing (or not doing)? I don't think Mepis is "bloated" at all. I know there are people here who have a knee-jerk objection to the size of KDE's libraries, but the trade-off is fully justified if you run K-apps. One person's bloat is another person's function. Cobbling together "light" applications atop an agnostic window manager doesn't necessarily reduce memory footprint if the apps they'll use don't share the same libraries. Duplication of function in a cobbled system is just as "bloated" as the larger size of a library that underlies all apps than run on top of it. It's not the initial base size that's important, but how the sum works together in practice. Try running Open Office, Firefox, and Thunderbird on any window manager (or even XFCE since it doesn't have native applications like K does) and then compare your memory use to running K-apps like K-Office, Konqueror, and KMail on KDE.
I also think the seamless operation of K-apps shouldn't be overlooked, especially considering the end users and their level of tech savvy: K-app A works with K-app B which works with K-app C and so on. Your aunt and uncle would have a full suite of integrated drag and drop apps, a menu and task bar that's at least fairly familiar to them, and depending which distro you choose they'd be able to manage any peripherals they may end up adding down the road without any (or much) hassle.
I'm running Mepis Lite (3.3.2-1 using kernel 2.4.29 -- pre-Ubuntu switch) partition on a 400mhz/128 MB RAM computer right now, on which I usually run DSL. One of the main differences between Mepis and Mepis Lite is the former has Open Office and the latter has K-Office. I have about 20 tabs open in Konqueror, with KMail, Akregator, and Kontact running (the former two are basically the same program as the latter since they all work out of Kontact: that's the beauty of sharing the same libs and GUI), editing a report in KWord/KSpread (sharing the same KOffice interface), and listening to a CD using KsCD. There's a bit of swap paging, but it's not stalling or sluggish.
"It felt kind of like having a pitbull terrier on my rear end."
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