Hello to everyone. I used to have an account back in the days of the first board, but I couldn't remember that username to save my life. In addition to saying Happy New Years, I'd like to comment on my first use of VectorLinux in ages.
My wife has a laptop which she uses to seek out Japanese drama clips on various youtube like sites. She initially was using windows 2000. But, her inexperience of the internet in general led me to cleaning out spyware one long night. After finding a rootkit, I forced her to use linux. At first, I selected Ubuntu. Heck, it just seemed to work. It recognized my wireless card, it allowed her to use Japanese fonts for the desktop menus. But, after several updates and distro upgrades, my wife's poor laptop (celeron 550 mobile, 192 MB RAM, 40gig HD) was just getting bogged down. Youtube vids just stuttered along, and ruined any experience of watching them. I wasn't going to have her go back to windows, but I needed a fast OS to replace the bloating Ubuntu.
I started to remember about the times when I used to use VectorLinux. Fast, fun, and easy to work with. And after a couple comparison to distros like Zenwalk and Arch, I settled to go back go home to VectorLinux to use on the wife's laptop.
But, it wasn't an easy experience.
First off, I needed to get my wireless working. I have a WG511 Netgear wireless card. This required me to download firmware from prism54.org
. It took me a bit to research this. I had to download the 188.8.131.52.arm file, copy it to /lib/firmware/ and rename it to isl3890. Rebooted, and I now had wireless.
Second, she needs to read and write in Japanese. Scim packages are available if you enable the 5.9 testing repo's. I used the directions for the Japanese Howto
from this site. This worked to a point. If you attempt to run Japanese scim with Firefox, you notice it fails, and you've pretty much lost firefox. Only after reinstalling VectorLinux did I have firefox working again. But, after following the exact same directions, it fails. Well, I had Sea Monkey left in my arsenal, and it worked great with Scim. I'd rather have Firefox, but Sea Monkey will do just fine.
The third issue was with Flash. For some stupid reason, flash 9.0.115 is just a disaster on a low end PC. Count on 99% CPU usage, and very slow, choppy playback. I had to figure out how to get adobe flash plugins from the 7.0 series, which are available on their archive site
. It was just a matter of testing the install path, which means basically you rename the /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/libflashsomething.so to libflashsomething.old and running the flash install and placing the 7.0 version files to /usr/lib/mozilla/.
A nice bonus to using VectorLinux 5.9 was the CK kernel patch
. Very, very nice improvement over the stock kernel.
Overally, after many tries and failures initially, I have a nice laptop. As soon as my wife fired up a new drama episode, I could see the expression of happiness on her face. Thanks VectorLinux, you've saved the day.
I'd still like to see a completely converted desktop using Japanese fonts, similar to what you'll find with Ubuntu. If anyone knows how to do that, please comment.
And, BTW, it feels good to be back home.