There are two computers in my office, and I use both of them pretty regularly. Admittedly, the laptop has been taken over by two little girls who absolutely must see how the Littlest Pet Shop and Barbie are doing. Pappy doesn’t mind, though. At least they are not stuck using some virus-infected computer, and pop-up ads don’t rear their ugly heads while they’re playing, either.
Linux powers both of my computers, and Simply Mepis is the distribution of choice for many reasons. I have been using Simply Mepis several years, and and have no desire to even test other distros; there were some brief stints with Linux Mint and PCLOS, but Mepis is my OS – final answer. I’ve never understood the need or desire to hop around, trying every flavor of Linux under the sun that hits the Distrowatch list. Again, I’ve tried a few, but always come back to Mepis.
My HP 6449US laptop is loaded with Vista (why, I’ll never know), Simply Mepis 7.0 and Simply Mepis 7.9.90-beta3. The latter is updated through Synaptic, and includes everything that has come down the pike. There have been no major hiccups to report, and hardly any minor ones, either. This is another well-planned and exectued distro put together by Warren Woodford. The Mepis community has helped on several levels with this release, and their work certainly shows in the improved artwork.
Over the last several days many updates have appeared in the Synaptic package manager, and I’ve been diligently keeping my system current. Everything has worked flawlessly, from my nVidia video card to wireless. Updates have been painless and, again, without event. This has been a pleasurable experience to date, and I see no reason not to use the beta as my main system now, even before it goes gold; it’s running that well.
After reading about the new 2.6.27-1 Mepis kernel, I decided to install it this morning. Sometimes there’s problems with this type of upgrade, so after firing up Synaptic and checking a few packages, it was time to hit the “let’s do this” button. After only a few minutes the packages were installed and ready for a test. Some testers at the MEPISlover’s Forum reported kernel panic after the upgrade , so there was some trepidation about the procedure on my end. There was no reason to be alarmed, though, because everything went well without a hitch.
After a quick reboot, I was greeted with my KDM manager and then into my desktop. Impressive, to say the least. Even the nVidia kernel upgrade went smoothly, and that hasn’t always been easy. I am pleased with how easy the upgrades have been, and have no doubt the rest of the process will be the same.
From my post entitled Simply Mepis 8 is Looking Good, here’s a partial list of packages included with Mepis:
- Openoffice.org – an MS Office replacement. I removed the stock OOo and replaced it with the new 3.0 release. After doing some research and removing all traces of the OOo beta, I have a shiny new release on my laptop.
- Firefox – Browser My preference is Swiftweasel, so that gets used instead
- Thunderbird – e-mail client
- GIMP – Image editor
- Amarok – Music player My preference for streaming audio is XMMS, and after enabling Etch repos, I was able to install this little package.
- digiKam – Photo management
- Kopete – Instant messeger
- Akregator – RSS feed reader
- Kontact – Personal information manager
- Kino – Video editor
- KPDF – PDF viewer
- More programs than you could possibly use
It’s not all peachy, though. There were no schemes included with KPowersave, so it was impossible to configure. Thankfully, Brooko, one of the brains at MEPISlovers, compiled a .deb and offered it for testing in the SM 8-beta. It works flawlessly on my laptop, and I’m quite sure before version 8 goes gold, this issue will be fixed.
One more item to address relates to the net. I opted to install WICD Network Manager instead of the standard Network Manager-KDE. I had to add the WICD repo to my /etc/apt/sources.list, but that was easy enough. It installed without a hitch and I even have an icon in the system tray first time – no muss, no fuss.
The following quote is from the afore mentioned post Simply Mepis 8 is Looking Good:
This is not meant to be a complete review of Simply Mepis Linux, just a quick overview of the upcoming full release. Mepis 8 appears to working on most cylinders, but, according to the MEPISlovers Forums, there are some bugs. This is completely natural; after all, we are talking about a beta release. On my equipment, this beta is working exceptionally well, and I would not hesitate making it my main system right now. I will wait until Mepis 8 goes gold, which is not that far off anyway.
You should give Linux a try. If you are currently using MS Windows, you should download the .iso image, burn it to a CD, stick it in your optical drive and reboot the computer. You won’t have to install right away, unless you want. This way you can look at Linux and see what it’s all about. There’s more information here. Give it a shot and you’ll probably like what you see.
When it’s all said and done, I would not hesitate one minute to make this beta the workhorse on my laptop. Everything I care about is working flawlessly, and Simply Mepis 8 just keeps getting better. Warren has done a masterful job in preparing this beta, and he will certainly be rewarded with at least one of the best systems around when it’s finally released as SM 8.0; it will definitely be a standard others will have to catch up to.