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Author Topic: Should I go VL?  (Read 4829 times)
roxburd
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Posts: 12


« on: March 16, 2009, 02:29:27 am »

Hi,
IBM Thinkpad T21, 128Mb RAM. [Currently awaiting delivery of additional 258Mb]

My daughter's machine, currently dragging XP along like a dead cow on a string.

So my question is: should I go with VL? I do have some experience of using Red Hat, Fedora. She wants it mainly for browsing, email, a bit of document work.

Q1: Is there a good parental control solution on VL? I just want something to help keep her surfing safe (in addition to supervision and education). I'm currently using K9 on XP and it seems adequate.

Q2: Will VL support her WiFi card? It's an Edup / Atheros thing. Is there a simple, clear answer or do I need to go to the EOM and trawl around there?

Q3: The T21 has a button 'mouse' thing hidden in among the keyboard keys... Will VL support that?

Sorry for the dumb questions!

Dave

Edit: The WiFi card is a PCMCIA card.
End-Edit
« Last Edit: March 16, 2009, 05:34:13 am by roxburd » Logged
roxburd
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Posts: 12


« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2009, 06:20:44 am »


Hmmm, seems I'm talking to myself... anyways...

Seems Atheros is supported out-of-the-box. Not sure that applies to PCMCIA cards though - might only apply to in-box (IDE/PCI) cards???

Parental web control/filtering:
Anyone used Mobicip?
I'm sure Dan's Guardian is an awsomely brilliant piece of technology but it seems a bit complex/manual for my needs.

Any comments very welcome.

Cheers!
Dave
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kidd
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Vectorian
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Posts: 682


« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2009, 08:15:28 am »

Hi roxburd.

You're not talking to yourself.... (I hope Smiley )

I just have no idea about the parental control, but atheros (as you already saw) is supported by default by latest vl (It worked flawlessly on my Acer Aspire One)

When you have 256 Mb Ram, you'll be able to use vl in a pretty fast way. I have some VL's installed in 128 or even 96 Mb ram, and they sure work, but you have to be very careful which wm and programs you use.  For browsing, I recommend you opera (compared to firefox).  You could even try to go lighter, but I think opera will fit ok.

Ah! welcome to Vectorlinux.
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sparkyhall
Vectorite
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Posts: 118


« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2009, 09:07:40 am »


Q3: The T21 has a button 'mouse' thing hidden in among the keyboard keys... Will VL support that?


I have VL installed on a thinkpad 600 and a thinkpad T40 so older and newer hardware than yours and the button 'mouse' thing works fine on both so it should be OK.

Chris
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caitlyn
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Vectorian
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Posts: 2869


WWW
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2009, 01:01:28 pm »

I am using an Atheros-based PCMCIA card on my old Toshiba, and yes, it works out of the box.  So will your TrackPoint (the mouse thing). 

VL does NOT include any parental control software, period, as in none at all.  I believe some can be added as a Firefox plugin.  I'm not sure about anything else.
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eMachines EL-1300G desktop, 1.6GHz AMD Athlon 2650e CPU, 4GB RAM, nVidia GeForce 6150 SE video
CentOS 6.5 (will try VL64-7.1 soon)

Toshiba Satellite A135-S4727,  Intel Pentium T2080 / 1.73 GHz, 2GB RAM, Intel GMA 950

HP Mini 110 netbook, 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU, 2GB RAM, Intel 950 video, VL 7.1
roxburd
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Posts: 12


« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2009, 12:56:10 am »

I am using an Atheros-based PCMCIA card on my old Toshiba, and yes, it works out of the box.  So will your TrackPoint (the mouse thing). 

VL does NOT include any parental control software, period, as in none at all.  I believe some can be added as a Firefox plugin.  I'm not sure about anything else.

Caitlyn! Wow, I recognise your name from the intsall I did last night! I'm not worthy ;-)

Well, as I said, I did an install over XP last night. I grinned from ear-to-ear as I waved XP goodbye.

Now... is anyone interested in hearing a newbie's experience of installation. I appreciate I haven't paid for VL but I think it's only fair to warn you that my feedback aint gonna make you feel all warm and fuzzy. I'll tackle my current problems in a separate thread somewhere but if anyone is interested in hearing my installation woes, let me know. I am persevering and I would like to feedback into the community if it will help (i.e. I will be constructive!).

Dave
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caitlyn
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« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2009, 11:12:31 am »

Hi, Dave,

I'm nobody special.  Trust me on this.

I write for O'Reilly Media and I have never called Vector Linux installation newbie friendly.  Quite the contrary.  VL 6.0 is moderately better than past releases but it still needs work.  My experience with the developer community (and I am NOT a VL developer, BTW) is that they take any constructive criticism in a positive way.  They roll up their sleeves and try to fix problems.  It's one of the things that impressed me about VL to the point that I wanted to volunteer.

So... don't worry about making people feel warm and fuzzy.  I think realistic and constructive feedback is generally appreciated.

Regards,
Cait
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eMachines EL-1300G desktop, 1.6GHz AMD Athlon 2650e CPU, 4GB RAM, nVidia GeForce 6150 SE video
CentOS 6.5 (will try VL64-7.1 soon)

Toshiba Satellite A135-S4727,  Intel Pentium T2080 / 1.73 GHz, 2GB RAM, Intel GMA 950

HP Mini 110 netbook, 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU, 2GB RAM, Intel 950 video, VL 7.1
roxburd
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Posts: 12


« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2009, 05:24:34 am »

My experience with the developer community (and I am NOT a VL developer, BTW) is that they take any constructive criticism in a positive way.  They roll up their sleeves and try to fix problems.  It's one of the things that impressed me about VL to the point that I wanted to volunteer.

So... don't worry about making people feel warm and fuzzy.  I think realistic and constructive feedback is generally appreciated.

Hi Cait,

My feedback on install would be this:

1) Had trouble getting IBM BIOS to boot from CD.
The F1 BIOS boot device order settings seemed to be getting ignored so I used F12 "Boot from temporary device". Not your problem but an issue for newbies.

2) Creating partitions.
What's the partition utility called - parted or something? Every time the installer tried to run it parted fell over with an Out of Bounds error. I got round that by killing the installer and launching parted from the Menu.

3) Partition sizing.
I sized my paritions according to the documentation - it said 2000 to 3000 Kb for root. parted took several attempts to create my 3000 Kb root partition. When it succeeded I restarted installation and chose "Use my existing partitions". The NEXT page said root partition needs to be at least 3800 Kb ! ! ! Grrrr.

Other than that it went OK up till the X server config utility (when I selected AUTO config) left my X server completely unconfigured. VL then wouldn't boot past the progress bar start-up screen at all.

So all-in-all, frustrating for a newbie. The partition utility needs to launch more reliably and the documentation needs to be clearer OR installation needs to advise on partition size requirements before launching the partition utility.

And the AUTO X server config thing completely wrecked my install.

However, I tried a new install last night - it worked very well using xvconf instead of AUTO. I am *very* impressed with VectorLinux. It found my PCMCIA WiFi card straight-off, it found my USB drives. It is pretty and sweet and... yes, I'm impressed. Whether my daughter will feel the glory of running Linux on her old T21 remains to be seen though :-/

Dave
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rbistolfi
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Vectorian
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Posts: 2277


« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2009, 08:27:21 am »

1) Had trouble getting IBM BIOS to boot from CD.
The F1 BIOS boot device order settings seemed to be getting ignored so I used F12 "Boot from temporary device". Not your problem but an issue for newbies.

Ummm, nothing to do about that one.

Quote
2) Creating partitions.
What's the partition utility called - parted or something? Every time the installer tried to run it parted fell over with an Out of Bounds error. I got round that by killing the installer and launching parted from the Menu.

We have seen that error before, it is weird because only a few persons are having it, M0E-lnx (the installer developer) is working on the next version already.


Quote
3) Partition sizing.
I sized my paritions according to the documentation - it said 2000 to 3000 Kb for root. parted took several attempts to create my 3000 Kb root partition. When it succeeded I restarted installation and chose "Use my existing partitions". The NEXT page said root partition needs to be at least 3800 Kb ! ! ! Grrrr.

The needed size would depend on the optional packages you picked. Could you link to the part of the docs that are wrong? We could correct them or making them clearer.

Quote
Other than that it went OK up till the X server config utility (when I selected AUTO config) left my X server completely unconfigured. VL then wouldn't boot past the progress bar start-up screen at all.

X configuration is not easy, and for some reason no method seems to be 100% effective. The developers decided to include several configuration scripts so we can cover most of the video devices. I have found that vxconf is the most effective, at least in my experience. I understand that AUTO is kind of attractive because of its name Smiley

Nice you finally got it working, and thanks for the feedback. As Caitlyn said, I am sure the developers will find it useful.
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"There is a concept which corrupts and upsets all others. I refer not to Evil, whose limited realm is that of ethics; I refer to the infinite."
Jorge Luis Borges, Avatars of the Tortoise.

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Jumalauta!!
roxburd
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Posts: 12


« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2009, 12:38:46 pm »

Quote
3) Partition sizing.
I sized my paritions according to the documentation - it said 2000 to 3000 Kb for root. parted took several attempts to create my 3000 Kb root partition. When it succeeded I restarted installation and chose "Use my existing partitions". The NEXT page said root partition needs to be at least 3800 Kb ! ! ! Grrrr.

The needed size would depend on the optional packages you picked. Could you link to the part of the docs that are wrong? We could correct them or making them clearer.

The table in VL6.0 Installation Guide 1) System Requirements.

Nice you finally got it working, and thanks for the feedback. As Caitlyn said, I am sure the developers will find it useful.

My pleasure!

Dave
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no2thesame
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Vectorite
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Posts: 136


« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2009, 03:48:01 pm »

Parental web control/filtering:
Anyone used Mobicip?
I'm sure Dan's Guardian is an awsomely brilliant piece of technology but it seems a bit complex/manual for my

Try FoxFilter (Firefox addon) https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/4351#reviews

If that doesn't work it looks like Dansguardian and a proxy are the way to go. I don't know if Privoxy (the proxy in the the VL 6 repository) is up to the job, otherwise both tinyproxy and dansguardian slackware packages are available here. http://alien.slackbook.org/dokuwiki/doku.php?id=slackware:parentalcontrol

They will need packaging for VL though.
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roxburd
Member
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Posts: 12


« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2009, 06:06:08 am »

Try FoxFilter...


Thanks! I tried it. The 'intelligent' blocking mode is about as effective as most AI solutions - i.e. it's as leaky as a sieve. But in White-List mode it's useful if labour intensive. And I guess I could deny my daughter execution rights to all the other browsers installed with the distro.

Ta,
Dave
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kedarm
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Posts: 28


« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2009, 08:28:32 am »

Hi!

Quote
3) Partition sizing.
I sized my paritions according to the documentation - it said 2000 to 3000 Kb for root. parted took several attempts to create my 3000 Kb root partition. When it succeeded I restarted installation and chose "Use my existing partitions". The NEXT page said root partition needs to be at least 3800 Kb ! ! ! Grrrr.

I had a similar experience! I chose to install VL-6.0-Light. The installation manual (the document that was helping me go through the installation) told me that I needed a root partition of less than 2GB in size (for the light install). I chose a partition of around 2.7GB.
However, the initial installation left me only around 300MB of free space and the first update/upgrade used up the remaining space. I had to resize my drives and then reinstall VL.
(I chose all the default options during my initial install. As a newbie to VL, I thought this was the safest thing to do.)

VL has worked beautifully ever since, but the initial installation was a bit of a problem.
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nightflier
Administrator
Vectorian
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Posts: 4018



« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2009, 02:54:19 pm »

Yea... the installation works in such a way that the default install uses the most space. To achieve the lower number, you need to actively un-select all optional packages.
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