Hello fellow Opera lovers, it’s time for another distro review…For a while now, I have made it clear that the Linux distro to win my notoriously cold heart is Linux Mint, the distro widely claimed as “Ubuntu done right.” This is still true! But of course, I am the type that is never satisfied with my lot in life, so the search goes on for the “perfect” Linux distro. Especially at the times like these when my CPU fan never shuts off, getting louder and louder lol…Linux Mint is a tad hard on my memory, to be sure. As soon as this “economic incentive” check from the IRS gets here, I plan on buying a 2GB DDR kit…until then..I like to check out the distros that are ideal for “legacy machines.” The latest one I downloaded (last night) is a little derivative of PCLinuxOS, called TinyMe.
Now, bear in mind that the second distro I ever tried was PCLinuxOS. The first was Debian, which I liked but I was sooo frustrated at the time because there was no flash happening. What a newb! Of course, I now know that Debian only uses open source applications but hey, I was a serious newb..wow was that just in March? Seems a lifetime ago…I digress…So anyway..PCLinuxOS was being proclaimed as the “radically simple Linux.” Well of course, as a uber-newb, I needed easy to start with…So, bearing in mind my limitations in the memory department (at the time, it was 256 MB RAM) I downloaded the 2008 PCLOS MiniMe edition, a leaner version of the original…basically the same, but on a diet. I was impressed and I thought it ran great but I didn’t know all the things I do now and I borked it a couple of times lol…plus I preferred Gnome…so I tried quite a few distros after getting a new 512 MB memory stick and ended up with Linux Mint.
I digress..again…So, at any rate I came across this TinyMe version of PCLOS and was fascinated enough to try it…why bother? Yes, I have 768MB RAM now, but honestly it’s not really enough for Linux Mint and I do tire of hearing my fan (loudly sometimes) all the time..so I downloaded TinyMe and made myself a nifty little boot disk. I rebooted with my new “Live CD” and away I go…
It started immediately…and I do mean immediately! Nice! Nice polished look of PCLOS…The usual of logging in with guest/guest or root/root blah blah…so then I get to the desktop. I see all the icons for the major installations of various applications, such as a text editor, Audacious for playing music (which I love), Opera for the internet (which I slavishly adore) and mtpaint for editing pictures, and gThumb. On the right side of the desktop is the system monitor which is there by default. Yes, this can be removed or commented out if you prefer (like me) to have a naked desktop. There is by default a desktop switcher and you can name the desktops (by default they are 4 names, one is fred and one is “soup” no idea why but it made me laugh) Seriously when is the last time Windoze made anyone laugh in delight?
Anyhoo, there is no desktop environment, which I thought would bother me immensely (because I hate the way Fluxbox looks) but Openbox has a very nice look to it and I made sure that themes could be added…Switching them is a snap..Just open the TinyCC which is the TinyMe control center. The window management tab allows for switching to various looks for the Openbox..not quite as customizeable as Gnome or KDE but honestly duh! Nitrogen is a little app that lets you easily switch between wallpapers and lets you add more at the click of a button. I didn’t see a way to add more icon themes or switch icons but it may be there is a way and I forgot to look or just didn’t notice.
Of course, the full fledged PCLOS control center is there too, allowing for customization concerning networks, hardware, monitors etc..just like the regular PCLOS.. All in all, I thought this was a great distro! Everything was “whoa!!” fast and I didn’t see any instability issues that ruined the MiniMe experience for me. There was even an app for killing apps (like Gnome’s fabulous force-quit) I momentarily forgot what it’s called but the icon was appropriate with a little skull-and-crossbones to go over the desired app to kill.
I was sorely, sorely tempted to install this to harddrive and I may still install it with the option for dual-booting..of course, I have to wait for Linux Mint 5 (Elyssa) to be released and give it a go but if it doesn’t work out for me for some reason, I will absolutely use TinyMe. I give it a B for looks and an A- for functionality (for my purposes anyway). I am just a “baby geek” after all and I do absolutely love deb and mint packages and I likely won’t want to give that up but this distro tempts me like no other!
And right about now, I think to myself that Grant has a healthy smirk upon his delightfully adorable face!
As a side note however, I tried Mandriva Linux (or tried to try) and the login "widget" wouldn't run and it got stuck at the command line where I tried various ways to "log in" unsuccessfully..so if anyone knows the login info for the Mandriva 2008 LiveCD please let me know…yes I tried root/root and guest/guest already…Sorry Grant, no rave review of Mandriva here LOL