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My workstation OS: Mepis Linux

By Marcel Gommans on November 19, 2004 (8:00:00 AM)

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I began using Linux in 2001 with Mandrake, but I wanted to try other distributions. I spent time with Peanut Linux, SUSE, Ark, Onebase, and Debian. And then it happened: On my neverending quest for the perfect distribution I discovered Mepis. It has not left my desktop since I installed it. Although I have tried several distros since, I haven't found one that pleases me more than Mepis.

Although I know my way around an operating system, I'm not the kind of guy who wants to fiddle around too much to get a distribution to work. It has to work 'out of the box' or require very little tailoring. At least as important as usability is a good community -- someone to help you when you need advice. And a third thing I need is easy availability of packages for additional software. Mepis has all of that.

Usability

It's easy to check whether Mepis will work on your system before you install it, because you start Mepis as a LiveCD. This also makes Mepis a great recovery and rescue CD. Just put the CD in your drive, reboot, and enter the world of Mepis!

This distribution is known for its excellent hardware detection. Where some distributions refused to work with either my onboard sound or my network card, Mepis did a great job.

Mepis comes with KDE desktop environment. But since you have access to all the Debian packages, you can easily install GNOME and many other window managers. I installed Xfce myself a while ago.

Community

While I didn't need help with hardware support, I did want to be sure help was available if I ever did need it. I started on the distro's Web site, but I was not too happy with the search options in the forum section. Then I found mepislovers.com, a site started by Donna South, a longtime Mepis fan. Here you can find a good forum and an art gallery. But sometimes you need help without wanting to wait for an answer on a post you placed on a forum. On the #mepis ITC channel on irc.freenode.net you can find help for Mepis issues almost every hour of the day.

Packages

If you want additional software, Mepis is great. Because it is Debian-based, you have thousands of packages available for installation in the Debian repositories. Apt-get and its GUI front-end Synaptic make it easy to install new software. And Mepis comes packed with plenty of preinstalled software. Especially the Mozilla browser has been given some extra attention. I never saw a Linux distribution in which a browser could handle so many different file types, including Windows file types such as WMV, out of the box! All the plug-ins you need are there. Mepis creator Warren Woodford did a great job there!

Mepis comes with the Mozilla and Konqueror browsers. For multimedia it has XMMS, RealPlayer 10, and Xine. The KOffice and OpenOffice.org suites are available for office work. Imendio Planner and Scribus are there too. For IRC you have Kopete, which can also be used for instant messaging with MSN, ICQ, Yahoo, and more. Mepis also has Skype installed, a great application for Internet telephony.

Woodford expanded the functionality of Debian with enhancements like a Mepis Installation Center that makes it easy to install Mepis on your hard disk. There is a Mepis System Center to help you install localizations, change video and mouse settings, network settings, and more, without having to edit configuration files. This makes the distribution easy to use and very newbie-friendly.

Of course there have been issues with Mepis. Some of its enhancements can cause compatibility problems with standard Debian packages. There were problems with hwdata, but these are solved now. The Mepis Web site warns users about this problem and shows them how to avoid trouble. There is a Mepis repository where Mepis-only packages like themes and modified Debian packages can be found. These modified Debian packages should prevent future problems.

Mepis is easy to install, and once installed it's a very good Debian distro, incorporating tweaks it would take you days or weeks to configure yourself. Some people might call Mepis a newbie distribution, but I believe Mepis is shaped the way a modern distro should be. And I will continue to use it!

Marcel Gommans is a former IT manager in Venlo, the Netherlands, who has been using Linux for several years. He is available for jobs and projects concerning IT management, ERP systems, and everything related.

What's your desktop OS of choice? Write an article of less than 1,000 words telling us what you use and why. If we publish it, we'll pay you $100.

So far, we've heard from fans of FreeBSD and Mepis Linux.

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on My workstation OS: Mepis Linux

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three follow-up questions

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on November 19, 2004 11:41 PM
Thanks for your review. I have three follow-up questions:

1) how does MEPIS compare to other Live-CDs such as Knoppix or Kanotix? What made you pick this one?

2) what license does MEPIS come under. I understand that some of it is GPL, but some is not. What is the license from the non-GPLed part? Can I simply download MEPIS or do I need to purchase it on the MEPIS website?

3) does the MEPIS installer allow you to pick what you install, or does it install of full "copy" of the Live-CD?

Many thanks!

#

Re:three follow-up questions

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on November 20, 2004 12:18 AM
I know Marcel via the community forums (my name was TKS there) and I will attempt to answer your questions for him if he will permit me...

1. MEPIS vs. Knoppix or Kanotix would be very interesting. I've found that MEPIS detects a bit more of my hardware than Knoppix would do to a small program written by the developer that installs said hardware (called meauto). It worked on the Dell Optiplex systems at my work when Knoppix wouldn't. I'd have to say that Knoppix and MEPIS are pretty close to one another overall with detection though. I like MEPIS though because it 'feels' better than the others and the community kicks butt!

2. MEPIS is licensed under the GNU License but there are certain parts (such as the meauto program) that are not GNU like flash plugins, java, real player, and nvidia drivers. These things are preinstalled and preconfigured for out of box use. You simply download it from the main website: http://www.mepis.org/book/view/1462

3. MEPIS installs a full install from the CD...a package list is here: http://www.mepis.org/book/view/1517 and http://www.mepis.org/book/view/319

These are packages for the old release 2003.10 but a majority of these packages come with the 2004 version titled 'SimplyMEPIS 2004'. You can also trim down what you don't want using apt-get or Kpackage or Synaptic to remove the packages you don't want or install the ones you do. MEPIS uses the Debian repositories so it has access to over 13,000 packages for install.

Hope this answered your questions!

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Re:three follow-up questions

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on November 20, 2004 12:27 AM
thanks for your answer which does answer my questions very well.

just to make sure - is MEPIS free (as in beer)? Can I download the full CD image of the net? Alternatively - can I purchase a (cheap) CD from a distributor in the USA? I am asking this because I think I remember that the MEPIS site does *not* offer a free download.

also - is MEPIS free (as in freedom)? I know that MEPIS is run by one guy. Should something happen to him (God forbid!), will the product continue to exist? Does is belong to the author/creator or to the community?

Many thanks again!

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Re:three follow-up questions

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on November 20, 2004 01:00 AM
Yes Mepis is free as in beer. You can download for free from public mirrors that are listed on the mepis.org site. Or you can find the list in the faq section of mepislovers.com (link at top of page).

Right now, Warren is the only developer but there is talk that he will be getting helpers with creating new versions, so hopefully it will never die. The community of Mepis is very strong and dedicated to supporting new and old users.

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Re:three follow-up questions

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on November 20, 2004 01:41 AM
SimplyMepis ISO images are available at no cost. For $29, you get access to an ftp where you can obtain and play with betas, etc.

I've found SimplyMepis to be a very good piece of work that can still get better. The inclusion and preconfiguration of Flash, Java, Real Plater, etc., is very nice and fits in well with desktop use. (Getting these things working is annoying for an experienced Linux user and a deal-killer for anyone using Linux for the first time.)

Moving to the Nvidia driver is easier than in other Debian-derived efforts I've used: Just click one checkbox and retrieve one file via apt-get.

It could improve on detection of flat panel LCD's. Mine would not work without manual editing of XF86Config, something that no off-the-street desktop user should be expected to do. They will just throw away the CD and complain the distro is broken -- which it is if it can't boot to anything other than a black screen. (I booted the CD in VESA mode, something that several other distributions also require.)

Finally, MEPIS needs a GUI-fied way to list and start/stop services. It's Debian, after all, and that's sure not intuitive.

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Re:three follow-up questions

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on November 20, 2004 01:03 AM
It is free, at least SimplyMepis is, I am not sure about the upcoming MepisPro.

There are download links from the Mepis site and it is free to download and use. If you are so inclined, you can make a donation.

Mepis User . .<nobr> <wbr></nobr>..

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Re:three follow-up questions

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on November 20, 2004 01:04 AM
There actually are links on the Mepis page to d/l a cd. Check http://www.mepis.org/book/view/1462. You can also d/l it from http://iso.linuxquestions.org/.

HTH

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to the three posters above:

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on November 20, 2004 01:42 AM
many thanks for your answers!

live long and prosper \\//_

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to the three posters above 2

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on November 20, 2004 09:34 PM
just ordered my copy of MEPIS! Thanks for the info, I very much look forward to trying it out.

Live long and prosper \\//_

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Re:three follow-up questions

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on November 22, 2004 03:29 PM
MEPIS is licensed under the GNU License but there are certain parts (such as the meauto program) that are not GNU like flash plugins, java, real player, and nvidia drivers. These things are preinstalled and preconfigured for out of box use.


So, Mepis is not a free software distribution like Mandrakelinux, Fedora etc?

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Re:three follow-up questions

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on November 20, 2004 12:41 AM
1) Mepis comes with Java, Flash, Adobe plugins and Winmodem drivers already installed. I find out that I had to spend hours to install and cutomize pure Debian to make it run like Mepis. The installation is GUI based.

Linux is about choice, Mepis feels like the right choice has been made at the every step by the developer.

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winmodems?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on November 20, 2004 12:45 AM
really? Or are you talking about linmodems? also - which ones does it come with? is there enough to cover the main ones used in laptops? how could they include them in a distro - I thought that this was essentially illegal (don't get me wrong - I fully applaud them for doing this, its just that I am surprized that they could do that while others did not).

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Re:winmodems?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on November 20, 2004 01:09 AM
Intel based and Lucent winmodems are supported out of the box, there exist free or closed source, but free to include in a distro drivers. You can still install ndiswrapper (<A HREF="http://www1.apt-get.org/search.php?query=ndiswrapper&submit=Absenden&arch%5B%5D=i386&arch%5B%5D=all/" title="apt-get.org">http://www1.apt-get.org/search.php?query=ndiswra<nobr>p<wbr></nobr> per&submit=Absenden&arch%5B%5D=i386&arch%5B%5D=al<nobr>l<wbr></nobr> /</a apt-get.org> to use the original Windows DLL's.

STIBS

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Re:winmodems?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on November 20, 2004 07:28 AM
Except for the fact that notebook manufacturers have overly relied upon them, win-modems have no proper place in a modern computer.

For all of the 8-bucks of investment that these pieces of garbage represent, they are best removed from any desktop system and discarded. Buy a real modem, if that's what you must have to connect.

With a laptop/notebook you may have no choice--except to buy from a quality vendor next time-around--because the discovery of the crappy hardware is often post-purchase.

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Re:winmodems?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on November 22, 2004 03:44 PM
win-modems have no proper place in a modern computer.<nobr> <wbr></nobr>...
For all of the 8-bucks of investment that these pieces of garbage represent, they are best removed from any desktop system and discarded.

I couldn't disagree more. The basic idea of a "winmodem" is to save hardware cost by not putting processing power into the modem, where it is completely wasted for the 99% of the time that the modem is not in use. 20 years ago, there was no choice: desktop computers weren't powerful enough to do the processing that a modem needs, while doing something else at the same time. So modem makers had to put processing power into the modems.


Today, desktop CPUs are at least 100 times as fast as desktop CPUs back then. So the desktop CPU can handle the modem processing without noticeable inpact on whatever else it's doing. The main CPU is where the processing power should be, because when the modem isn't in use, you get to use it for applications.


The situation is a little similar to that of printers in the mid-1980s. There was a lot of hoopla about how great PostScript printers were. You sometimes saw the ridiculous situation of a 640k, 10-MHz computer connected to a PostScript printer containing more memory and a faster processor. Which was, of course, idle for most of the time, while the poor user, with his underpowered CPU, was waiting for his document to repaginate.


The place for computing power is where you mostly use it - your main CPU - not in your printer, modem, etc. They should be dumb, simple, cheap devices.


Of course, the full specification of how to control them should be available without conditions to anyone who buys one. I think that has been the real problem with winmodems in the past - the obstacles placed by Microsoft in the way of anyone who wished to write open drivers for them. That is a legal issue which should have been addressed in the Microsoft antitrust case. But from a technical standpoint, the simple-hardware concept behind the winmodem is the correct approach.

#

Re: three follow-up questions

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 208.60.177.25] on October 26, 2007 07:54 PM
I've used Mepis for 3 years now, and is the best OS system. I haven't got spyware, viruses, or trojans. Knoppix is another good program, and i think its more up to date with the latest software :open office and firefox. I don't know if mepis 6.5 has updated their software yet. I recommend Mepis or knoppix to anyone I know!!!! what a waste with windows Vista! it only has graphics but is not stable because the environment Aero uses lots of memory. To install mepis you have partition your harddrive using Qparted program, because if you use the Mepis installer it won't work, since your computer has been configured for NTFS or FAT and linux OS uses a different partition. Mepis is totally free, you can get it in softpedia.com

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stupid name

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on November 20, 2004 03:04 AM
I don't mean to sound so negative but why do so many distros have stupid sounding names? Mephis, ubuntu, yoper? Who's coming up with these? Yeah some of these are better than what some marketing droid could come up with but some of those are just weird. Most people won't try something that they can't pronounce. IMO this is causing some of these great distros from not achieving the market share they could based on the quality of their product.

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I'm curious:

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on November 20, 2004 05:01 AM
would you have better suggestions?

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Re:I'm curious:

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on November 20, 2004 11:23 AM
Nothing specific but something that sounds more professional. I find it very improbable that anyone could convince their PHB that he should look at something called mepis or ubuntu and go with it over something that doesn't sound like a bunch of kids hacked it together.

As a general rule I would not have a product that has the sound "piss" in the name. I'm no marketing expert but I think that should be one of the rules followed when choosing a name for your product.

#

More professional?

Posted by: Rob Bochan on November 21, 2004 12:48 AM
Oh, you mean like "microsoft", which could mean "small and limp"?

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Re:More professional?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on November 24, 2004 05:26 AM
Beats 'Traf-o-data', does not it?

Vadim.

#

International

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on November 21, 2004 02:50 AM
I understand the sentiment, but some of this is due to the greater internationalization of Linux. We Americans have to leave our Xenophobia behind and embrace the fact that it is a global world. Thus, isn't Ubuntu a Swahili word or something? Understandable since it was created in Africa, right?

Unlike many of our European brethren, I'm not criticizing the US. We don't have the advantage that the Europeans have in having dozens of countries easily travel-able to within the same distances which, when we travel in our own country, we're still in the same old homogenous United States.

Frankly, I think Europe in particular is very well poised for success in the next century - the internationalization of the CONTINENT is now being very nicely complemented by the internationalization of TECHNOLOGY (like the Internet).

In the US, we need to work to travel overseas more, to try to understand broader outlooks, and to just get over it when we encounter an unfamiliar distro name.

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Re:International

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on November 21, 2004 06:24 AM
The other advantage that we have (may have?) in Europe is that it appears we are not going to legalize software patents.

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Re:International

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on November 22, 2004 04:03 PM
"In the US, we need to work to travel overseas more, to try to understand broader outlooks, and to just get over it when we encounter an unfamiliar distro name."

I totally get what you wrote but it still doesn't change the fact that mepis and ubuntu sound weird/stupid to me and to the managers that make the decisions on what OS to go with. Hell, I think that is why my company is going with Red Hat because it was either them or Suse and I think the suits went with the one that they knew they would be able to pronounce correctly. Yes this is a stupid reason but when everything else is roughly equal this can be the tiebreaker.

If you are producing a distro that you plan on selling in the corporate world then come up with a decent name. This is the reason some of us are stuck with Red Hat.

#

Just switched myself

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on November 20, 2004 10:59 AM
I recently switched distros to Mepis too. It worked so well on my laptop that I decided to use it on my desktop too. Excellent distro for newbies and veterans wo want things to Just Work™

#

Mepis Linux and Wireless

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on November 20, 2004 08:17 PM
If you're looking for a distro that easily supports wireless, give SimplyMepis a try. It recognized my card without a hitch. Here are the particulars re: the wireless equipment:

1. D-link DI624 Router
2. D-link DWL G-520 (desktop wireless nic)

The key is the chipset in the nic -- D-Link uses Atheros (among others, probably) and Mepis recognized it without a problem. All I had to do is enter SSID, WEP, etc. Just make sure that your card has the Atheros chipset.

No other Linux distro I have tried, including SuSE, Knoppix, etc., has been able to to that "out of the box."

#

Non-free driver?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on November 22, 2004 03:26 PM
AFAIK, the aetheros driver is non-free. Since Mepis seems to not be a free software distribution (like Mandrakelinux for example<nobr> <wbr></nobr>...), they include the non-free driver.

Mandrake users can choose to get the non-free driver as well (and working out-the-box), if they choose the non-free version of the distribution.

Many other wireless cards work out-the-box on the commercial versions of popular distros (such as Mandrakelinux) but not on the free software versions, because there are licensing requirements on some files required to make the device work (such as the firmware for the Centrino ipw2100 and ipw2200 chipsets), which are not re-distributeable without a license.

Now, some "free" distros just decide to disregard these licensing requirements, and that is why they are "easier to use" than the free linux distributions which take these issues into account.

I would have thought a Debian-based distro would be aware of these issues<nobr> <wbr></nobr>...

#

Re:Non-free driver?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on November 22, 2004 07:16 PM
I may be missing something here, but it seems to me that a hardware vendor would benefit from increased sales if its drivers were compatible with Linux.

Personally, I seek out hardware that is compatible with Linux. I don't use anything but D-Link because I know it works with Mepis.

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Careful :MEPIS is not freesoftware!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on November 22, 2004 09:00 AM
form mepis.org FAQ:
___
1. Can I legally make MEPIS Linux CDs and give them to my friends, etc?

You may make an unlimited number of copies of the MEPIS Linux CDs and give them away for non-commercial purposes (emphasis added).
___

From the FSF website:

___
Free software is a matter of the users' freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. More precisely, it refers to four kinds of freedom, for the users of the software:


        * The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).

        * The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

        * The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).

        * The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits (freedom 3). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

A program is free software if users have all of these freedoms. Thus, you should be free to redistribute copies, either with or without modifications, either gratis or charging a fee for distribution (emphasis added), to anyone anywhere. Being free to do these things means (among other things) that you do not have to ask or pay for permission.

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Re:Careful :MEPIS is not freesoftware!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on November 22, 2004 09:13 AM
which is kind of ironic considering that Warren's motto is: Montani Semper Liberi (-: emphasis added<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:-)

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Re:Careful :MEPIS is not freesoftware!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on November 23, 2004 06:06 AM
MEPIS had RealPlayer 10, among other non-free packages, so it can not be distributed freely.

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Mepis is great but not the answer

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on November 23, 2004 05:47 AM
I've been using Linux since the 90s. I also use Windows and Mac. Why? Because I also have to work for a living meaning that I work with what my employers gave me. From my perspective, Linux on the desktop is a hard battle to win. Windows XP is good enough for most people; consumers, workers, executives and even technologists including biotech scientists and engineers. XP is fast and does the job, well. I like to see Linux make more headway onto the desktop but I am afraid better technology will not make most people switch.

I do see however, Linux and open source making headway in embedded space, servers, blades, appliances etc.

The biggest reason Linux will be a minority player on the desktop space is that even educated people won't switch so what makes us think that less educated people will?

My solution is not to get people to switch to Linux but to expand the definition of open source desktop--borrow the marketing technique from MS. I suggest that people save money first by using openoffice.org and Firefox apps, while holding on to Windows XP. I have more successes this way, even with my boss. He is willing to use openoffice and firefox. By abandoning MS office, it has the effect of defanging the big snake, MS. Use google desktop search as well. Fill your apps with open source tools. A mixed source desktop is better than none.

The key issue is people are too lazy to learn to use another OS to do the same thing. It is not productive and they have other things to do with their lives; This is the feedback from some of the engineers and scientists from some of the top schools and research institutes in the country.

Secondly, by the time commerical companies provide support and services for Linux desktop, the price will be as high or if not higher than Windows which one can get for $499 from Dell. As usual the issue is not technology, and very few business issues are based on technology.

Don't get me wrong, I am all for Linux on the desktop but the reality is that people might switch if they use it in their home office but when it comes to enterprise, even Suse/Novell, IBM, Oracle, HP are using Windows. Even though they support Linux and selling Linux.

Yes, I am a dual booter with Mandrake Linux/Windows XP. And using openoffice and firefox on my Windows side but I like i said getting rid of MS Office and IE alone is a major victory for open source community.

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Re:Mepis is great but not the answer

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on November 23, 2004 09:19 AM
The biggest reason Linux will be a minority player on the desktop space is that even educated people won't switch so what makes us think that less educated people will?


It's not so simple like that. Manny people don't switch because their hardware is not compatible or they need special software that only runs in Windows.


I've been trying to use linux since year 2000. I bought a big book about linux and inside came a copy of RedHat 7. I installed it and configured it , but then I found that I had a winmodem and there wasn't any drivers available. So, I had linux but not Internet. That's not an option to me.


A few years later, I got an ADSL line and a new modem (Alcatel Speedtouch USB). Found again that it was still not supported (I thing it is now). So, no Internet, again.


Last year, I upgraded my network and added a wireless modem/router from <A HREF="http://www.draytek.com/" title="draytek.com">Draytek</a draytek.com> and a wireless network card from conceptronic (atheros based). With a lot of hope, I tryed Mandrake, cause it was said to very hardware/user friendly, but, then again, the network card wasn't supported without messing around.


There is a project on source forge to create drivers for atheros based cards (<A HREF="http://madwifi.sourceforge.net/" title="sourceforge.net">Madwifi</a sourceforge.net>), but it's only available through CVS, and requires one to compile the drivers/kernel.


Now, it is not easy for a complete newbie to do that. It's true that there are a lot of guides through the net to help install atheros based cards, but it's very annoyng, to say the least, to have to reboot the computer to use windows, so that i can grab a certain file that is missing, then rebooting again to linux, and repeat this cycle forever.


Besides, to compile atheros it is needed the kernel source, but it happens that most distros in these days don't include it in cd-roms...


That's a lot of hassle to get started in linux, and it's out of question to use linux without internet... Let's hope Mepis works ok when I install it next week and I finally can get into Linux world...

My solution is not to get people to switch to Linux but to expand the definition of open source desktop--borrow the marketing technique from MS. I suggest that people save money first by using openoffice.org and Firefox apps, while holding on to Windows XP.


I totally agree with you on this point. I used to prefer popular applications like MS Office, even if I had to use not so legal ways to get that software. However, when I tryed free and open-source software, I started to realize that the quality of software is not directly related to it's price, and mostly open-source solutions I tried are much better than a lot of paid close-source ones. So now, I always try to find some open-source software to my needs. If I can't find any (still have to happen), I try free software.


Sorry for my not so good english.

#

Sounds a little too "Lindows"-esque for me

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on November 23, 2004 09:46 AM
I wouldn't use this distro on sole basis that it doesn't support free software. There's a reason why the full name of other distros, like Debian is Debian GNU/Linux. The point behind linux is to promote free software, not to mate it with heavy pocketed companies like Real. Who uses real player anyway??? It ticks me off that companies exist that try to sell linux. For instance, I was looking around on their site and noticed that they offer a subscription service to download the iso's. For $29.99 USD you can get 6 months unlimited downloads. But why would anyone in their right mind do that? You can just go to one of the mirrors and download an iso, free of charge. This makes absolutely no sense, unless they are charging you for updates, which wouldn't surprise me... like Redhat before they decided there product was too good for public use. ANYWAY, that was a decent vent. Use Debian... its a real linux distro with no proprietary software.

Cheers!

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against them even the gods struggle in vain ;-)

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on November 23, 2004 10:17 AM
I wouldn't use this distro on sole basis that it doesn't support free software

I personally totally agree with you. But you are still about to get insulted, labeled, branded a "zealot" etc. See, this is Newsforge, a site run by rabid "Linux & open source" zealots. Furthermore, most posters here are Americans - hence the word "free" triggers an automatic gagging/revulsion type of reflex in them (keep in my that they are really educated by corporations). Last, but not least, the local heavyweight, a dude called Roblimo, just publised a book about something like "point n' click Linux" (no, he does not mean the *kernel*, that's how he calls the entire OS) and he based it on MEPIS.

On substance you are, of course, quite right. But that ain't gonna impress anyone here.

Hope dies last - so keep trying nontheless!

Cheers to you too!

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Re:against them even the gods struggle in vain ;-)

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on November 25, 2004 05:01 AM
It seems clear to me that Mepis is aimed at Linux virgins for whom the issues that motivate many Debian cognoscenti are not important. They want an easy to install and easy to use alternative to Windows. Mepis provides that. They also want the multimedia goodies that Mepis provides out of the box.

I'm using Debian unstable right now. And, no, I don't believe that the most important thing about Linux is the "free software" part. I used it because I like Unix and because it works better and faster than Windows on my hardware. If the situation were reversed, I'd switch to Windows with no regrets.

I've also got RealPlayer installed. Why? because it is the simplest way to be able to the greatest number of formats that are out there. No need to fool around with anything else.

And, that $29.95 payment to Mepis for ftp access gets you more than what's in the public mirrors. For example, there's the first beta of another version of Mepis in there now. It's ony 29 bucks, anyway.

As for the gratuitous slander of Americans, I just pass it by as typical of the ideologically straight-jacketed primadonnas who abound in the Debian community. Somehow you've all got the notion that a software development can tell you how to run the world. (But, if you're European, you were probably educated by statist institutions bent on keeping you in your place.)

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ok - let sum it up:

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on November 25, 2004 06:12 AM
you believe that:

1) MEPIS is for newbies who don't care about freedom. Maybe.
2) You don't care much about "free software. That's your absolute right.
3) You like RealPlayer. Also your prerogative.
4) You think 29$ for MEPIS is a good deal. Fine.
5) You cannot conceive a criticism of the USA as anything but a "gratuitous slander of Americans" typical of "straight-jacketed primadonnas". That will surprise nobody who heared your President actually state that "they hate us because we love freedom"<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:-)

But that last one, "Somehow you've all got the notion that a software development can tell you how to run the world. (But, if you're European, you were probably educated by statist institutions bent on keeping you in your place.)" is one which truly baffles me. What are you trying to say?

Please explain, as I am quite sure I will end up having a good laugh!

Many thanks in advance!

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Re:ok - let sum it up:

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on November 25, 2004 11:46 AM
Criticism is no problem, but unjustified slander is a different matter. Your crack about American bing educated by corporations, besides being untrue, smacks of the groupthink attitude of many in Europe and elsewhere who seem to imagine that the corporations are, be definition, Evil, and can and should be replaced by...what? Warm Fuzzy People Sharing Everything.

The President isn't the country, in case you missed that. And, even though I didn't vote for him, I have sense enough to know that his remark was aimed at terrorists, not necessarily wobbly Europeans. And he's right. If someone or something opposes democracy, they are our enemy. If they're not your enemy, then you don't believe in democracy.

You argue that I said "MEPIS is for newbies who don't care about freedom. That's not an entirely accurate paraphrase, but what does that freedom amount to? Freedom to share and change source code? Why should someone who doesn't even know what source code is care? Why should someone who simply wants to use something other than Windows deliberately shackle themselves with unfinished Linux distributions that don't provide what they want just because it meets your definition of "free"? If you feel morally offended to use RealPlayer, fine, don't use it. But don't slam the ethics of someone who does use it. It is only software, and no ethics are involved, period.

In the end, I'm full up to here with all the self-righteous self-serving ideological crap mouthed by so many people who seem to think that "free" software is going to lead to some kind of utopian political shift. That's simply pubescent nonsense.

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conclusion

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on November 26, 2004 12:00 AM
1. Corporations vs Warm Fuzzy People Sharing Everything. These two alternatives are not a reflection of the complex reality of the world out there, only of your minute horizon.
2. Dubya got elected by a wide margin, and 80% of those who voted for him chose him for his "values". That's settles the argument.
3. You mistakenly believe that to care about freedom somebody must understand source code. You are wrong. Learn a foreign language and take a trip abroad - you will understand what I mean.
4. I'm full up to here with all the self-righteous self-serving ideological crap then stay away from mirrors!

Thanks again for your posts. They gave us all a good laugh!

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Mepis Is About As Good As It Gets

Posted by: severian66 on November 24, 2004 05:06 AM
I have to agree with the author. I put Mepis on my old AMD 300 MHz, and it runs like a rabbit compared to Mandrake.

On this particular box, I've installed Suse 9.2 Pro, and Xandros OCE, and Mepis blows them away. Mandrake is probably bearable on a 2+ GHz PC, but past experience in the unstable version 9 days has made me leary of Mandrake. For my personal pleasure on my fast machine, I used Slackware 10.

The point is, for all you naysayers out there, you can use whatever distro you want for whatever purpose it fills the need, and you don't have to knock other people's choices because you don't agree with them...because Linux is all about choice.

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